Kelly Hawkins has long been a friend the Savvy Girl team admires for many reasons--- her quick wit and undeniable sense of humor topping the list (don't worry, you'll get a taste). However, her commitment to her passions and a recent leap of faith to chase them full time has landed her as this week's spotlight and we couldn't be more excited to share her with the world!
Read on to learn more about this hilarious entrepreneur and why she's our real life edition of "sporty spice"... sans the questionable 90's outfits.
Name: Kelly Hawkins
Hometown: Ponte Vedra, FL
Alma Mater: University of Florida, Class of 2014 Degree: Public Relations
Current Location: Jacksonville, FL
Occupation: Co-founder, The Daily Rally
Getting to know Kelly...
Tell us about a "Savvy Girl" you admire: Laura Rutledge has had a pretty amazing rise in the sports media world and I’m lucky enough to call her a friend. Her advice and guidance have been so important to me and she always makes people feel included and special. She’s a great person and does incredible work.
Guilty Pleasure: I watch way too much Family Guy. My boyfriend was super weirded out when he discovered this about me.
Go to-order at Starbucks: Cold brew all day. Especially with this writing a daily sports newsletter every night that goes out at 6:30 a.m. Need a constant flow of that stuff.
Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon? Until recently the answer would be working! But now my Saturday afternoons are freed up, and I don’t know what to do with myself! So far, traveling and the beach have been on my Saturday afternoon agenda.
Favorite show on Netflix or Hulu: ... And now I’ve referenced Family Guy for a second time in five questions! Nice. But I’m currently binge watching Silicon Valley. It’s on HBO - that counts, right?
Favorite spot in Jacksonville: Black Sheep rooftop. Is it too hot right now? Yes. Do I care? Not that much.
One beauty item you can't live without: I have a pretty simple beauty routine, but my Neutrogena gel cream moisturizer is the best. I have dry skin and this is the best product I’ve used that helps me out with that situation.
Your last meal would be... How long do you have? My mom fixes this amazing comfort food - roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, etc. I’ll go with that. And a plate of spaghetti. And a thing of queso.
Tell us more about your job...
Give us a rundown of The Daily Rally and what you do: The Daily Rally is a daily sports email I founded two years ago. Its goal is to bring you the latest sports news in a casual, fun and informative voice first thing in the morning. While you’re in line for your cold brew at Starbucks, you can read the entire thing and be on your way. It is for avid sports fans, those looking to become more informed about sports and anyone crunched for time.
What does a typical work day look like for you? I just quit my job at the PGA TOUR to run The Daily Rally full-time! I send it at 6:30 a.m., so I generally spend the next couple hours after that getting my day organized. The rest of the day is spent working on business development, content strategy, outreach and whatever comes up that day. I spend all day continuously checking in on sports news and gathering content that I will write about for the next day’s edition. I am a night owl so I stay up pretty late writing and coding the email for that early morning send. It’s a process, but I am loving it.
How did you manage your passion project and a full time job for so long?
Whew this is a tough one! It’s hard. There were hard moments where I was definitely under-slept and not sure what my next move was. The thing is, I believe in The Daily Rally so much that I never thought about giving up on it. I loved my job with the PGA TOUR and was so glad I could do both at the same time, but at a certain point, I knew it was the right time to take the leap and go full-time with The Daily Rally. I am so happy I kept my job while developing TDR, because I learned so much and was hopefully able to contribute some exciting things to the TOUR as well. I definitely recommend taking that path for any entrepreneurs!
Was this always the field you saw yourself in? If not, what changed?
Working in sports media - yes. Starting my own sports media company - no. The change came when I thought of The Daily Rally. I knew I had to pursue this idea, and the thought of creating my own company totally changed how I viewed my career.
Favorite part of your job? Creating something new. It’s fun to be working in new territory and navigating a space that hasn’t existed before.
Most challenging: Creating something new! The best part of my job is also the most challenging. There is a lot of trial and error and adjusting that comes with starting your own company, but I love it.
Did you have any relevant experience, like internships, campus involvement, etc. before graduation that led you to your current role? I worked for GatorVision as an on-camera host, writer, producer and editor. Reporting on all sports at UF and being a one-man band definitely set me up for my job as an on-camera host and producer at the PGA TOUR and to found The Daily Rally. That college experience is so valuable! Don’t take it for granted!
Most interesting item on your resume: I hosted a Shark Tank style-show for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Web.com last year.
Savvy Girl Aside: Left, Kelly is pictured interviewing Larry the Cable Guy, an item she thought wasn't "most interesting"... but we'll agree to disagree on this one.
If you could improve or change one quality about yourself, as it relates to your professional work, what would it be? I am constantly working to become more detail oriented. I am a big picture person who loves to think of new ideas, brainstorm and create, so I really have to focus to make sure the little details are good to go. But that’s part of growing as a person and entrepreneur - I embrace my flaws and try to strengthen them.
How do you (or do you) maintain a work-life balance? It can be difficult at times, but I do my best. I love making time for my family and friends because at the end of the day, those are the relationships that really matter. I believe in working your absolute hardest but maintaining a perspective on life and making time to focus on what makes you happy.
One thing you'd go back and tell yourself as a new grad? It will be fine!!! Keep grinding and be patient. I know you want everything you want in your career to happen right now, but you have to put in the work, get the experience and keep doing you. Also... set up direct deposit for your rent. Why were you still driving to your landlord’s house to drop off your rent?
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? I hope to have fulfilled The Daily Rally’s five-year plan of having custom versions for every sport, university and professional team in the country. I also hope I have a dog.
A piece of advice for a savvy girl that wants your job: Be ready to work. So many times I think people see a job they want and get scared when they realize how much work they will have to do. Lean into that! It’s fun, I promise.
Connect with Kelly & The Daily Rally:
Subscribe to The Daily Rally HERE!
(You won't regret it.)
Like TDR on Facebook!
Follow Kelly on Twitter...
And keep up with her on Instagram!