Good Humans, Good Design: Meet Director of Design Kimberly Kang
This week's Q + A is with Kimberly Kang, Unscripted rockstar since 2014 and Director of Design for our California Model Merchandising Studio. She has brought 10 amazing years of leadership and experience to our company, and we are so lucky to have had such a strong female leader on our team. We recently got to sit down with her to chat more about her career and perspective on design, life, and of course, being a good human—and we couldn't wait to share!
All Things Unscripted
Q: Tell us about your role in the company. What does a day in the life look like?
A: My role as a Director of Design for Unscripted is multi-faceted and I love that about it! I’ve been in the model home design industry for almost 30 years now. (I can’t believe it!!!) My tenure has been with two nationally recognized Interior Design firms. Over the last nine years, I’ve had the privilege of working at Unscripted. With all of the experience that I’ve gained over the years, I lead our California Model Studio in all design for model homes and sales offices, mentor and collaborate with our team, build client relationships, and work on each project from breaking ground to installation.
Q: How have you evolved as a leader throughout your career? How do you encourage and empower your team of designers?
A: As a director, it is my responsibility to oversee, give guidance, and make adjustments where needed, and bring out the most potential in teammates. In my almost 30 years in the industry, I've found that the key to creating a strong and loyal team, and bringing out their potential, is giving each teammate the opportunity for growth through creative freedom. Here are a few more keys to Kimberly's success:
Get personal. I've had varying team sizes over the span of my career, and getting to know each teammate on a personal level is so important. I like to start every week with a meeting to discuss the schedule and take a moment for each team member to let us know how her weekend went. It really helps us all feel connected.
Show respect. Our internal team, external clients, people on the job sites, from the cleaning crew to the president of the company... Leadership must be driven by respecting everyone you come into contact with.
Give credit where credit is due. From awards and recognition to internal kudos and affirmation of a job well done, giving proper credit is so important!
Leave egos at the door. It's always been a policy for my team, including myself. Regardless of position or title, we are a team and do whatever needs to be done together.
An inspiring quote I like is...
“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”- Jack Welch, former GE Chairman and CEO
Q: Throughout your professional journey, you’ve probably seen a lot of changes on the design landscape. What is something you love about Interior Design in 2023 that didn’t exist before or feels fresh to you now?
A: I love the lighter, brighter design that has been trending over the past several years. Although I still love a moody design too, it’s been refreshing to see lighter wood, lighter paint, and more natural elements brought into home design again. I also love how much lighting is becoming a key factor in design. There are so many new and unique fixtures available that aren’t just a functional aspect of design but an artistic element.
Q: Outside of work, is there something you're passionate about? What keeps you curious and inspired?
A: Outside of work, the number one thing I like to do is spend time with my family. Being a mom of four daughters keeps me quite busy and on my toes! I volunteer at my youngest daughter's elementary school extensively, and I’m a swim and gymnastics mom. My three older daughters are in college and are obviously independent, but we spend as much time together as we can as a family. I love to go antiquing, love to ski and hike, and travel. I love trying out new restaurants and checking out new places. I also love photography (especially of nature) and plan to pursue this more in the future when I have a bit more free time.
Q: What does being a good human mean to you?
A: Being a good human means having a servant's heart—working hard for others and giving the most I can, being honest, seeking the best in people and all aspects of life.
"Being the best me that I can be."
Q: What serves as your own personal creative outlet?
A: I think photography would be best described as my creative outlet, especially of nature and architecture.
Q: If you could design a celebrity home, whose would it be and why?
A: I would want to design a home for Keanu Reeves. When I think of a truly good human, he is the first celebrity to come to mind. He is humble, giving and kind. You never see bad publicity about Keanu. He doesn’t think he is above non-celebrity folks, he is a regular guy and because of that, I would want to create a home that feels like a sanctuary to him—a place to escape the buzz of celebrity land.
Q: Tell us about a favorite trip you’ve been on or place you’ve been.
A: I’ve been very blessed to have started traveling at a young age and have been able to explore many beautiful places including Greece, England, Spain, Australia, Belize, Jamaica, France and many other beautiful places. I would say my favorite trip was to Paris, France. I absolutely loved seeing the Eiffel Tower, the Seine River, the Louvre, Versailles Palace, and the Musee d’Orsay. So much amazing art and culture! I felt connected to the French culture.
Thanks so much, Kimberly for spending some time with us! Want more? Follow our blog to keep up with good humans, good design and get to know our Unscripted Rockstars!