PowHERhouse Portrait | Kim Pickett

Kim Pickett is the Creative Principal of KIMBO Design, an award-winning design firm in Vancouver.  She was ranked 86th on PROFIT/Chatelaine’s 17th Annual W100 list of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs in 2015, and has been featured on TELUS Talks Business and Arlene Dickinson’s YouInc.com.  PowHERhouse recently had the opportunity to sit down with Kim and find out what it’s all about for her.

Kimbo Design | PowHERhouseDescribe your Mission.  What’s it all about for you?

With my artistic background, creativity is always at the forefront of anything I work on.  Since becoming an entrepreneur, my focus has been combining this creative spirit with the effective design and communication that KIMBO is known for.  It is great to be able to use my artistic ability to help clients achieve their goals.

What is your ultimate dream for your business and where you’d like to take it? 

I want to keep growing and evolving.  KIMBO has grown from me working alone, having to bartend at nights and network like crazy just to get my foot in the door, into a full-service creative agency with 9 full-time employees.  Over the next 5-10 years, I want to expand even more, with more team members and a bigger office, before my early retirement to somewhere tropical!

Describe what success looks like – complete fruition. 

For me, a single definition of success is impossible, but if I consider success in the context of my business, it’s being able to assist my clients with their goals.  The fact that I get to do it in an artistic way is also a great added bonus.

Describe your success strategy in one sentence. 

Find your passion, outline your goals in that area, and work as hard as you can to meet them.

Biggest highlight in your career/journey thus far? 

Since 2006, I had had my eye on being profiled on the PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 List of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs.  After yearly submissions and constant improvement in KIMBO Design’s growth, I was ranked 86th on the 2015 list.

One thing that you feel has been most pivotal or useful thus far in your career/journey? 

Advertising is ultra-competitive, so you always have to move one step faster than your opponents.  Having a competitive nature from my sports background has really helped me with this.

It’s important for me to play sports to keep fit, but my drive to be healthy and be the best athlete I can be has taught me to be resilient in business and roll with the punches.  When I started applying for business awards six years ago and I wouldn’t win each year, I would take a look at the people who did win and see what they have accomplished.  I set similar goals for myself and my company and set out to achieve them.  I think that many people who do not win at something the first or few times they try take the effort to see how they can improve.  This resilience and persistence proved worthwhile when I finally won the 86th spot on PROFIT/Chatelaine’s list as one of Canada’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs last year.

How would you describe what brings you the greatest joy in your current role?

Being creative every day! I work with clients who want the best, and they trust me to deliver it.  I also lead an excellent team who gives their all on every project.

What would you like women to most understand or consider – on a higher level – with regards to your role and your mission?

Be true to yourself, be authentic and honest, and treat people equally.

Best advice you ever received?

I was lucky enough to have my dad as a role model; Peter G. Pickett inspired me.  Having him as a mentor in my life motivated me to make him proud.  He is the reason I do what I do today, and why I don’t give up when times are tough.  Entrepreneurship has its ups and downs and with every obstacle that I encounter in life, I ask myself what my dad would say if he were still here.  I remember him saying, “Kimbee, never give up, keep fighting, and stand up for what you believe in.  If you fail, practice, and you will eventually get better.”

If you could display a 1-line message in Times Square that would be televised to women around the world, what would it say?

Focus! And keep reaching for the stars.

What would be your top three tips for women regarding walking their talk and courageously approaching what is most important to them?

Be true to yourself, always listen to your gut, and remember to take care of yourself and those around you.

How do you balance between being an impactful community leader, a busy wife & Mom (if applicable), volunteer, and so much more without dodging your own self-care?

Volunteering and giving back is extremely rewarding for me.  I support non-profit and community causes like Cystic Fibrosis Canada, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Hockey for Alzheimer’s tournament (Alzheimer.ca), and Walk for Memories events.  This year, I donated $3,000 to the LivingRoom Community Art Studio, a not-for-profit organization located in my hometown of Oshawa, Ontario.  I also mentor female designers to help guide their professional development and growth and make sure that I workout or do something active every day.

You must have some pretty long days. How do you keep your energy up and your focus consistent?  How you stay PowHERful and on the top of your game? 

I am a very creative person, and that drives me to merge the ideas of an artist with the savviness of a business leader, by keeping the pulse of trends in branding, design, and marketing.  

In my spare time, I maintain a healthy work-life balance.  Outside of the office, I enjoy yoga, snowboarding, beach volleyball, and flamenco dancing.

What would you say your Top 3 Excellence Habits are (ie. habits that ensure your success)?

Passion, persistence, and perseverance.  I have an unrelenting work ethic, always stay positive, and believe that anything is possible.

Describe your Top 3 Time Management Tips as they relate to your Mission.

Make sure you are organized when you begin any project.  Assign tasks to capable and flexible people, and track their progress.  Involve everyone in the creative process, so that ideas grow more quickly and organically. 

Kimbo Design | PowHERhouseDescribe collaboration and what that looks like/feels like on the ground – how does it show up in your life?

Collaboration is the combination of skills and expertise to create something greater than the sum of its parts.  It requires the cooperation of all parties, and to make it work the best, you must leave your ego at home.  

Describe a favourite hobby or adventure.

I’m always eager to visit new places and experience new cultures and observe the way different people around the world live, so traveling is definitely of great importance to me.  Personally, there is truly nothing more educational than a worldly adventure!

Favourite energy meal or snack (healthy):

I love eating fresh fruit.

Favourite indulgence or treat:

I enjoy escaping to Vancouver’s local artsy cafes and restaurants, such as hidden gems on Main Street and Commercial Drive that only the locals know about.  A few of my favourite spots are 33 Acres, The Charlatan, and Libra Room.

Top 3 things on your Bucket List:

  1. Visit Guyana, where my mom is from
  2. Visit the Pyramids in Egypt
  3. Complete a marathon

What does giving back (fulfillment) look like to you?

To me, giving back is when you empower someone to achieve his or her potential. Ideally, this creates a cycle of success and empowerment that makes a better world for us all.

I never leave home without my…….. 

Cell Phone.  Always have to stay connected in my line of work.

What are your thoughts on mentoring young women?  What do you feel your most valuable lessons to pass on are? 

I really love the idea of being seen as a mentor.  My most valuable lessons are about persistence and confidence.  I truly believe that you can never give up on your goals; you have to keep fighting and stand up for what you believe in.

Where do we go from here in terms of supporting and inspiring women to step-up and continue moving forward with their missions… regardless of how hard it may feel at times? #confidence  #courage  #connections #capital

Experienced women should mentor younger women coming up.  We all win when we help each other achieve success.  The sharing of stories online through these kinds of interviews is a good way of doing this.

At PowHERhouse, we’re currently dissecting the term collaboration as we don’t feel that women have mastered how to collaborate at its fullest potential.  We’re intrigued by how to best synthesize our efforts and our energy to create the most direct path from A to B with EASE, fun, stimulation, learning and the greatest impact.  What are your thoughts on this?

Because I’ve transitioned from a freelance graphic designer to a Creative Director with a team, I know first-hand the importance of collaboration.  It wasn’t until I started delegating the administrative tasks I wasn’t good at that I realized the full potential of my company.  The more I delegated half of the tasks on my plate, the more I could afford to hire staff and grow.  This presented a new challenge of having to work with a team, but having them to collaborate with and deliver for our clients makes our work more fun, collaborative, and rewarding.


Kimbo Design | PowHERhouse