Kimberly Novosel is the chief lady boss at Press Management Group, which provides content, career and management services for a smorgasbord of lucky recipients. In lamen’s terms, Kimberly and her partner David Kiggins bump artists and entrepreneurs up to the next level. Kimberly’s expertise is zooming in on that special sumthin’ sumthin’, which will help them carve out a public identity. I was lucky enough to sit down with the branding expert one morning and learn why she chooses people as her palate. Her art is creating other artists.
Tell me a little about the origins of your company.
David Kiggins, my partner and former owner of Fringe Magazine, and I met in 2008 while I was still a full-time wardrobe stylist and image developer. We began chatting about our mutual career goals after David sold Fringe, and that’s when we developed a plan for PMG, which officially launched in 2014.
Why the ammo to start your own company?
For me it was something that I had to do. While it’s sometimes scary having the responsibilities of running a business I felt the need to create the rules, and directly impact clients without having to bypass lots of channels within a corporate environment.
What initially intrigued you about image development?
I am a writer and love the art of communication. On the flip side, I also adore visuals. Those interests combined are essentially branding.
As a Pennsylvania teenager, I fell in love with country music. I learned the business from the back end by reading Country Weekly religiously and studying liner notes. Finally I met a tour manager who advised that I attend Belmont University if I wanted to be in the business. So I skipped my senior year of high school and went full speed ahead.
It’s impressive that you had such a clear-cut path at a young age.
Thank you! Inspiring people to live their best lives is something I’m passionate about. In that spirit, I’m opening an indoor cycling studio in East Nashville next year. I fell in love with indoor cycling while living in NYC, and realized there wasn’t anything like it in Nashville when I moved back here. A girl friend and I came up with a business plan, found funding and made it happen. We’re excited to impact our community in a new way!
How do you balance your personal and professional lives?
Loving what you do makes a huge difference. Also, the power of delegation allows me to focus on what’s important.
What is unique about Press Management Group?
In the music industry today, as opposed to the way things worked 10 or 15 years ago, record labels want to know how many social media followers an artist has and how many fans will come to their show—in comparison with how they used to seek out diamonds in the rough and develop them in-house. We’re the bridge for growing artists between moderate and major success.
Describe your soulmate client.
Someone who has what it takes, in talent and work ethic, to go the distance yet still needs to fine-tune their image and grow their audience. My job is to say, “Highlight this aspect of your personality, add some edge to the lyrics and amp up your string section.” By adding definition we make labels salivate over their sound.
Describe your process when creating someone’s persona?
We amplify who our clients are at heart by making their personalities bigger and louder, and communicating their message clearly to a specific audience.
What is the goal for your artists?
For most, the goal is to become as attractive as possible to major labels, since at this point in the country music industry that’s still the top tier of success. Others are happy making a living as successful touring artists.
What about the business makes you want to jump out of bed?
Creating something bigger than myself is so rewarding. I love constantly touching my client’s lives to keep them moving forward.
What’s your secret to having healthy relationships with clients?
By staying true to goals and constructive honesty you create a sense of trust and respect. I also try to stay swanlike under pressure. You can plan every last detail yet, shit will inevitably go wrong. I try to stay cool headed, take a situation in and see what needs to be done.
You’re a troubleshooter!
(Laughs hard.) It’s easy to be paralyzed by perfectionism. I tell all my clients, “Bring your best to the table and let the rest unfold from there.”