Staff Profiles


Proprietors, Deborah Carney and Cat Kelly

Deborah Carney, Owner

Deb Carneyhbs-58Deborah is the business brain of the partnership, having owned & operated four other successful businesses before she and Cat started Heart, Body, & Soul. An MU alum with an abiding grudge against the Jayhawks (that has not lessened at ALL with MU’s move to the SEC), Deb is also an excellent cook, a certified master gardener, a connoisseur of good Irish whiskey, and active in animal rescue.  As a result, she shares her small acreage outside Columbia with a tribe of dogs, cats, and horses.  She adores hardware stores and power tools, and stops at every thrift shop, garage sale, or junking opportunity within 50 miles of wherever she happens to be — collecting all kinds of strange stuff and turning it into treasure. (Hint: See if you can spot her handiwork throughout much of Heart, Body, & Soul!)

 Cat Kelly, Owner

hbs-43hbs-52A retired attorney and Starbucks addict with a passion for coffee, books, teaching, and the study of spirituality, Heart, Body, & Soul was natural second act for Cat. Unlike Deb, Cat is very good at NOT cooking, kills every plant she touches, and is a danger to herself and others if handed power tools. (She often notes that if stranded on a desert island, she’d be the first choice to kill and eat since her skillset is entirely academic and utterly impractical).  An alum of Washington University School of Law, Cat’s energies for over 31 years were directed to her legal career, which spanned courtroom trial lawyer to leadership of a statewide legal organization of over 360 attorneys. Along the way, she taught as adjunct faculty at both Washington University and St. Louis University Schools of Law, spent 14 years coordinating training conferences and events within the legal profession, and became a nationally-known and requested speaker in her own right. Now she is turning her teaching and organizational skills to coordinating events and teaching classes & workshops at Heart, Body, & Soul!

Our Team

It takes a village to keep the doors open here at HBS.  Our team of awesome staff is an essential (and crazy fun!) part of HBS.  If you haven’t yet had the chance to meet them all, you clearly need to vary your routine and stop in at some different times.

Kayla Boska, Assistant Manager

Kayla — like many of our staff members — began her relationship with HBS as a regular customer who made the mistake of mentioning that she was looking for a new line of work. When she came in to shop with friends one day, we summoned her back to the office for an impromptu interview and the rest is history.   (She told us later she thought she was in trouble and being summoned to the principal’s office.  But the ambush worked!)   Our very own Audrey Hepburn look-alike, Kayla continues to unveil new talents we never suspected — moth charmer, passionate baby bird watcher, and yes, Mafia Boss and the killer at our Roaring 20’s Murder Mystery night.  We love her anyway.


 Amy Dove

Amy is the newest member of our HBS staff, helping us out behind the counter on evenings and weekends when she’s not busy with her day job at MU.  In her spare time, she also belly dances, reads palms (you can sign up for a reading with her at HBS!), and often steps up to lead our Wheel of the Year celebrations.   Easy to spot on her bright yellow scooter (with helmet to match), Amy slipped seamlessly into the HBS family.  Because after all — like all of our other folks, she was already here most of the time anyway!  (Sensing a theme here??)

 Mary Jane King

Mary JaneMary Jane had just retired from the University of MO … and realized she was not the retiring type … when our paths crossed.  (Lucky for us.)  A long-time and passionate student of both meditation and rocks, Mary Jane is a Buddhist soul with a sense of humor who wields a mean spreadsheet.  She also happens to be a great cook and generous provider of most of our Saturday morning Coffee & Conversation goodies, just ‘because.’    So when she’s not down on their farm in south MO with her geologist husband — (who was so impressed with her rock collection that he married her) — Mary Jane is our go-to, on-call, we’re-shorthanded, please-goddess-help(!), life-saver.


Michelle McBrien

Michelle has the most varied resume on our staff:  studying improv at Second City, teaching English as a second-language in Japan, and now juggler of life as both a virtual assistant and legal office administrator when she’s not here with us.  It’s surprising just how much that skillset fits the need here — with the exception of the Japanese characters she keeps sprinkling in her text messages just to mess with us!  She also happens to bea creator of seriously fun & yummy goodies and has taken over a lot of our social media messaging.  (So if you find a screw-up there, blame Michelle — not Cat, who probably caused it.)  In the meantime, we’re busily plotting all the tasks we can assign to her computer-savvy self…

 Kris Tenny-Brittian


Kris is the keeper of our calendar — a task that is W-A-Y more complicated than it sounds, given the many places news of our events go (website, paper, facebook, meet-ups, etc).  We are immensely thankful that she believes in a good cause and agreed to take on the task in her spare time between her real work as an Ordained Minister, Reiki Master Teacher, Transitions Teacher, and Spiritual Director & Counselor (check out her offerings in that regard at www.Teaology.Life).  It helps that she’s one of those super-organized souls, as well as being a really evolved one.

Emelie Thibodeaux

EmelieA multi-talented soul, Emelie taught school and owned a photography studio with her late husband, Erol, before opening and operating her own Summerseeds Herbs and Whole Foods shop in Alexandria, LA in her former life.  A student of renowned herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, Em eventually brought her gorgeous southern drawl to Columbia, MO – where we pulled her Cajun soul out of retirement to come share her gumbo and her expertise blending fabulous teas with us.  Emelie is also a Reiki Master, teaching classes in Reiki as well as offering individual Reiki sessions, and a writer, having published a lovely book of poetry called Summerseeds and a deck of oracle cards called Changes (both available at HBS! Go figure.)  She also happens to be the proud mama of Sadie Thibodeaux, designer of this fabulous website and our go-to photographer.  Obviously talent runs in the family.