my story


Personal Improvement Academy started from the lifelong learning mentality I developed in engineering school, and grew into an obsession with self improvement. The knowledge and techniques here were refined from our experience over a decade in the technical field. I’ve distilled those skills to help you apply them directly into your home and life.

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After college, I worked as an engineer (and loved it!) for a couple years before stepping away to start our family. (My husband and I have two incredible kids.) A few years into being a stay at home mom, I needed an outlet. So I started a newborn and product photography studio that allowed me to work while being at home with my kids.

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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, my husband (and most of the world) was working from home, so I saw it as an opportunity for me to reenter the workforce.

I knew if I was going to take an engineering job on again, we were going to need to simplify and streamline. The household and family responsibilities were still there. And I didn’t want to stop taking photography clients. (Brands still needed photos during the pandemic.)

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Woman cleaning the kitchen with a steam mop

All The Things


At the time, my husband was still in training to get his Lean/Six Sigma black belt (a Manufacturing Engineering certification that he now has). We applied the principles he was learning, along with other engineering practices to optimize our home management as well as my business.



I started a new engineering job at the previous company. But what I’d learned from my husband about Lean Manufacturing had sparked my interest. So when my company offered a Lean Basics Certification, I signed up! Learning the Lean principles firsthand gave me a deeper understanding, and helped me know how to structure our home to serve us even better.

Image of Shelly holding a laptop for corporate section of about page


Advancing craft
Connecting People

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Our Team

Learn more about the Personal Improvement Academy Instructors.

Perswonal Improvement Academy Instructor Kashele

Shelly is a Systems Engineer with a background in software development and communications systems (think radios, but cooler). She is certified in Lean Basics and designated as an Advanced Lean Practitioner.

Perswonal Improvement Academy Instructor Spencer

Steven graduated in Biological Engineering and works as a Research and Development Engineer in the medical device industry. He has been certified in Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Quality Engineering.



Now I want to help you simplify and streamline your home and responsibilities. Let’s prioritize what matters, optimize what’s necessary, and create time, space, and resources for the people and passions that you value most!