‘I realized I was going to be bored’

Fresh off retirement, Kelly Sigg learns a new trade. She sold her business after 13 years and after a short break, went to work to sell insurance.


Local News

April 19, 2024 - 3:00 PM

The recently retired Kelly Sigg is the newest face to greet you as you walk into the office of the Iola Insurance Associates. Upon selling her clothing store after 13 years of business, Sigg has started a new journey selling insurance. Photo by Sarah Haney / Iola Register

Transitioning from the world of fashion to insurance may seem far-fetched for some, but not for a go-getter like Kelly Sigg. After selling her business of 13 years — Audacious Boutique — Sigg has found a new career.

 “I took off November and December to enjoy the holidays for the first time in years,” said Sigg, noting that owning a retail store required a lot of hours during the holidays. “Once my Christmas decorations were put away, I realized I was going to be bored.”

 Knowing herself well enough to realize she wouldn’t be able to sit still upon retiring, she had already been thinking about what her next professional adventure would be. 

“I wanted to do something part-time and not have all the responsibility of being a business owner,” she explained.

 Those parameters landed her a job at Iola Insurance Associates where she answered the phone and took payments. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Sigg realized she wanted to do more.

“Technically, you can’t do anything more than answer the phone and take payments if you don’t have an insurance license,” she noted. So she started pursuing one.

At the age of 63, Sigg obtained her license on April 5 to sell insurance.

 Getting her license in four months was no easy feat. “She accomplished a big goal,” said agent Debbie Taiclet. “We’re proud of her.”

Taiclet explained that, whereas other insurance agents may only have to learn what their specific insurance company sells, Iola Insurance Associates must learn what all the different companies sell. “It’s a lot to learn in a short period of time,” said Taiclet.

 Sigg is equally proud of her accomplishment. “I wanted to learn a new industry when I left Audacious, but I told a thousand people I didn’t want to do anything where I would have to study and learn a whole lot,” she laughed. “I really did get interested quickly.”

 Sigg believes her ability to absorb the information in a short period of time can be partially attributed to her past in retail. “You’re selling a different product, but it’s very similar,” she said. Instead of trying to figure out what belt goes with what jeans, she now helps people with “custom-fit” insurance. “Customer service is a top priority in both retail and insurance,” she added.

 Admittedly, Sigg says the toughest part of the transition has been the studying. Even so, she sees the silver lining in all the new information.

“I feel like challenging your brain in your older years is important,” she said. “I don’t want to sit at home and just get rusty. It is more difficult to learn something the older you get. But, it is important to continue trying to learn.”

 When she is not busy learning new things and continuing to work during her partial retirement, Sigg enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve. 

“We dated in high school,” she said. “Steve stayed in Iola, got married, and had four kids. I left in 1978, got married, and had four kids.” Upon returning to Iola after 27 years, she and Steve reunited, combining their families. Their family has now grown to include 16 grandchildren.

“Life came full circle,” said Sigg. “Iola is a good place to live and I’m loving this new chapter.”