We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Au and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kimberly, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started as many high school and college students do, looking for ways to earn money. Inspired by thrifting culture and fashion trends, I wanted a budget-friendly way to express myself through fashion. With thrifting, I could try any trends or DIYs that I saw online. And when I was done, I sold everything on Facebook. It is cliché to say that I had no idea what would become of my hobby of selling thrifted clothing online. But after casually selling clothes online and using that money to pay off my student loans, it became apparent that there was an opportunity to grow my hobby into something more!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Yes! Although KIMA began as a fun hobby, I realized that thrifting was an effective way to extend the life of clothing. Convinced by the growing conversation about moving towards a more sustainable future and documentaries such as ‘The True Cost’, I wanted to make a difference. As a graphic designer, I saw an opportunity to use design, research, and photography to transform the stigma that comes with thrift stores and used clothing. Honestly, thrifting can be overwhelming because of the time and energy needed to dig through rows of clothing racks. With KIMA, I wanted to make second-hand clothing a familiar, yet unique experience to buying clothes from a retail clothing brand.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had my best friend visiting Monterey Park for a week, we would only need to worry about not having enough time to eat all the food within driving distance of the area! There is a ridiculously wide variety of Asian cuisines to try: Harlam’s Kitchen, Banh Mi My Tho, Kang Kang Food Court, Tokyo Fried Chicken…I could go on. And since we will have a whole week, I would take my friend to all my favorite local thrift stores and art museums. Hopefully when they visit, they will be in the area just in time for the 626 Night Market to get a glimpse at what the 626 has to offer!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am dedicating this shoutout to my family and friends for their unwavering support. Also thank you to Venna Tang for sending SHOUTOUT LA my way!

Website: https://www.kimberlyau.com/

Instagram: @kima.vintage

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlykau/

Image Credits
The photo of me holding a basket of clothes was captured by my mom. Would not be possible without her!

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.