Kim Gravel chats with Irvine Moms | Irvine Moms
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Beauty, fashion and everything in between is what Kim Gravel is all about. Kim created
a clothing brand that is inclusive and comfy- just what every woman is looking for. She
also took her love for makeup and created Belle Beauty, which strongly enforces the
idea that beauty is not an age or size. Kim dabbled a bit into television, landing a role in
Drop Dead Diva, being a guest on Steve Harvey, and even being the star of her own
show, Kim of Queens. We got advice from Kim on what it takes to be an entrepreneur,
how to maintain a work/life balance, and insider details of her successful companies.

 

 When were Belle By Kim Gravel and Belle Beauty created? What inspired
you to create them?
Both brands were created in 2014 and launched to market 2016. I’ve been in the beauty
and fashion business for 20 years and it was time to step out on my own and share my
message with women. I knew there was a huge void in the marketplace for REAL
WOMEN speaking to REAL WOMEN about their beauty. Beauty is not an age or a size!
It was time someone shouted that from the rooftops.

Once you had the ideas for the companies, what was your first step? How
were you able to get the ball rolling?
The first step was to create a problem-solving product. My mom and I were sitting at her
kitchen table and she said how frustrated she was with denim jeans – woven jeans were
uncomfortable but knit jeans stretched out. She said “Kim you should make jeans that
are as comfy as pajamas but hold their shape like yoga pants.” That was the product we
needed so I started looking for fabrics and manufacturers.

Were fashion and beauty things you have always been interested in? Yes, I
think all women are interested in it but for me the business of fashion and beauty was
something that came natural to me. I’m a girl’s girl! I’ve been playing dress up and
giving makeovers to all my friends since elementary school.

What are your current favorite items from both companies? Flexibelle jeans
for fashion and Kisser Fixer for beauty. They both were my first creations and the
feeling of creating products that were successful for the very first time still gets me teary
eyed.

What does your weekly schedule typically look like?
My schedule never looks the same from week to week. Being an entrepreneur is
TOUGH and takes much flexibility and the ability to pivot at any given time.

I travel every week but never the same days. Routine is not in the cards for me, but I’ve gotten
accustomed to it. It’s a good thing I can embrace change because CHANGE is my
middle name.

 How do you manage a work-life balance? What does time with your kids
look like?
I have a strong support system and accountability in my husband. He will say “CLOCK
OUT KIM.” That means it’s time to stop and turn into mom and wife. Balance is
something I think ALL women must work at. We are always so busy taking care of
everything and everyone that we will burn out if we don’t include a little balance in our
lives. My kids are so good to remind me too that I need to “CHILL” as they say. I carve
out weekly time with them for homework, Netflix or even watching their ball games. I
work to stay present, but more importantly ensure I make them priority. It’s tough though
I’m not going to lie.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment so far?
Being my own boss! It’s super scary at times but super satisfying. I work for myself and
challenge myself to grow in business every day. Women make the BEST entrepreneurs
because we can multi-task and we are intuitive. Women have a sixth sense about them.

I try to capitalize on that and use that to my advantage in business.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own
company?
START. Take the first step. Research your idea. Get a mentor who has gone before you
and put the work in. Give yourself at least 2 years from start to launch to prepare
yourself. It’s hard work but SOOOOOOOO worth it.

 

 

Websites: www.bellebeauty.com and www.KimGravel.com
Instagram: @KimGravel

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