Grey Areas originated from Kelsey's personal experience
of encountering toxic grey areas, which are unfortunately
all too common and frequently ignored, in high-level
corporate environments.

Grey Areas was birthed from my personal experience navigating the world of toxic grey areas that are far too common, and too often avoided, in high-level corporate environments. 


For 10+ years, Kelsey climbed the corporate ladder, occupying senior social media roles where she found herself in the company of seasoned leaders who failed to show her the respect and consideration that she deserved.

Kelsey navigated these toxic situations as best as she could, while wishing she had a resource or community to consult. Now, she's creating that community.

This community will be forged from firsthand experience navigating harmful workplace dynamics. Our mission is to provide support, resources, and a safe space for individuals facing similar challenges. Whether you're seeking guidance, camaraderie, or actionable strategies for overcoming adversity, we're going to help you. Join us as we cultivate a culture of resilience, growth, and mutual support in the face of uncertainty.

Hello there!

meet the founder, kelsey

Kelsey Donlon is an award-winning, innovative marketing leader that has helped many mission-driven brands and executives build relationships with their audiences.

Throughout her career, Kelsey has managed social media teams at People Magazine, Northwestern Mutual, for Arianna Huffington & Thrive Global, Questex, Nasdaq and more — with a passion for mentorship and building careers.

In 2023, she left the corporate world and founded Grey Areas to give power, agency and knowledge to corporate employees navigating the political corporate landscape. She resides In Boston, Massachusetts with her husband, Danny, and their puppy, Daisy.

Her goal is to give power and agency back to corporate employees

let's get started


how grey areas came to be

The Blogspot Era: Tickle Me Pink

Like most millennial women, Kelsey wanted to work in fashion journalism (thanks to shows like Sex & The City and The Hills). While she was getting a master's degree in journalism at Northeastern University, she started a fashion blog infamously named Tickle Me Pink. She joined the LTK community, posted photos of her outfits, and blogged about her journey from student in Boston to fully-employed journalist in New York City.


how grey areas came to be

Backstage at New York Fashion Week

As the digital editor for American Salon magazine, the go-to trade publication for hairstylists and colorists, Kelsey had unfettered access to the most talented and well-known hair influencers. While backstage at major hair shows and fashion weeks, she had the opportunity to learn about their inspiration, techniques, and experiences.


how grey areas came to be

Red Carpet Interviews in Las Vegas

As someone who always dreamed of being a celebrity broadcast journalist, Kelsey jumped at the chance to interview celebrities and hair talent on red carpets across the country, including hosting interviews for the North American Hairstyling Awards in Las Vegas, alongside Brad Goreski.


how grey areas came to be

Working at People Magazine

Kelsey's red carpet interview skills translated nicely into the lead social media editor position at People Magazine. Unfortunately, it was the same year as the 2016 presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, which led to her first experience of workplace burnout. While she had the opportunity to interview stars like Jennie Garth, Eddie Redmayne, and the cast of Stranger Things, she struggled with her mental health.

how grey areas came to be

Which led her to her first job at a startup! Working for a health & wellness company, Thrive, with a mission of ending burned-out culture in corporate America. Let's just say... the working environment didn't exactly align with the company mission statement. This was the first time Kelsey understood the meaning of a toxic work environment, complete with a stairwell where most employees frequently cried.


Audience Development for Arianna Huffington


how grey areas came to be

Pivot to Financial Marketing & Influencer Strategy

The next startup Kelsey worked for was acquired quickly after she joined, by a 160-year-old life insurance company, Northwestern Mutual, based out of the Midwest. Needless to say: it was not her ideal job. But it was her first chance to lead an influencer marketing campaign. And it was the first time she experienced retribution, gaslighting and bullying in the workplace.


how grey areas came to be

The Global Head of Social Media @ Nasdaq

Three months prior to the global pandemic, Kelsey was hired as the global head of social media and influencer marketing at Nasdaq. It was a major jump in title and responsibility. She had the opportunity to build a team and a strategy from scratch. It also came with intense corporate politics, client-facing challenges, and a never-ending firestorm of criticism. It's where she learned to have tough skin and how to be a good manager.


how grey areas came to be

Jumping into Entrepreneurship

Employees don't leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses. And that's exactly what Kelsey did. She was sick of not being able to find the community and resources to navigate these hard corporate environments and the mind-boggling situations she found herself in. So she joined The Blueprint Mastermind and launched this website, podcast, and community to address the broken silos and systems that exist within corporate America. It's time to give confidence and agency back to women in the workplace.

are you ready climb the ladder your own way?

How to Work with Kelsey, Founder of Grey Areas 

Hire Kelsey for Your Speaking Engagement

Kelsey is available as a keynote or panel speaker and can discuss a variety of topics including personal branding, social media strategy and influencer marketing, the future of workplace politics, career pivots and leadership, team building and career development, female entrepreneurship & more. 


Book Kelsey for Consulting Services

Elevate your social media strategy with Kelsey Donlon's expertise. As an award-winning marketing leader, Kelsey brings innovative solutions tailored to your brand's needs. With a deep understanding of digital ecosystems, she crafts purpose-driven campaigns and consumer engagement programs. Book Kelsey for impactful social media consulting that drives results.

book now

Schedule Kelsey for 1:1 Career Coaching

Ready to take your career to the next level? Kelsey offers 1:1 coaching for anyone who is weighed down by toxic political bullshit or unclear next steps. Perhaps you’re just starting out in your career or need to talk through some tough situations, Kelsey has been there and done that and can provide expertise on your next move.


Choose Your Own Adventure: Corporate Ladder or Freelance Freedom?

Ever wish adulting came with a manual? Here’s the next best thing. A workbook that’s part career guide, part crystal ball, helping you navigate the crossroads of your career with humor and wisdom.