Hairstylist to the stars Kim Kimble is a third generation stylist, who just moved on up to a larger salon in West Hollywood, CA. All the details of relocating and the drama she puts up with on a daily basis from her staff of stylists can be seen on the second season of WE tv’s “L.A. Hair,” airing Thursday nights at 9 pm.
“Stylists and nail people are creative, artistic people and sometimes with artists you have drama,” she says. “Salons are no stranger to drama. It’s competitive. You make money based on the number of clients that you do. It can be a very competitive, cutthroat business … but some competition is good. It keeps you on your toes and keeps you from getting too complacent and comfortable.”
One thing Kimble’s salon is not is complacent and it can’t afford to be with celebrity clients such as LisaRaye, Fantasia, Little Mama, Chaka Khan, Syleena Johnson and Michelle Williams stopping by.
XfinityTV exclusively chatted with Kimble to get the inside scoop on the second season of “L.A. Hair,” how she got her big break, who her inspirations are, how you can follow in her footsteps and more!
What’s new for Season 2?
We are in a new salon. That is the good news. We finally got into the new space. We have some new characters on the show. If you saw the premiere, you met Naja, our nail technician, as she calls herself. Then you have my sister Leah, who has come in to take over the management role. We have let China go from the whole management end. Now I have Leah coming in to keep the salon moving, to watch the stylists and make sure they are doing what they need to do when I have to fly out to work with my celebrity clients and do other business ventures.
Watch the latest episodes of L.A. Hair here.
Are these people really good hairstylists? Is that why you put up with drama queens?
I think they are all very talented. You can see on the show that they do a lot of great work. If you watch this season, you will see some amazing nails that Naja does. I have been in the salon business for 20 years and there has always been drama. Nobody is perfect in any work environment. It is different than the corporate world. It is very artistic. We keep fighting to bring as much professionalism to the salon business as possible. I think people can learn sometimes what to do and what not to do by watching the show.
You are working with your sister Leah for the first time, how is that working out for you?
My sister is a tad bit bossy, which gets interesting, but I trust her because she is family. I had so much drama with China as a manager. [The other stylists] plotted against her. They really tried to take her down. The stylists don’t really like her, but I think she is cool people. I don’t understand why they have something against her so hard. She broke down, she cried, and she showed a moment of weakness. That is not going to work. One thing I know about my sister is she is not weak. She will stand toe-to-toe with me and I’m the boss. It is challenging because she is a little bossy, but she is really smart and she has run businesses before. She knows how to manage people and she is really good at what she does, so I said, “You know what? I can’t lose here.”
Click below to watch Episode 3 – “What Happens in Vegas:”
What and/or who inspired you to do what you’re doing?
My mother and my grandmother. I am a third generation hairstylist, so I learned a lot from them, but I am inspired by Madam C. J. Walker, as well, because she was very big in the beauty and hair care industry. She was an innovator of her time. She was a philanthropist. She was all the things that I want to be. She had her own business and she did it when it was very difficult time for African Americans. She was successful. She was a millionaire. There is a lot of inspiration to her story. I am inspired to leave a legacy like Madam C.J. Walker did.
What was your big break?
When I got the opportunity to work on a film called “B*A*P*S” that is what brought me into the entertainment industry. Robert Townsend directed that movie. He and his team of producers hired me to work on it, which introduced me to the union. I started working with a lot of film and TV shows. That is how I got my name out there. I was able to meet Beyoncé Knowles on a film and that really helped to spread my name around. Even though I had already been working with celebs and I had been in entertainment, working with Beyoncé really helped to catapult my career.
Who gave you important advice when you were young, both personally and professionally, that helped shape who you are and what you’re doing?
I would say my grandmother Lynette Murray. I spent a lot of time with her as a young girl. She prayed with me and prayed for me. She raised me in the church, which made a very positive impression on my life. She always encouraged me to be successful — not only as a business woman but as a person. She believed in a lot of things I believed in and she really wanted me to reach my goals. She was instrumental in that, along with my mother, but my grandmother really had a big effect on me.
Click below to watch Episode 4 – “VIP Blow Out:”
Also the church, as I recall, was how you met Robert Townsend in the first place.
True. I was volunteering, doing hair for the The Five Heartbeats play. It was a fundraiser to make money to build the church. I volunteered and that is how I met his assistant Charlie Jordan, who gave me my first opportunity to meet with him. She told me to bring my pictures of the crazy hairstyles I had done for hair shows. I had no idea what the project was about, but crazy hair was definitely what he was looking for. I brought it! Crazy hairstyles? I’ve got that. Crazy hair was the start of my career.
Who are your inspirations these days?
I love motivational speakers. Joel Osteen. He is very positive and spiritual, too. I love the positivity and the spiritual connection. He has a lot of great themes that keep me going, that keep me positive in my thinking. It’s tough running a business. It’s tough working in the entertainment industry. You have to have a solid foundation and somewhere to go to learn and to stay fueled up with positivity, because you don’t want to lose your head and be throwing shears at people.
I am also inspired by my mom. We work together and she has taught me a lot in the business. She is a strong woman. She has come through so much. I also get inspired by my clients. I work with some amazing artists. I watch what they do in the entertainment business. There are a lot of demands on them. There is a lot at stake. I am inspired by a lot, but those would be my top three.
In brief, what have you learned from a previous projects?
The TV show has been very good in terms of building a brand and getting to know who I am. I go out now and people know me. I can now go out and speak to women. It has created a platform. It is not just about me being successful. I am helping to raise the bar in the hair industry that I love. I am helping young entrepreneurs to grow. The show gives me the opportunity to speak to people in many different media — magazines, radio, TV and public appearances. If I can inspire other young women or men to be a part of this industry, or to be a business person, I think that is a level of success.
What advice would you give others wanting to follow in your footsteps?
I would say the first thing you have to do is write it down. Everyone says that, but you have no idea how powerful writing it down is. You can do it in many ways. You can create a vision board. For example, when I was opening the new salon, I created a vision board. Put things down on paper, whether you create it by visuals, or words, get it out there. Then you can create a plan. I always surround myself with people who are smart that can help, or who have done it before and can give advice to help you reach your goals. By putting things down on paper and visualizing them, it has a way of manifesting. Of course, you can believe all day long in something you want to do, but you also have to put the work in. Then it starts to manifest and become a reality.
“L.A. Hair” airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on WE tv.