Our newest team member, project administrator Kassi Marshall, opens up about a host of important topics, from mental health to the LGBTQ+ community and the positive power of pink hair!
Where are you from and how did you end up in Bristol?
I was born and grew up in Bath and went to school there. I think we moved to Bristol when I was 11. I’ve lived in Bristol longer than in Bath now so I would consider myself Bristolian.
I think my favorite thing about the city is the variety of people and places. My boyfriend and I just moved into a new flat and when we walk around it’s so quiet, you can hear the birds singing, you wouldn’t think you’re in Bristol at all. But then 10 minute walk the other way and you’re in the city centre.
What did you dream of being when you were a kid?
When I was younger I did gymnastics and ballet and really wanted to be a ballerina. In my teens, I was rebellious – well, I thought I was rebellious – and wanted to be in a rock band. I had singing lessons and took up guitar but I didn’t get very far! And then when I was leaving school I thought about teaching, but then went and studied drama. I was very indecisive.
I actually fell into admin through temping and realised I’m not only good at it but I really enjoy it. Which is weird, because in my personal life I’m completely disorganised. And I don’t exactly look like an administrator. My last job was as a legal support assistant at a law firm.
Your hair is definitely one of your stand out features – is it always pink?
I’ve had my hair lots of different colours. I’ve always been the weird one and I embrace that wholeheartedly. My friends and I never really fit in at school and I was bullied terribly. For a while I tried to fit in but slowly I came to accept the fact that I was different.
The moment I left school I put blue streaks through my hair and got my first tattoo as soon as I was old enough. I just feel better with bright hair and tattoos, more me.
What are your go-to hobbies when you’re not at work?
I’m really into craft, especially cross stitch. I also like working with epoxy resin, making jewellery and trinket trays and things like that. Both started as hobbies and grew from there, so I now have a small Etsy shop where I sell my work.
I do a bit of knitting and crochet too, although I’m terrible at it! But I do love to sew and do quilting. A friend of mine has a degree in costume design and makes a lot of outfits for drag queens, and I had a 1-to-1 session with her to make a gorgeous skirt.
Other than that I play video games, watch Netflix and enjoy spending as much time as I can with family. My mum, my sister and I are all very close and message every day.
You’ve used your craft shop to raise money for Pride – why is the community so important to you?
I’m always very open about being part of the LGBTQ+ community and I’m passionate about representation. It’s important to me to be a voice. I never used to be, I used to get imposter syndrome – I’m in a straight presenting relationship, and I am quite femme-presenting. But I think it’s important to be able to talk about being non-binary and all that entails.
In my last job, which was at a law firm, I wrote an article for the company intranet about why Pride is important to me. I was worried about what people might say but everyone was really respectful and asked really relevant questions. It helped me realise I do have a voice.
What other subjects are you passionate about?
I’ve struggled with my mental health, so that’s another thing I’m quite open about. I have anxiety and depression, and I’m neurodivergent.
I think there’s a taboo around talking about how you feel but as soon as you open up, people can start to understand more about how you experience the world. Learning to communicate effectively about how I feel has significantly helped.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Do good recklessly” – I have it tattooed on my right arm. It’s a quote from my favourite podcast, The Adventure Zone, which I’ve listened to four times through now! The quote is something I like to live by. It’s not about being reckless, it’s about not holding back on doing good. Do good whenever you can, at every opportunity. I like that.
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