Local interior photographer and website designer feels like she’s finally found her ‘thing’
By Hilary Dartt
A self-described dreamer, Kellie Worthen has always known she was destined for something great. Still, her journey to launching District 86 Co. Interior Photography & Website Design included a few curves.
The Prescott High School alum (class of 2013) said during a recent interview that she always knew there was something out there she’d be great at, but “I was afraid of that feeling because it was bigger than me. Whether it was not knowing what that ‘thing’ was yet, or not feeling confident enough in myself or my skills …”
People often say to young people, “Follow your God-given talent,” or “Whatever’s meant for you will find you.”
But Kellie didn’t feel that way. Uninterested in getting a college degree, she worked full-time just to pay off credit card debt. Meanwhile, she kept expecting those sayings to happen magically … she imagined that she’d just wake up one day knowing without a doubt that she was meant to do something in particular.
As the years went on, though, she said, she came to terms with the reality that “Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, in order to do what you want to do,” and that everything comes in time and in seasons.
For Kellie, some of those seasons ran concurrently and led her to recognize her “thing” and launch her business.
“I had a season of major credit card debt, I had a season of jumping around to different jobs and I dropped out of college, but during those same seasons I was out taking pictures for free of my friends’ Air BnBs or my aunt’s properties.”
Life isn’t always either, or, she said. Sometimes a person’s dream develops while she’s in the grind, which happened to her.
She enjoyed interior photography so much, and felt so drawn to it, that in 2019 she launched District 86 Co., “bringing a modern, organic approach to interior photography and small business websites.”
She said her eye for sleek designs and realistic, natural portrayals of a space or business was a natural fit for the venture. Plus, she’d taken digital photography and coding in college (along with a host of visual arts classes) and enjoyed them.
Although business ownership has it challenges—wearing all the hats, for one—she’s also found one thing she loves about. it: “you never stop learning or growing; professionally or personally.”
It only makes sense, then, that she felt drawn to begin offering interior photography classes to help other business owners who either don’t want to pay for a professional photographer or who simply want to do it themselves (right now she has two: one for iPhone users and one for digital camera users).
Interior photography is different from real estate photography or even architectural photography, Kellie said, because on top of the camera’s functions and technical aspects like lighting and editing, interior photography is about capturing the “vibe” of a space.
Looking toward the future, Kellie said, she hopes to one day offer annual all-inclusive business/wellness workshops for women to learn interior photography, network, and enjoy guest speakers, to elevate their businesses.
More than anything, she loves that she’s lived in Prescott her whole life, went to school here, and is now married, raising her son, and running her business here. She’s worked with a host of clients including Dorn Homes, The Scott Resort & Spa, and the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa.
“I enjoy the fact that being a business owner just kind of happened to me. It started as one thing and then grew with me. It’s a sweet little reminder that I built something successful all on my own. I’m really proud of it and excited for our future.”
Learn more at https://www.district86co.com.