I believe that at the end of a great interview, you have not only learned something about your subject, but something about yourself as well. My interview with personal and celebrity stylist, Kim Appelt of Style by Kim xo was much like happening upon a lake; within its great depths was both mystery and stories of how it came to be, and yet when I looked into the still water, I saw my own reflection.
The clothes that Kim creates are a mirror of not only her life and journey, but also reflective of some of our own desires and the wonders that shape us. Her gradual and organic progression towards success has made her feel nothing short of thrilled and fulfilled. This, because her interests stem from a desire for something so much bigger than herself; it is the desire to lift up and empower women, to inspire them to push forward and strive to find their true selves. It is the mantra by which she governs her life, the river from which her creativity flows and the motivation that manifests the detail of her work. Through the relationships and trauma that may cause ripples in that lake of life, Kim hopes you harness the powers that are within to continue searching until you can see yourself again, often better than before.
For her, it was the moment she was in her hotel room alone and got a call from her dad. “Your mom had a stroke,” he said. And that was it, the moment she knew that through the tears she would find out who she really was. “I’ll never forget that room, or where I was sitting; I didn’t know if that was it for her, if she would talk to me again…so that’s what it means to me now,” says Kim, who wants to use sales to buy equipment for the rehab center where her mom recovered. “That moment was a gift for me, it allowed me to do something that was meaningful. Everyday we have a million moments, where we can either man up, or crumble, in order to be the best of who we are.”
Her recent tank collaboration with L.A. clothing brand Stillwater has led to further success in branding and marketing through cross promotion and a steady alliance of followers. On a personal level, they hit it off. And with that comes an increased desire to create, when two inspired individuals can infuse their vision and vibe.
Kim’s life continues to stir moments of self-discovery, from walking the beaches of Hawaii and being recognized for her work, to styling celebrities in L.A, maintaining a healthy family life, nurturing friendships and getting up each morning aware that one moment, good or bad, can change you. She is living her dream with both grace and courage.
“I am inspired by those who made it and came from nothing,” she said. “I feel the same way, I have the desire to have an impact, and I feel like I’m not going to let anything stop me. I desire to do motivational speaking to young women… to reach a certain level of success through giving back.”
Although at times the water is cold, and the currents want to pull you under, just remember to breathe, look down and see the words written across your heart, ”this is the part where you find out who you are.” Is that not true of the moment right before we dive in?