Enter the “Kimpire”: Creating a lifestyle out of creating hairstyles

Continuing the family tradition celebrity hairstylist Kimberly Kimble turned her talent into a “Kimpire.”

The celebrity hairstylist, beauty expert and entrepreneur is known for running her salon on WE tv’s reality show LA Hair, currently airing its fifth season. The third generation hairstylist recently launched a digital series Kimbleize Me and has her own line of professional salon products.  She rose to fame for her work with high class celebrities such as Halle Berry and Beyoncé and continues to serve a long list of celebrities.

“I fell in love with hair because seeing the reaction after I got done with clients was very fulfilling,” she said.

Discovering her passion in fashion

Celebrity hair stylist Kim Kimble.
Celebrity hair stylist Kim Kimble.

Growing up in Chicago Kimble has memories of accessorizing clothing on dolls when she was two years old. It wasn’t just hair Kimble loved but it was fashion as a whole. She’d also cut out images and build her own magazine from the scraps.

“I like the fashion, I liked the hair. Like Janet [Jackson] and Madonna’s hair…I was already obsessing over hair at a young age,” she said.

From her mother and grandmother, she learned how to style hair.

“I thank God that I had these two wonderful women in hair to learn from,” she said.

During high school she went to beauty school and afterwards enrolled in college. The plan was she’d start off in hair and work her way to fashion. With school on week days and using her dorm room to style hair on the weekends she was already building her clientele. After her first semester, she decided to go all in and pursue her career, thinking she’d later go pick up school. Bouncing from job to job and ending up where she is now, she hasn’t had time to go back.

“I went full blown and it hasn’t failed me yet,” she said.

At age 22 she entered the entertainment business and later went on to create hair pieces for Berry in B*A*P*S (1997). After carving out her niche in hairstyling she became well known for her work with celebrities including Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears and a long list of other Hollywood A-listers. Just as she liked crafting her own magazines with her favorite styles as a child, professional magazines such as Essence and Vogue featured her styles in print internationally.

Being a reality star, LA Hair (2012- )

LA Hair is now its fifth season airing on WE tv 9 p.m. Thursdays.
LA Hair is now its fifth season airing on WE tv 9 p.m. Thursdays.

One of her goals when she was in the industry was to produce beauty shows, but she never thought she’d personally be in one running her salon Kimble Hair Studio. When the opportunity came she did not blink and prayed on it.

“When I prayed about it God said it was going to happen and I knew it happened for a reason,” Kimble said.

WE tv’s LA Hair airs at 9p.m. EST on Thursday nights and has a solid following. With Kimble’s salon being in the spotlight at all times she mentions there are “ups and downs.” One being the opinions of viewers who may disagree on the decisions Kimble makes running the salon. Knowing her decisions that’s in best interest of her salon may not please all her viewers she’s learned how to roll with the punches. What makes it all worth it is hearing from fans how much the show inspires them.

“They follow it to a ‘t.’ I never imagined it,” Kimble said. “It’s a blessing to have this opportunity to inspire so many people… I’m proud of LA Hair, what it has done. We have loyal fans that are supporters and they keep me going. We have the best fans in the world.”

The Kimpire

The third generation hairstylist wants the tradition to continue and eventually reach her future grandchildren.

“Everything I do is related to hair,” Kimble said.

Kim Kimble Professional Products Silk Vapor Iron (courtesy of HSN).
Kim Kimble Professional Products Silk Vapor Iron (courtesy of HSN).

Her brand has branched out far beyond her salon to a line of hairstyle products. Her hope is that her only child, her 17-year-old son can one day run the family business. Her son has interest in other areas such as basketball and planning to go off to college to major in business, however, Kimble is hoping that he can take interest in the business side of things as she wants to pass down her “Kimpire.”

“I think I convinced him ‘you don’t have to do hair but you could be the CEO,’” Kimble said. “This is something that I’ve worked on for years and it’s really for the future of my kids, grandkids.”

For those inspired to go into hair Kimble recommends that they follow it if it’s truly their passion and seek guidance from a mentor.

“If you feel like you have a natural talent for that I feel like you are headed in the right direction, and it’s something you actually love. You gotta love it to do it. Don’t let the money motivate you because it will become a job,” she said.

Everyday Kimble steps foot in her salon she’s happy because she’s not going to work, she’s coming in to do what she loves.

By Gino Terrell

Click here, to read about Kim Kimble’s latest digital show Kimbleize Me.


Gino Terrell is the Director of Content at Hidden Valley Culture Blog/In-Depth section. Terrell covered local artists and reviewed mainstream shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area under the Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press, KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate) and American Public Media Group. He's accumulated over 30 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists and founded award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota). He was once the sports editor for the school newspaper, The Oracle. Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026

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