Kelly Groehler l Alice Riot

Kelly Groehler

Alice Riot

Kelly Groehler

@kellygroehler |


Kelly Groehler has made the transition from working in corporate to working on her passion every day! Read on to learn more about how she believes taking risks is worth it for your dream job.


Can you tell us a bit about your business and background?

25-year strategist – executive and corporate brand, reputation, communications – Padilla, Best Buy, Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Left full-time corporate in 2015.

Today: President, Grayler LLC – marketing, brand and communications strategist for Cargill & Cargill Digital Labs. Co-founder and CEO, Alice Riot.

How do you think living in the Twin Cities has shaped your business?

I don’t buy into the notion that we are a flyover city. There are more Fortune 500 companies per capita in the Twin Cities than any other place in the U.S. It’s also a longstanding institution for the arts and entertainment, and our music scene is top-notch. I find these characteristics challenge the “Minnesota nice” (read: passive-aggressive) reputation when it comes to starting and running a business here; we are bombarded each day with evidence of incredible creativity and wildly-successful endeavors. It’s energizing.

If you had one piece of advice for someone starting a business, what would it be?

Go get it. Don’t follow the crowd, and never tell yourself that you can’t do it – no matter how old you are or how much time is left. Always take the risk that gets you closer to your dream.

LAB is founded on three key values: connect, create and collaborate. What are your three key values?

Courage, equality, progress (aesthetic and empathy are close behind).

What are some of your everyday essentials that you can’t live without?

Iced coffee – my last remaining vice


Black staples

At least 7 hours of sleep

Intense music – metal, classical, Britney, rap, punk, you name it

“I love yous” from my husband and son (and dogs)

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

I’d still be in a corporate job, dreaming of doing this!

Dream collaboration.

Art: Maggi Hambling, OBE or Bridget Riley, OBE

Fashion: Moda Operandi or Net-A-Porter capsule

Favorite place to meet/collaborate in the Twin Cities.

Coven or The Sample Room

What’s currently binge watching or listening to?

Black Mirror, season 5

Jessica Jones, season 3

Podcast: GirlBoss Radio 

New Wave and Lithium, Sirius channels 33 & 34

Fantasy Dinner Party Guest List

Maggi Hambling

  • Aisha Tyler

  • Brody Dalle

  • Lizzo

  • Chelsea Handler

  • Diane von Furstenberg 

  • Debbie Harry

  • Grace Coddington

  • Mellody Hobson

  • Sallie Krawcheck

  • Jennifer Saunders

  • Samin Nosrat

Instagram accounts you love to see in your feed.

Too many to narrow down – but I’ll try: 

@jstlbby – motivation boss lady

@ashleylongshoreart – OMG, I laugh so hard 

@ellevest – great advice and reminders to take care of my business


Last Adventure: London

Next Adventure: Hamburg-Orlando-NYC, then Hong Kong-LA

Voted Most Likely To: Challenge conventional thinking/call it as I see it

Secret Skill: Souffles, cherry stem knots, beer pints, serious lip sync contender

Yes Please: Equal Rights Amendment

No Thanks: Any variation on Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos, or bigotry – they’re all disgusting

Spirit Animal: Great white shark (Pisces, yeah)

Brand you can’t live without: Le Creuset & Estee Lauder