On this episode of Your Favorite Podcast, host Ian Isanberg talks to KimmieBiz on how she’s working on making her family’s snack food business into an eight figure business. She also talks about her Instagram videos in sign language. This episode has been transcribed in the show notes below.
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Ian Isanberg: Good Isanberg, welcome to your favorite podcast. The name of the show is Isanberg. My name is Ian Isanberg. Each episode, I interview people that I find interesting. Some people I know and others I don’t. Today’s guest is KimmieBiz. She is a young entrepreneur from Georgia working to make her family business an eight figure business. Kimmie makes videos on Instagram in sign language. Today’s show has been transcribed in the show notes so anyone who can’t hear it can read it. And now, KimmieBiz.
Hi everybody. My guest today, she goes by the name KimmieBiz on social media, including Twitter and Instagram. She is a business woman who is a partner in her family business and has been blogging and making videos on Instagram, just documenting her way as she builds her own career with the goal of being a billionaire. So Kimmie thank you for being on the show.
Kimmie: Thank you so much for having me.
Ian Isanberg: Excellent. First question I want to ask is… With your Instagram, one thing that is very unique about it is how you communicate via a lot of videos where you are signing and you are going in sign language. Where did that come from and what was the interest in the sign language aspect of it?
Kimmie: Well my sister and business partner is deaf, so I grew up with sign language, and when I decided that I wanted to make a page, I wanted to make sure that it was as accessible for my sister to see what I am doing and be a part of it and the deaf community as a whole. So I just decided to include that in all of my videos.
Ian Isanberg: I think it is definitely profound and you as you said your sister is deaf, is that something when growing up that you have learnt sensibility and sensitivity and just seeing a lot of the content in the world that was inaccessible that led you to just standing up for her in that wonderful way?
Kimmie: Uhm, I don’t know if I would necessarily refer to it as standing up for her, as much as we have a very close relationship and I like to include her in everything that I can. She is my partner in my business. She is even my partner with my Instagram videos. She checks my sign language before I post them and so the world is definitely not very inclusive and it’s difficult for the deaf community to have access to things that people take for granted and I wanted to make sure that my content wasn’t one of those things.
Ian Isanberg: That is very fair and that’s something that is very understandable. So let’s talk about Kimmiebiz. I found you I discovered you on the people cooler than me show which by the time that this interview airs; I would have been a guest on. I see that a lot of your social media and your blogs and stuff are fairly new. What was it that got you into deciding to put this all out right now?
Kimmie: There were a few factors that went into it. I have been told that I needed to have interests in activity and stuff outside of work, that it is not sustainable and not healthy to only be focusing and spending my time on work and so I figured that a social media account discussing and doing what I enjoy which is work, was kind of a loophole where I am able to a remove myself from actually working in the business, but still thing about it, still discuss it and still be a part of it.
I Ian Isanberg: Yeah and I can see that there have been things that you have been writing about, things you have not been writing about. I see that you have been running in a bunch of races. Tell me about that because a few weeks ago we had another guest on my show, Anthony Smith who has very much took on running which led to a dramatic transformation of his physical self.
Kimmie: Well I wish I could say I took on running. My sister, her friend asked her to do a zombie 5k and so my sister asked me and no I don’t like running, I don’t like exercise much at all. I like being comfortable and exercise is not comfortable. I decided to do it with her and I did see when I was training for it, I had about two months that I worked myself up to running a 5k so that I would not be miserable that day. I saw a change in the way that I felt and I really was proud of myself when I finished it, but that’s the only one I have done so far and I don’t currently have plans for another one.
Ian Isanberg: Okay so you took on running even if it was just for one race. Were there any lessons that you got out of it outside of the fact that that you don’t necessarily want to do much more of that?
Kimmie: Well first and foremost, I used to think that in a zombie apocalypse, I would maybe survive and now I know better. But I think it is really important to get out of your comfort zone and to do things that you wouldn’t normally and to remove yourself from what you are used to doing, because a lot of times it’s not as bad as you would expect. I thought training for it was going to be a lot worst. I thought actually running it was going to be a lot worst, and in my head it was a lot worse than reality, so I am glad that I pushed myself to do it.
Ian Isanberg: Very cool, and where in your work life do you see sometimes those times when you are out of your comfort zone and it just feels so rewarding once it is done.
Kimmie: Oh all the time. We are working on growing while also maintaining and fixing everything. So various large customers they come to us and there is the uncertainty of how to handle it or what to do, that’s always rewarding when that’s figured out. Changing things in our warehouse, like if we change the procedures or policies or processes, making sure that those are positive changes is always really scary but when you see marked improvements in your company, that’s really beneficial. Just all the time I think being a business owner, unless you have a company that you have reached a level that you are content at and you are just maintaining it, you have to go out of your comfort zone all the time to get to the next levels.
Ian Isanberg: Got it. So what was it that got you into business to begin with and is it something which you thought of like as a child and growing up into where you are right now?
Kimmie: Well as a child and growing up I was definitely an entrepreneur. I had pet sitting and babysitting companies. I made bracelets and sold them in schools and actually got detention for it. By the time I graduated high school, I had probably half a dozen different ventures that were really pretty successful for a school aged person, and I never had the thought process of being a business owner. I grew up with my mother being an entrepreneur and that was normal to me. I never really thought much about it until she passed away and I stepped into the business more to help out my sister and I realized wait, all the stuff I enjoyed as a kid growing up that I used to do for fun, I still enjoy and I still can do now as a career.
Ian Isanberg: What was….? One thing I like to ask a lot of people is, when you were a kid, what was the first thing you ever thought you wanted to be when you grew up?
Kimmie: I used to think I wanted to be a math teacher. I really enjoy math and solving problems and just figuring things out and puzzles and stuff like that… and I enjoy teaching and talking with other people, so I thought I thought I wanted to teach math.
Ian Isanberg: The first thing that I ever thought I wanted to be was a truck driver
Kimmie: Oh awesome like semis?
Interviewer: Yeah like I have an uncle who his entire professional career was delivering major orange juice brands. It was one of those things like, “I want to drive a cup truck”, but then I realized after I started learning to drive years later was that, I don’t like driving trucks. I like the smaller cars. But it’s interesting seeing like what the first thing you wanted to do and then there is of course a lot of the far out things and there is ideas like, being the astronaut, being a president and then life happens and your learn more things and then you become who you are.
Ian Isanberg: Yeah so I know. So I have heard a little bit about your business. Tell me like what kind of business it is and what are the kinds of things that you do?
Kimmie: We are a director consumer snack manufacturer. So we are ecommerce. We don’t have a brand and retail. We keep all the margins for ourselves, and people who need it for various reasons, we have a pretty wide demographic of events that needs snacks or private labels that needs snacks, copacking or mostly business to business, and we just produce our snack foods the best way we can. We make everything to order and we ship it out and we have a lot of fun doing it.
Ian Isanberg: So hence the need for warehouses, so you can have all these snacks and just the delivery system in getting them to where they need to be.
Kimmie: Yeah, we actually use logistics companies, so we don’t personally have to do deliveries, but even interacting with and figuring that system out and dealing with those kinds of situations has been fun but hectic.
Ian Isanberg: But you make it work and the snacks I am sure are delicious. I am sure the people enjoy them and continue to buy them.
Kimmie: I mean, I am pretty biased, but I think they are fantastic.
Ian Isanberg: Here you go, they are fantastic.
Kimmie: I will send you some.
Ian Isanberg: Oh please. We will talk after the show. I would definitely want to try some and be like, “Yes this is great. You need to buy.”
Ian Isanberg: Yes, so where are you originally from and how is that a big identity of who you are now?
Kimmie: Well I was born in Florida, but right before kindergarten we moved up to Georgia and I have been here ever since. And so I don’t remember Florida as much. I mostly associate as a Georgia peach. I don’t know how I associate with it. I just am really proud of where I grew up. After I went to college I moved back to the area where I grew up. Our business is in the area I grew up…. And until you asked, I don’t think I have ever consciously realize how big of a part of my life the area I grew up in is, but it is. My sister lives here. Her niece which is my daughter is being raised in the same area and it is just a really comforting home feeling which is really important to me.
Ian Isanberg: Yeah. Is it a big part of the culture like the Atlanta sports teams and the Georgia college teams that are like a big part of where you are and who you have become?
Kimmie: Yes, I actually went to college in Atlanta which as a college student, Atlanta was such a fun place to be. The sports teams, I don’t think any of our teams are particularly fantastic. I know we went to the super bowl last year. I don’t even like football but I was enraged with how that situation happened, and I know that Atlanta is a place with a lot of pride from the sports teams to the musicians that come out of here. There are companies that start and grow here. So it’s a really comradely. I don’t know how to put that into words. It’s a feeling of comradely with an entire city which is cool.
Ian Isanberg: That is cool. I still remember like in the early 90s when those brave teams had such great pitchers and then I thought, there is no way they are going to lose in 96, except for they played my Yankees and they won, but it was always one of those things where the braves were always such a feared team.
Kimmie: yeah! See my father loves baseball and he used to coach my cousins growing up and such but, I have only ever been to one braves game and that was before we just moved stadiums and then our football team is building a new stadium next to the old one. So we take sports very seriously.
Ian Isanberg: Yeah I never got to go to Turner Field, it was one of those things where I always wanted to go. One of my goals is always been to go to an Olympics and it is crazy how there hasn’t been one in the US since the 96 Atlanta games. I still remember it was the year I graduated from high school.
Kimmie: Oh Wow!
Ian Isanberg: Yes and you can now guess my age by that. It’s one of those thing where it’s like yes. So have you done much traveling outside of the southeast?
Kimmie: No most of my traveling has been in the south east. When I graduated college I did get to go to Las Vegas and that was a ton of fun, but mostly I have just been in tenseness and the Carolinas and Florida.
Ian Isanberg: I have never been to Tennessee so you have that one on me.
Kimmie: Do you get to travel much?
Ian Isanberg: You know in the last few years no. I was talking to some friends and right now it’s the twentieth anniversary of the year I expected this, the gap year between high school and college and other than that, it’s just like Canada. I have been to England a few times, but I once took a semester off from college and travelled around the country that was a special time.
Kimmie: That sounds incredible and it is a dream of mine.
Ian Isanberg: the only time I spent in Atlanta was at the airport switching connecting flights between DC and New Orleans.
Kimmie: Oh do you know what? I have been to DC. I went to DC for the 4th of July and that was a blast
Ian Isanberg: That most interesting thing there like on Independence Day. I remember once I was on a camp trip like in High school where we went to DC and it was my birthday and the kids were not allowed to leave the hotel room or anything but they somehow ordered pizza for me for my birthday which was really cool. I was actually discussing because my camp is having a 60 year reunion and some people would be just posting pictures like “wow back when I had hair”? Amazing!
Kimmie: Oh the glory days.
Ian Isanberg: Well you know I think every day is the glory days. Yeah I miss my hair but there are a lot of things from back then I don’t miss. The fact that we have podcasts and we have social media and that we are able to communicate with people all over the world in ways that I have never imagined as a kid. I remember having the dream of owning a TV station or being on the radio. Now you can do that on your phone and everyone can listen, or even as I jumped on Instagram doing my daily videos and just seeing how it connects. Like what has been one of the biggest things you have gotten so far out of your sign language videos on Instagram?
Kimmie: I have gotten a lot of interaction from it. I get a lot of people who direct message me and I love that. It’s not just something I am doing as a hobby. As you said it is a way to interact with other people and so getting perspectives and having discussions with people all over the world. I have had people in different countries message me. It has been so cool and I have loved doing that. I love talking about business and I love my friends and so they like talking about business with me because they know I enjoy it, but they are not personally invested or passionate about it. So finding those people even though they are across the country or across the world has been so cool to me.
Ian Isanberg: Awesome. And as I said I found you through Tyler. Did Tyler just find you through the Instagram videos?
Kimmie: Yes he did.
Ian Isanberg: It is amazing how something can just stand out and with the algorithms of the social networks now where you can just find videos with your interests. Like I was watching some videos on YouTube yesterday and the auto play feature, I did not realize how amazing it was until yesterday. It is one thing when I am watching a video of one of my favorite bands and then another video shows up, but watching business videos of people I do follow and am aware of and then I find videos of people I have never heard of. I was like wow! How did I not hear about these people and immediately find their social and liked them on Facebook.
Kimmie: Yeah you are so right. We are in the glory days right now. That is so cool.
Ian Isanberg: Excellent! So the billion dollar, where did a billion come from for you?
Kimmie: Uhm well I don’t think I have a billion as a goal. I have 8 figures which is 10 million….And I have that as a goal for my company’s revenue, which is pretty arbitrary. I like to set goals that are medium plank, so that I know that I won’t be struggling to achieve a goal forever and I probably heard that on a business show or documentary where somebody referred to 10 million a year as a national brand and so I have decided that I want to make that my next goal.
Ian Isanberg: Excellent. I have seen a kick starter campaign for some band that needs a new boss, but they decided to let the goal be 100 dollars. So that they can keep all the money, realizing that that’s very low compared to it. But the idea of having a goal than having stretch goals, I think that’s definitely the way to go, just continuing and stretch and see where can you go.
Kimmie: Absolutely and every time I meet a goal I make at least one more. So I think it is important to always have goals, but to not set yourself up to not feel like you are achieving and getting where you want and need to be.
Ian Isanberg: Excellent. So it’s Kimmiebiz, would you like to plug your social media here?
Kimmie: absolutely! I am most active on Instagram, “kimmiebiz” but people can also find me on Twitter. If anybody wants to email me to have a longer conversation or anything like that “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Ian Isanberg: And of course you have the same kimmiebiz handle on twitter and you have got kimmiebiz.com
Kimmie: I do. I have that as a blog. I am not fantastic at keeping up with that. I am mostly using that as a way to transcribe the videos that I make, but in the future, I am thinking if there is a topic that is longer than the typical Instagram videos, I can expand more on it in a blog, or I have been considering doing YouTube as well, because those are longer videos.
Ian Isanberg: yeah they are certainly certain things like I think it was when I first started doing my daily videos, it was when I even realized Instagram had a one minute video of it. Sometimes it has been fun just being like how much can I do in a minute but it’s just like yeah the fact that you can have much longer videos. You can have full features on YouTube. That may be a platform as well for you. So thank you so much for being on the show and I am looking forward to this coming up and I am looking forward to the snacks.
Kimmie: I am so excited to send them to you and I am excited to hear this and I have really enjoyed talking with you.
Ian Isanberg: Excellent Kimmie thank you for being on the show.
Kimmie: Thanks for having me.
Ian Isanberg: Thank you to KimmieBiz for participating in today’s interview. As a reminder, the entire interview has been transcribed in the show notes. You are listening to Isanberg. My name is Ian Isanberg. You can find our show at yourfavoritepodcast.com. Thank you, and have a great Isanberg everybody.