Kelly Ann Thomas is the founder and visionary of Harmonia.
Kelly is the founder of El Gato Negro, a socially and environmentally conscious coffee roasting company and bookstore established in 2005 that operated for 12 years in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. El Gato Negro had one of the largest selections of English book titles of any non-English speaking country.
In keeping with her dedication to the environment, El Gato Negro did not dispense or sell coffee in take-out cups, perhaps the only coffeehouse in the world that refused to waste the resources for paper cups lined with plastic that will never be recycled. No packets of sugar or plastic/wood coffee stirrers. Plates, cups and utensils were ceramic or stainless steel. The organic coffee was purchased from her own farm and other organic, Fair Trade farms in Nicaragua. She offered free water purified from a filtration system and rested to sell or dispense water in a plastic bottle. Cloth napkins (purchased from thrift shops) were used in place of paper that provided employment for a local single mother who laundered the napkins three times a week. Vinegar, baking soda and lemon oil were the cleaning products of choice at the cafe. The menu was 64 pages of health, economic and environmental information. The majority of the used books were purchased from charity thrift shops in the United States and shipped in recycled cardboard boxes that were reused after shipping, too. Profits were reinvested in the staff, business and local community projects and fundraisers. The corporation paid for all education tuition and costs for the staff. Each year the entire staff was treated to a three night stay at an all-inclusive resort as a training tool and appreciation of gratitude.
Prior to moving to Nicaragua in 2005 (in protest of Bush’s reelection in 2004), Kelly worked as a faux painter, Venetian plasterer, mosaic artist and high landscape design artist creating art with plants for five years. She worked in a family-owned 30 acre plant nursery in Phoenix for two years, in sales and then as the Marketing and Event Director before branching out other own. She has a background in political/human intelligence, commodities analysis and trading, tax accounting and mortgage underwriting in her old life. She took up astrology to predict market trends, then later discovered the use of synastry charts to determine compatibility and relationship issues. She has studied natural medicine for 20 years. She has a BA from the University of Maryland with dual majors in Political Science and Psychology (minors in Business Management and Journalism) and an MA in International Relations with a concentration in Strategic Studies. She lived in West Berlin for three years, standing on the Wall the day it fell on November 9, 1989. Kelly has spent more than a third of her life overseas and has traveled to 40 countries. Her hobbies are art, photography, writing, animal rehabilitation and exploring nature.