Since she was a child, Kelli Lee has suffered from travel & motion sickness. Her entire life, friends and family joked about her strange habit of stealing airplane barf bags and secretly carrying them around for comfort. But this was no joke. In 2005 the problem went out of control when she unknowingly contracted Lyme Disease. She became so desperately ill that she couldn't even drive her own car or watch television without getting sick.
The Barf Boutique began in 2008 as a "gallows humor" joke that popped out of an emotionally charged, late night conversation between Kelli, her mother Rose, and God. Kelli's artistic talents and education, her mysterious undiagnosed illness, disability and unemployment, and questions like "Why me?" and "What can I do?" were all topics discussed that night. When suddenly out of nowhere for comic relief, Rose flippantly suggested selling barf bags. To her shock and dismay, Kelli took the idea seriously and ran in every unexpected direction with it...
Kelli Lee has been drawing & painting since she was a child. Little did she know her canvas would one day be 115 barf bags. Not surprising to people who knew her. Prior to her illness, she was a marketing executive at Nestle, The Learning Company, Logitech, and Activision. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in Communication Studies and holds an MBA from the University of Southern California. She's also an interior designer and graduate of the UCLA Professional Interior Design Program.
Sadly, Rose Lee passed away in 2012 shortly after the business was launched. She was a retired English teacher. This project finally put her wacky sense of humor and wordsmithing skills to good use.
This project was truly a labor of love. We hope you have as much fun with our bags as we did creating them!
Kelli & Rose
This business is dedicated to my late parents, Rose & Eugene Lee, who supported me throughout my mysterious & debilitating illness and never gave up on me. They passed away a week apart in 2012. A month later I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease, a diagnosis which took seven long years. I'm happy to report that I've since been treated, and am now enjoying a happy, healthy and symptom free life as a barf bag entrepreneur.