Women of Courage: Kimberly Whitman
Kimberly Whitman, our Women of Courage feature for September, is an author, TV host, public speaker and lifestyle expert who recently launched her tenth book, A Loving Table. Continue reading to learn more about Kimberly’s career journey, motherhood and personal style!
The Tracee Nichols Roman Token symbolizes inner courage and strength. What personally gives you courage?
KW: Motherhood gave me a courage I didn’t know was possible. Reflecting on becoming a mother for the first time 14 years ago, I realize that the thing that really changed in an instant was this courage to do anything for my child! I don’t think I had the strength to do some of the things that now come as a natural and immediate instinct when it comes to protecting or caring for our children.
Where did you grow up, and what is your favorite childhood memory?
KW: I grew up traveling between a little lakeside cottage town outside of Toronto, Canada and Dallas. My family would go back and forth with homework for the tutor, the dog, and my grandmother. I missed more days of school in Canada than I attended in third grade, so my parents made the decision to officially move to Texas and enroll us in school in Dallas. It was a big change, and I was devastated at the time but now I am so grateful for the courage they had to make that big move. We still have our little cottage on the lake in Canada and we all love to spend time there – in the summer!!! My favorite childhood memories are all about travel. My parents gave us the invaluable gift of traveling the places around the globe and, when I think of my happiest childhood memories, I think of the laughter and great times we had exploring the world together. My father is always up for a great museum visit and my mother is always ready for great shopping so they make excellent travel buddies!
Tell us about something – whether it’s a nonprofit, special cause, or passion project – that you believe in?
KW: I’m so moved by the work that each of the Ambassador Charities at NorthPark Center do. I have the honor, for the fifth year of chairing the Ambassador program which gives me the opportunity to work with about ten different non-profits every year! Thanks to NorthPark, I am often introduced to new organizations, and I get to know the non-profits that I already knew about even better! My selected charity this year is Children’s Health. From their treatment offerings to their research, they are doing incredible things for so many families who are bearing an indescribable load. Getting to know some of the families at Children’s and working with the Children’s Cancer Fund specially has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life.
If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would be?
KW: Such a hard question! I couldn’t just pick one! I’m a history buff and my family on both sides has done a wonderful job of keeping track of our ancestry and the stories of their lives. There is so much to learn from what our family before us went through so I would love to have a dinner with all of them! I think the world would be a far more peaceful place if we were all able to do that! My next book, A Loving Table (Gibbs Smith) is all about the family traditions that we use to celebrate in meaningful ways so, of course, I would want to hear all about those from the people who started them!
Who are your favorite accounts or brands to follow on social for style inspiration?
KW: There are so many talented and inspiring people to follow out there but I just love following my co-author on my next book, Shelley Johnstone. Her account is so cheery! @shelleyjohnstonedesign. Of course I love to follow my sisters @krystalschlegel and @jojomommydallas because they both show me things on there that I didn’t even know I needed but always end up loving!
Tell us a little bit about your latest project, A Loving Table. This is your tenth book! Besides being a stunning coffee table book, what can readers expect? How do you come up with ideas and content for each book?
KW: Thank you! I’m really excited about this book because we were able to share the meaningful traditions that 34 women have carried forward for their families. Some of them do things exactly the same way their mothers and grandmothers did and others have put a modern spin on the traditions. The meaning behind all of the stunning settings has made them even more beautiful in my opinion! Each book concept just seems to develop in my head! Sometimes they hit in an instant and other times they evolve until they are just right. This book idea started over a coffee with my co-author, Shelley Johnstone Paschke when she was visitng Dallas. I had been posting quite a bit about baking with my daughter who was about six years old at the time. Shelley suggested that I do a book about it but it evolved into a book featuring the way families celebrate special moments together. I loved working on this with Shelley and I am so grateful to all of the women in the book who opened up their homes and their family stories for the book.
Your tablescapes are also so incredible and one of a kind. Where do you find your creative inspiration?
KW: Thank you! I don’t know the answer! I really enjoy setting the table for any type of occasion for a number of reasons: A. It is really hard to mess up when you have the tools. If something doesn’t look right, just switch it out! No mess! No big deal! B. It shows the people around my table that I want them to feel special. That is inspiring! I love to find a unique trait about the guest of honor that I can incorporate into the tablescape or menu. C. I have a passion for collecting for the table and I believe that these items want to be used!!!! They don’t want to be stuck in the cabinet! Often, a tablescape inspiration starts with a set of dinner plates or linens that I want to use. The rest falls in place from there.
From one travel lover to another, where’s your favorite place to visit, and why?
KW: My favorite places are the new places! We like to go to spots we have not ever been before and explore. Next on my wishlist is the Mayan ruins in Peru and Iceland.
As my debut design, I love to see how everyone chooses to wear their Roman Token. How do you plan to style yours?
KW: I’m a charm collector and I love the meaning behind them. I often feel emboldened when I have on a meaningful charm! I’ll wear the Roman Token with layers of other charms that bring me joy, strength and courage!
What does inner beauty mean to you?
KW: I believe that inner beauty is all about being able to find joy and humor in the little things. We are all living busy and full lives and I often have to remind myself to slow down and soak in the small stuff. The most beautiful people are those who smile and laugh easily because they obviously have that figured out!
How would you describe your personal style in three words?
KW: On The Go! I tend to grab for the same easy pieces over and over. I love to dress for special occasions in classic shapes and colors but my everyday style is typically colorful and easy dresses that can go anywhere. My collaboration with Antonio Melani for Dillards is based on the idea that having some cheerful and pretty dresses that make you feel good can make your day better!
You can follow Kimberly Whitman online at:
And follow Kimberly’s favorite accounts for inspiration: