Earlier this week, I had my monthly in-person meeting/interview with this month’s Westchester Woman Wednesday choice, Kim Giannelli. I usually do my best to fit the person’s schedule and honor their restaurant (and meal) of choice. For some women, lunch is easier; for others, getting away mid-day is hard and they prefer dinner.
Kim chose dinner. At Playa Bowls in Bronxville. Not exactly what this mom would consider a great place for dinner, but off I went to meet Kim, with my 12-year-old, who happens to adore Kim almost as much as she does Playa Bowls. Three hours later, our conversation ended. The store was closing up and we had completely lost track of time, talking about just about every single topic, from her work, of course, the eat/shop/play topics, dancing, NYC, Playa Bowls, her dog Penelope and more. I almost don’t even know where to begin.
First- Who is she? Kim is a thirty-something who has figured out a way to achieve balance by doing all of the things she loves. I consider this the definition of success. She’s a lifelong dancer/ballerina, the VP of a boutique PR firm and she’s mom to Penelope, her French Bulldog. Besides these three very time-consuming roles, she works on lots of other creative projects with children; from private dance lessons in Scarsdale, producing musicals with Young at Arts in Bronxville and choreographing dances with Jazz Co in Eastchester. Those are just a few of her small projects.
I must mention that in our 3-hour chat, almost every group of kids and moms stopped to say hello to her, as she has worked with them in one way or another. I observed her interactions with the kids each time and noticed that they were so interested in what she had to say and vice versa. “Are you going back to Young at Arts?” “Will you be dancing at Central Park Dance again this year?” “You were great in hip-hop, but don’t forget how much you loved ballet.” My ulterior motive in bringing my daughter along was in hopes of her giving her some smart advice, which she did, but never did I expect that every tween and teen roaming through Bronxville would receive the same treatment that evening. It was incredible to watch.
A lifelong dancer, Kim finished college and worked in marketing– for Lincoln Center. What’s a better fit for a recent graduate who loves art and theater? After ten years there, her career evolved into public relations. Naturally, she would join In the Lights PR, as they represented many artistic clients that she genuinely understood and loved. It’s clear that Kim is a master at helping businesses and personalities find their story and figure out innovating, interesting and impactful ways to tell them. She’s aware of the shift in the market right now and is enjoying herself in building campaigns that involve PR and social media marketing.
Beyond her impressive resume, Kim is a truly beautiful person. She’s pretty in a way that is different than most. She’s simple, yet edgy. She’s stylish, but she’s bold. She’s unique and she pulls it off perfectly. I had to ask the question that I don’t ask most people. Who inspires her? Her answer: Betsey Johnson. It all made sense. The pops of color, the punk meets glam look, that’s Kim. In talking about Betsey’s style, she shared her story about going to her 70th birthday party and giving her this photo (below) telling her that she had been a creative inspiration for her for so long. Kim shares that same energy and boldness.
It almost seems silly to share Kim’s eat/shop/play favorites after the above paragraphs. Playa Bowls covers eating, most of the above is about her work and talents, so I’m left with shopping and playing. I will end off with her favorite “play” thing, which is her dog Penelope, who she’s currently working on making #InstaFamous. If anyone can do it, it’s Kim! You can follow Penelope on IG here.