We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Gibson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberly, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Growing up, I was always a bit risk adverse and found comfort in taking the safe route, following the rules, and basing decisions on what I knew to be true. However, it was also always my ultimate goal to work for myself and own my own interior design firm. While the steps to get there weren’t always clear while I was in college, it still remained the overall goal to achieve. After design school, I was lucky enough to hone the skills I had learned in school and put them into use while overseeing visual operations at Anthropologie for nearly a decade, and later at Crate & Barrel for about three years. Using their gorgeous product to ensure proper space planning, creating compelling visual environments that appealed to the masses, and staging furniture and decorative items according to their visual aesthetic standards reinforced what I had learned in such a way that I still recall those skills today when I”m in a clients home or office space. As anyone in retail will tell you, managing people is an enormous part of the job that often overpowered the design aspect of the job. One day I was in a place where I had gone through some changes in my personal life and had met one potential client who made me believe in myself more than anyone ever had. I reached out to some trusted friends and family members, leaned on my mentor who was also a sole proprietor business owner, and took the giant risk to put in my two weeks notice, create an LLC, start a website, purchase advertising, seek interns and photographers, and off I went. Soon I was utilizing those people skills and designing for everyone I knew on a personal level who was interested in my help, and had grown my professional portfolio largely enough to start receiving referrals and calls from leads on the internet. I feel gratitude every single day that I was strong enough and surrounded by such wonderful people in order to take the risk I did. Now, I find comfort in not being able to see the exact steps in front of me because I fully believe that when nothing is certain, absolutely anything is possible.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
A lot of designers are sought out because of their own personal style and if that happens to appeal to a certain client, then they’re at match. I believe what sets me apart from other designers is my ability to adapt to what my clients needs and tastes are. What I’m here to ensure is that we utilize the principals of design to create a space that is visually pleasing to the eye in terms of repetition, unity, contrast, and balance. I ensure we’re mixing textures, tonal colors, and have proper space planning and scale to create that depth of space that will ensure a cohesive and visually pleasing atmosphere. If my client loves turquoise or red, where I might shy away from those colors in my own personal space, it’s important to me that I include what they’re asking for in thoughtful ways. I always say that my happiness is my clients happiness and that they’re the ones who are going to live there so it’s important that I create that repris and oasis that will give them a welcoming atmosphere away from the outside world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love showing my friends and family around Colorado. A trip to the mountains is always in the works whether that be driving through Rocky Mountain National Park or a trip to Vail or Breckenridge for the weekend. Of course, there’s always a variety of restaurants I like to take my loved ones to as well. Tavernetta for a fancy night out, Angelos for pizza, or Mexico City Lounge for tacos are just a few of my favorites. I’ve also enjoyed going to the Colorado Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Art Museum, or the Museum of Contemporary Art for one of their exhibitions. And of course, I often become friends with my clients and if they’re willing, I enjoy showing off their homes to my loved ones.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I mentioned my mentor earlier and he played an integral role in the startup of my business. As the owner of a law firm in Denver, he became a master at online advertising and is regarded as the top of his field. He grew and leveraged his business so well not only because of the strong lawyer he is but largely because of his digital marketing skills that he now has nearly a dozen offices throughout the US. He taught me how to ensure my phone is always ringing, that it’s okay to not take on every single project that comes my way in order to protect my integrity to my current clientele, and to surround yourself with like minded individuals in order to stay inspired and to always keep learning.
Nathan Hindman Photography Jason Ross Photography