I’m so happy you stopped by! I can’t believe I’ve finally done it! I’ve always said I’d “start a blog” and here I am. My name is Kimberly, and I’m from a small agricultural town in the Central Valley of California. My dad is a farmer and my mom is a singer, who would’ve thought!?! I was brought up in a family farming business started by my dad and his two brothers some 47 years ago in which we service the very glamorous world of dried fruit! All of my life I was told “One day this will all be yours!” Was it something I always wanted? Not so much, but I truly appreciated EVERYTHING my dad and my uncles put into this company, day in and day out, to make it what it is today. I am very proud to have this be a part of my family history.
Since graduating high school in 2003, the population of our small town of Fowler, CA has only increased about 1500 people…currently totaling a whopping 6000 people! So as you can see, when it was time for me to go to college, it was time for bigger and better things! I packed my multiple Nike cheer duffle bags and said “see ya later!” I decided to relocate to San Luis Obispo and attend college at Cal Poly. That was the BEST decision I have ever made in my life, and it is still to this date. For the first time I was completely out of my comfort zone, but in a good way. It was the first time I was able to live on my own and really start to understand who I was as a person and what I wanted in life. I met so many amazing people over my four years at Cal Poly, most of whom are some of closest and best friends today. What they say is really true, “you meet some of your best friends in college…” and for me this was 100% true. Almost 10 years after graduating from college I’m still in close contact with my college friends whom I truly love and adore.
The Move Home...and a slight tangent
After graduating Cal-Poly with a degree in Agri-Business (big shocker) and a concentration in Finance and Appraisal, I moved back home. However, I had spent my last summer in “SLO” (San Luis Obispo), trying to decide if going home right away was my answer. I have always had a passion for music, since I was young, and still do. So, in my mind my dream job (still is) would be to be a Music Supervisor. For those of you who don’t know what this is, according to The Guild of Music Supervisors, a music supervisor is “a qualified professional who oversees all music related aspects of film, television, advertising, video games and other existing or emerging visual media platforms as required.” DREAM JOB. I always tend to pay attention to music in movies or TV shows more than the actual story, not to mention soundtracks are my jam, literally. Can I also say that my favorite category of the Oscars is “Best Score.” Who, but me really cares about that!? I genuinely know who the composers are, and their work. I suppose I can attribute this all to my mother. Growing up, she got me involved with piano lessons (14 years), saxophone lessons, which I also played in the band from 5th grade to senior year (1st chair), and I dabbled in the flute for a bit. Then when I was older, my mom decided to challenge my voice. My mom has a degree in music from UCLA and an AMAZING opera singing voice. She will bring you to tears. She sang Ave Maria at my best friend’s wedding a couple years back, and I just remember thinking, wow, my mom is truly talented. Anyways, since she is the choir director at our church, she somehow coerced me into joining the choir, along with my dad and one of my older brothers, (family affair!), I started out as an alto, then transitioned to a soprano. When it comes to singing, I have very low self-confidence, even though I know I can do it. Over the years this has really helped me boost my confidence. My mom would “offer” me solos to sing, and she didn’t really give me an option. So, I would swallow that lump in my throat and just do it. My first solo, I was TERRIFIED. I thought I was going to die. When I was finished doing my first rehearsal, the whole choir gave me such kind compliments which encouraged me to continue with this and to not let fear get in my way. After all, I really do love singing. If you really want to be entertained, someone should put a video camera in my car, it’s quite hilarious!
Now, you’re probably wondering, why wouldn’t this girl just move home and work for her family business? After all, she has a degree in Agri-business, DUH! NO BRAINER, right?! Well, after many failed attempts in researching “how to get into the music industry” I realized, you either have to have a music degree (obviously) or move to L.A. and try to get an assistants job somewhere at a record label and go on coffee runs every 30 mins. Yes, yes, yes, if this is truly my passion, you gotta work your way up. I know, but here’s the thing, I had just spent the last four years of my life taking classes like Ag-Econ and Statistics and MANAGED to (A) graduate (B) in four years (C) from CAL POLY. THAT’S PRETTY DARN HARD!!!! So, I wasn’t ready to throw that all away quite yet. So, as I mentioned earlier, much to my dismay, on July 21, 2007, I moved back home to Fowler, CA.
When I moved back to Fowler, I moved right back in with the parentals. Oh boy, was this interesting. I had changed a lot since my high school days. I was an adult, I was independent, I was 22 and there was NOTHING to do in Fowler. In case you’re wondering, Fowler is about 20 miles South of Fresno, CA. Ahhh, NOW it makes sense! After job hunting, I finally found a job working for the marking department of the Central California Blood Center (Go donate!!). Say what!? Like, girl, YOU HAVE A FAMILY BUSINESS!! Yes, I know, but I wanted to do things MY way first, because I was stubborn and I knew eventually, I was all going to end up there. So I worked at the blood center for 9 months and met some AMAZING people, who I am still friends with today. This job was a minimum wage paid job, folding the blood drive giveaway T-shirts into boxes while listening to The Adam Corolla Radio Show every morning…on an actual radio with an antenna. This was pre-streaming folks! After about nine months of that, the thought of my degree popped back into my head, “Kimberly, what are you doing, YOU HAVE A DEGREE!” I decided to give my notice and head for the dried fruit hills.
The Raisin Queen of the San Joaquin is Officially Born
June 8th, 2008, I began my career at National Raisin Company. I never thought as an adult I would be here, but I am. So, like most family members, we start out in shipping. I got my feet wet in the shipping office for about a month and then my dad decided he knew exactly where he could put me. EXPORT. So I began my 3 year stint in Export Logistics and Documentation. For the first year or so, this was so fascinating! I got to meet all of our customers from around the world and was able to travel to our international shows which included Köln, Germany for the world’s largest food show called Anuga. I also went with my dad to Paris, France and London, England to meet with some of our customers as well. After the excitement and the traveling started to die down, the job itself started to lose it’s fire for me. I decided to switch to Marketing. This was where I was meant to be. I’m creative, love to network and love to travel. PERFECT. During this time, we were launching one of our new products called Raisels, so we NEEDED marketing! Since I was the fresh young blood of the place, I got them on Facebook and Twitter, we travelled domestically to food shows to showcase our new product, and it was a hit! I felt like I finally got it right. I was working for the family business, and doing something I genuinely enjoyed. Well, that excitement died down and people started to recognize what Raisels were, so the family made an executive decision to move me into Accounts Payable. Now you’re probably thinking, “isn’t this what she studied, finance?” You’re correct. You can see I tried avoiding it as long as possible, but it was inevitable. After all the fun and games came to an end, I had to buckle down and do what I needed to do to continue making our family business successful.
Kimberly the Homeowner
In 2009, I decided it was time to leave the nest, again, and I put on my big girl pants and bought a house in Fresno. After a very long 11 months, which happened to follow the crash of the housing market, alongside the brilliant guidance of my father and my real estate agent, I somehow managed to find a home that spoke to me and welcomed me to my second life of freedom. I distinctly remember moving in on July 3rd, 2009, wondering what debauchery I would get into on my first Fourth of July in my new house. Turns out, I went BACK to Fowler to watch fireworks with some friends and maybe went to a party after that!? Who Knows! All I do know, is that this was the beginning of my official adult years. I can clearly look back over the last seven years and see how much I’ve changed. Through these seven years, I made friends and lost friends. I’ve learned so much about myself that I never thought I’d learn, and all of this has shaped me into the person I am today.