Kelly Ann Thomas is the founder of Harmonia. Her passion for sustainability and environmental consciousness is not a recent development, as evidenced by her previous venture, El Gato Negro, a socially and environmentally conscious coffee roasting company and bookstore was established in 2005 and operated for 12 years in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
El Gato Negro stood out for its unique approach to environmental responsibility. The coffeehouse refused to waste resources on paper cups lined with plastic, instead serving drinks in ceramic and stainless steel cups. Sugar packets and plastic/wood coffee stirrers were not used, while cloth napkins (purchased from thrift shops) replaced disposable paper ones, providing employment for a local single mother who laundered the napkins three times a week. Kelly purchased organic coffee from her own farm and other organic, Fair Trade farms in Nicaragua, and offered free water purified from a filtration system, refusing to sell or dispense water in a plastic bottle.
Kelly has a diverse background that includes being a faux painter, Venetian plasterer, mosaic artist, and high landscape design artist. She spent five years creating art with plants and worked in a family-owned 30-acre plant nursery in Phoenix for two years, where she served as the Marketing and Event Director. In her previous life, Kelly worked in political/human intelligence, commodities analysis and trading, tax accounting, and mortgage underwriting. 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 has studied natural medicine for 20 years and is an expert in astrology, using synastry charts to determine compatibility and relationship issues.
Kelly has spent more than a third of her life overseas, living in West Berlin for three years and standing on the Wall the day it fell on November 9, 1989. She has traveled to 40 countries and considers art, cooking, photography, writing, animal rehabilitation, and exploring nature as her hobbies.
Through Harmonia, Kelly continues to pursue her passion for sustainable living and community building.