Recently, I enjoyed a glass of wine with Kim Weinberger in her studio, Weinberger Studio, located in the Crossroads Art District of Kansas City. It was lovely to wined down with Kim, sitting cozily among all the brilliant art. That’s the atmosphere Kim strives for with her studio. As she said, “I want people to feel comfortable with the art.” This sheds light on the journey in Kim’s own life to feel comfortable with her career path, with the job that she wakes up to do every day. Kim didn’t always sip wine in her own studio in the Crossroads. Admirably, Kim had to make a series of bold decisions and transitions in her life to finally arrive at this point.
Kim’s love for art was fostered at a young age as she made friends with students at the Kansas City Art Institute and began to collect their art. This expanded as Kim began to take full advantage of her parents’ jobs with the TWA. She traveled to Europe as a young woman, living in Rome and traveling among circles of artists and musicians.
She lived and breathed the artist culture. After moving back to the States, Kim naturally gravitated towards New York City and the fashion industry. Kim says that she was hired at the Yves Saint Laurent Madison Avenue
location because she was from the Midwest. Guess they were in desperate need of a little Midwestern Hospitality. From Yves Saint Laurent, a client snatched Kim up to work in the textile industry in Soho. And from there, she was hired as an assistant set designer for Food & Wine, Bon Appetitie and Architecture Digest Magazine. Kim fondly recalls traveling to beautiful destinations around America and setting scenes with just the right props.
For someone with such a creative background, it is surprising to find that when Kim and her husband and growing family moved to Kansas City, Kim pursued real estate. “People kept telling me I needed to be in sales,” said Kim. She could make a living at it…and she was good at it. Kim found great success in real estate, but when the market tanked and she knew that she was burnt out on real estate anyway, Kim looked to make a frightening and exciting leap. She did a good amount of soul searching, updated her resume and landed a job with Sandy Kempe, assisting with the Sandy Kemper Collections Fund. And when there wasn’t enough money there either, Kim went to selling art in galleries, where she outsold all her peers, including the owners.
Finally, Kim had found a fusion of her skills in sales and her passion for art and creativity! But, she saw how things around her could be improved: she didn’t enjoy how clients were treated and believed that artists needed more respect as well. Seeing how things could be done better, she drew out a full business plan. She didn’t have any money, but she sought advice and financial help from the mentors she had surrounded herself with.
A year later, Kim enjoys a glass of wine among art that she loves to enjoy and loves to sell in a successful studio. She is a testament to the importance of being happy, being comfortable in your job and your life.