Interview by – Royce Johnson
Photographed by Melissa Bring
Make up by Tami Haviland
Styling by Mandy Jill

Graduating from USC with honors, San Francisco native Kelsey Crane decided to set up shop in LA and follow her dreams of acting. She’s made her mark with film roles and guest spots on shows like Dexter and How I Met Your Mother, but this being LA, had to work her fair share of bartending and tray-passing gigs along the way. In 2008, fed up with just being the pretty girl making drinks, she decided to take a larger role in the sidejob business, and start Quench, a new kind of event staffing agency. From the get-go, Quench LA / NYC has devoted itself to promoting the diverse careers of its staff in addition to giving them financial stability, never treating them like anonymous pretty faces. As a Shakespeare enthusiast and one who appreciates art for art’s sake, Kelsey’s understood that keeping her staff’s creative side burning is just as important as lining their pockets. This unique attitude has gained Quench a large roster of clients who appreciate the staff’s personality as much as their looks. Recently, Kelsey sat down with Muze to share her burgeoning success story:

So Kelsey, could you explain to readers exactly what Quench is, and how it differs from a traditional staffing company?
Quench is a high-end boutique staffing agency. We staff everything and I mean everything from lavish red carpet events to corporate events to private parties to movie premieres to fashion shows to weddings to…honestly the list goes on and on. I have staff for everything imaginable from models to bartenders, brand ambassadors to dance troupes, personal assistants, and naked sushi girls – We. Do. It. All. Period. And believe me, I’ve put that to the test. You’d be surprised how demanding the requests can be and Quench has never disappointed. There are a couple different staffing agencies out there but I really believe Quench is truly special and unique for several reasons. My team is hand picked by me. I found LA and NYC’s diamonds in the rough. They are not only beautiful but smart, dynamic, talented, responsible, and hard working. No one can compete with my team. Quench is a home for truly talented artists. I pride myself on that fact. Actors/models/dancers need agents, managers, and casting directors to give them jobs; but what happens in the meantime while they are waiting for their “big break”? It can take years to break into the business. What an artist truly needs is MONEY. Financial stability gives you the freedom to pursue creative endeavors. I felt like someone needed to be an advocate for the working actor, the proverbial ‘starving artist’. I created a company that supports people who dedicate themselves to their art and exemplify the highest standard of quality in the service industry. I’m an actress myself and know the struggle far too well. It’s easy to feel alone out here – My hope is that Quench is an artist collective that supports hard-workers.

How did your experience in the service industry prepare you to run a company like that?
Two words: customer service. It’s about exceeding expectation. I worked in the service industry for over 10 years – it is a hard job being so attentive and gracious all the time (laughing)…it’s about integrity and working with integrity no matter what how small the job. That’s what I looked for when building my team, and that’s what I found.

When was the moment Quench went from a daydream to something you wanted to actively pursue?
I think life is about seeing the opportunity in front of you and seizing it. As a creative person you do a lot of waiting. Waiting for the phone to ring with your next audition. I got sick of that. I am far too “type-A” to surrender control (laughs). I wanted to do something that helped the artists around me and ultimately something that makes me feel good and active. I saw something in the potential of Quench and ran toward it.

Now was it more like “roller-coaster” fear or “running from guy with an axe in the woods” fear when you took all your money & doubled down on the business?
(Laughing) Love this question and I think it’s a combination of both really. My grandpa always said, “don’t be afraid to spend money to make money.” I think about this a lot because to start a small business you have to do just that and it is easy to be afraid. It’s an investment of time, finances, and emotional stability (laughing)… I’m kidding… kind of. My company and the nature of what I do is really an extension of myself, so yeah, it can be a little scary. But man, on the good days, which thankfully are often, there is no better feeling than seeing something you’ve built be successful.

Does working behind the scenes make you look back on memorable old gigs in a new light, having a firmer grasp on what was probably going on behind the scenes? Speaking of, what are some of your most memorable gigs, for better or worse…though for worse is the only fun choice…wait just talk about a really terrible gig.
Oh gooodness!! Terrible is a strong word. I would say interesting and yes, oh yes, I have done some interesting jobs! Los Angeles and New York City are very eccentric cities with very strong personalities. It’s part of the challenge- part of the job to balance that. I think it’s actually my favorite part. It keeps life exciting! The service industry is at its best when it is catering to the demands of the uber-elite. Every client deserves the royal treatment. Quench provides this level of service on every job. And with a smile!

So in less than two years, you went from having a handful of clients to an epic scroll of clients. How did the brand spread so quickly?
(Laughs) You flatterer, you. It has been a good year. I have clients that I absolutely adore both personally and professionally. I am really lucky in that way. When you boil it down, my business is, at its’ core, about good energy. Good energy and hard work are the key ingredients. And so it is really important to me to maintain a positive, respectful relationship with my clients. All my clients are repeat customers – a fact I am proud of.

In the beginning you just worked with friends & friends of friends, but overnight, you’ve have to juggle a ton of people who know you first & foremost as boss. Which dynamic’s been more fun (or at least less headache-enducing) so far?
Yeah when I first started my team consisted of my favorite people from every hot bar/club that I’d worked shoulder to shoulder, heel to heel with. And yes in the last two years Quench has grown a lot. We have a New York department now too – which is very exciting. And it’s interesting, this transition from teammate to boss. See…I know all the tricks from the inside out so there is no fooling me (laughing). It’s true though. I do my best to balance my empathy as a friend and my responsibilities as “boss” and to always remain professional. I can honestly say: everyone that works with me becomes a friend. Even as we expand, I remain very particular about who I hire. I only hire people I genuinely like and want to support. I think if balanced right, you can have both. I find that my team always goes above and beyond to make sure I’m happy and my company is represented well.

How has business taking off affected the personal life, if you don’t mind my asking? I mean if you do I won’t be offended?
(Sarcastic) I’m so offended! (Laughing) No, of course I don’t mind. The more the business grows, the less and less time I have. It is challenging balancing it all. I’m still working on it – It’s a delicate art. I make it a priority to see family and friends as much as possible – Nothing is more important than that. It’s restorative being around the people you love. I cannot imagine my life without that support. Luckily I work with a lot of people I love so I’m able to combine the two. Making sure I have enough time to dedicate to auditions and my creative life is extremely important to me as well. So far so good! I do a lot of juggling but I cannot imagine my life any other way. I am convinced that boredom is the root of all evil – I try to live full.

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Tags: Kelsey Crane, Kelsey Crane Model and Actress, Hollywood, Dexter, Quench, Quench Staffing, How I Met Your Mother, At Her Place, Muze Magazine, Lingerie, Sexy

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