In 2004, Kelsy Anderson began a long-distance hike on the Appalachian Trail and what she thought were steps in the wrong direction, turned out to be leading her towards just the right path. In June of that year, Kelsy started Ideal Positions working from home with no equity funding and no loans. It was just her ingenuity at the kitchen counter of her studio apartment. Several months later, she cemented a working relationship with James “Shannon” Sullivan, who partnered in the company with her.
In January of 2005, they signed their first lease for a 900 square foot basement space in the Stuart School Building in Arcata, CA and hired 5 employees almost immediately. By April 2007, big changes were in store for the company. On April 1st, Kelsy and Shannon reached an agreement for Kelsy to take over Ideal Positions as the sole owner. Later that month the company moved upstairs in the same building to a larger, 2,600 square foot office space in order to accommodate a growing staff. Very soon, even this larger space was not enough to keep up with the company’s growth! Next they moved into an office space twice the size in the Arcata Technology Center. In February 2016, Ideal Positions made its last and most recent move to a brand new office space near the airport in McKinleyville. Since its inception 12 years ago in Kelsy’s home, Ideal Positions has grown to a company of 20 employees with an impressive presence in the online marketing industry.
Guiding the company from the beginning, Kelsy still remembers that feeling of getting her own private office back in 2007. In that moment, she recognized how far she had come from her kitchen counter. At the end of every workday, her favorite ritual was to go around the office locking up and turning off the lights. She would then pause to look over the office and the employees’ workstations, and bow to acknowledge the creation of this organization and the people who make up the soul of the company. This moment of pause kept her heart grateful for all the amazing people who promoted the strength and fostered the personality of the company into what it is today.
It’s the personality of the company that Kelsy enjoyed seeing most at the yearly holiday parties. These have always been an opportunity for employees to interact in a more relaxed setting— always bringing out interesting and surprising parts of employee’s personalities, as well as the most heartfelt expressions of camaraderie and appreciation for one another. Kelsy has always considered one of her proudest accomplishments in her role as business owner as someone who was able to create jobs. Having a positive impact on those employees, getting to know them, and creating a positive working environment for all staff is something that she’s thoroughly enjoyed.
Now, Kelsy has taken the next step on her journey. On October 1, 2016, Ideal Positions changed ownership, and Josh Babbitt, the SEM Department Manager who has been with the company since 2008 took the lead. Through all the trials and tribulations of the last 12 years, Kelsy came to realize that the two great loves in her life, owning her own business and being a parent to her 3 young boys, were in constant competition. Being a business owner is an intense and all-consuming responsibility that can make it difficult to be fully present in parenting young children. By deciding to sell the company, Kelsy hopes to be able to be the best parent she can to her children as well as take some time to return to her passions of hiking, yoga, and visiting friends and family. Since she regularly only had a few hours every week “off the clock”, she plans to spend this new time nurturing her family and her soul.
What allowed her to be able to take this next step is knowing that the company will be in the very capable hands of Josh Babbitt. Kelsy describes Josh as one of the finest people she knows. In her many years of business, she has developed the ability to discern between someone that’s the real-deal and someone who is not. Josh is the real deal. He is the last person to take credit and the first to recognize others. His innate leadership ability makes people want to work hard for him and be on his team because he earns their respect through his hard work, humility, and competence. Kelsy fondly remembers a time when Josh asked for a personal day off. As someone who regularly works some of the longest hours and rarely takes time off, the request was out of the ordinary. But it was the premier of the new Star Wars movie and Josh could not miss this “once in a lifetime event.” It is this similar interest and passion in all things technological that sets Josh apart. He is a “technical wizard” and Kelsy has the utmost confidence that he will continue to stay two steps ahead in this ever-changing industry. Kelsy and everyone at Ideal Positions are extremely excited to have Josh take on this important role and cannot wait to see what the future holds!