In the growing world of social media, the merging of design-minded individuals and creativity at large often intersect. Read on to learn more about Kaelyn, owner and CEO of Haus Guerin and one of the newly elected members of the inaugural House Beautiful Creator Class.
Style Authority Creator Class 2023 House Beautiful | Photography Tristan Duplichain
Having graduated from college in the early 2000s (ah, goodness that pains me to say out aloud) I truly understand the general sense of unease of anyone attempting to make sense of life right now. Even as the wake of covid left us all with a varying sense of normalcy, 2008 was another equally harrowing time. Between the spiraling Global War on Terror and the housing bubble pop/stock market crash, making big decisions required just a hint of crazy. Thankfully, I've got the luck of the Irish and enough dogged determination to see it through.
Full Moon on Fifth in Meridian | Angela Brown Photography
Making my way from a very rural high school tucked in the corners of the Lowcountry all the way up to Clemson University, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted. Three changes in my major later (from Graphics Communication to Marketing to Political Science) and I wasn't so sure anymore. Taking a gamble that I was good enough in business to stand out, I changed my major for the final time to economics.
But let's be real: graduating with a bachelors of science in economics IN 2008 was just laughable. As the actual economy tanked, I needed to once again explore my options. But with new student loan debt, no car and no prospects, there weren't many places I could actually go.
To the credit of my professors, we spoke at length about the looming recession my senior year. Pivoting once again, I called up a United States Marine Corps recruiter one state over and we set out to get me physically ready for Officer Candidate School. By the time graduation happened, I had orders in hand to Quantico. I arrived ready to join an institution that represented my internalized ethos of honor and commitment. Annnnd I promptly nearly died from heat exhaustion.
Parachute Dress shot on location Hunting Island, SC | photography Jasmina Kimova
I don't know how to do crazy half-assedly. And it was the first time I had ever failed anything. Ever. So as humbling as it was, quitting was a non-negotiable. I let the powers-that-be know that I was coming back! This time I completed OCS just in time to be told to go home again. The Marine Corps had hired more Officers than they had the capacity to train. When I finally got back to Quantico for The Basic School, I was already starting to feel like the cosmos was flipping me the bird.
But life went on. Two combat deployments and a whole Marine Officer husband later, I was exiting the Corps to explore life's newest adventure: motherhood.
Unsurprisingly, being somebody's mama presented a whole new set of challenges. My new normal included several months as default parent as my husband deployed and worked long hours in the fleet. And compared to fleeting dust storms in the Helman Province and the understanding that at the very least I would eventually be fed and allowed to sleep, infants don't exactly abide by the Geneva Conventions. Confronted with adjusting to a life that rarely took me outside, I tried to re-invent myself with what I had immediately available to me: my home.
I explored life as a crochet pattern tester (yes, it's a real thing!) and self-taught fiber artist who also dabbled in punch needle arts. But as my sons (yes, we added another!) grew older and my responsibilities finally took me back outside of the house, I realized that I needed to address the elephant in the room: what was next?
Featured pattern by Kaelyn Guerin in Crochet Wizardry by Lee Sartori
All this time being a creative had never left me. Lacking the resources to pursue the 5-year architecture degree program at Clemson I really wanted, I have been chasing all forms of design ever since: I steeled my mind against boredom and death during both deployments in Afghanistan, inhaling interior design blogs and any design magazine I could find or get shipped. I designed and re-designed our homes near military installations from the Carolinas to Texas, San Diego and now Eastern Mississippi. After the sale of our home in Ladys Island, my friend and realtor looked at me and said you should do this!
The Wayback Austin, TX Design Camp | photography Madeline Harper
I was not quite convinced I could. But in 2021, confronted with collective grief and an unease I have not felt in a long time, I figured why not take the gamble. I enrolled in college for the second time and am now in my final semester at the University of Southern Mississippi, pursuing a BS in Construction Management. And because I just can't do crazy half-assedly, I enlisted the ears and minds of industry leaders to help me establish Haus Guerin.
Haus Guerin is the culmination of so many beautiful memories, experiences and paths that all lead me to this point. I am honored by the opportunity to facilitate others making their nest a sanctuary and soft place to land--styled and curated accordingly.
Thank you for joining me.
Santa Monica Proper, CA Design Camp | Photography Madeline Harper