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Lean In: Kim Hanks

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Kim Hanks shares career updates since her 2019 cover story and how she’s fighting shame with self-love.

Photo coursey of Kim Hanks

This month, like countless other small businesses and local companies, Austin Woman was faced with the financial ripples of COVID-19. A May issue was no longer a guarantee—without some help. Our founder, Melinda Garvey, turned to the women who have always been our loudest and best cheerleaders: our former cover women. She asked if they would lean in and support us, so in turn we can continue to support all Austin women. The responses were immediate and humbling.

Kim Hanks, CEO and co-founder of Whim Hospitality and a 2019 cover woman, was one of the many women who leaned in. We’re so grateful for her support and we hope as she supported us, you will support her. We asked Hanks what she’s been doing since her cover story and how she fights to keep her self-dialogue loving.

Lean In - Kim Hanks - Austin Woman magazine

Austin Woman: Your Austin Woman cover story followed your unlikely journey of becoming one of the leading wedding and event planners in Central Texas. What have been some career highlights since your 2019 cover?

Kim Hanks: What I’m most proud of is my new relationship with the Austin nonprofit network which was spurred on by my cover article in Austin Woman magazine. My candor about the abuse in my past and my new life remarried to my business partner…has enabled me to mentor and coach other women starting businesses and those who have experienced abuse. Most recently, I was chosen to be the spokesperson for Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE) for its spring fundraiser. I was able to tell my story and explain how hard times are just a chapter, and not the whole story. I’ve used those chapters to become a businesswoman with a philanthropic purpose. Whim Hospitality has created a training program for women leaving abusive homes. This year, we are training two women to be florists and event specialists. By next year I hope to double that number. It gives me great joy to know I’m providing career training for women who will be able to provide for themselves and their children moving forward.

AW: In your story, you mentioned one of your tips for success in business is having compassion for yourself. You said, “You can have a lot of people that love and encourage you, but sometimes you need to hear from the person who knows you best: yourself!” What have you learned about yourself in the past year and how do you keep your self-dialogue loving?

KH: I’ve learned that my biggest hurdle and trigger is shame. In the past when I’ve felt shame I would overeat and impulse shop to push down the pain and anxiety of a shame moment. How I’ve been able to overcome these addictive behaviors is by getting up in the morning at least one and a half hours before everyone else for my “me time.” I pray, spend time with God and journal. I try to meditate on what is going right in my life and where I’m wanting to go. I’m forward thinking so I get excited about the next steps in my journey. I’ve started a weekly podcast, Shame on Me, which chronicles how I handle shame with self-love, humor and scripture. It’s been therapeutic to share with others.

AW: How can the community support you and Whim Hospitality?

KH: Whim Hospitality needs to start booking events again. If you are getting married or have an event this year or next, please call us now and we will start planning with you. Even though we are shut in, we are still taking calls and orders for the future. It is vital for us to continue to book events to stay healthy and open as a company. Visit whimhospitality.com for rentals, tents, catering and florals; camplucy.com for weddings, corporate meetings, retreats and overnight accommodations; and tilliesdrippingsprings.com for any restaurant needs.


WHAT’S MAKING YOU SMILE RIGHT NOW?

I won’t let go of hope and my dreams for the now and for the future. I know there will be a way in the wilderness and a river in the desert. I’m still doing the work necessary to keep my businesses intact during this confusing time. I’m still walking out the steps to create a boutique hotel chain in England for future expansion.

I do stay informed with PBS NewsHour, but my guilty pleasure is watching English mystery TV with my husband, Whit. PBS and Britbox are my go-to for Midsomer Murders, Father Brown, Inspector Morse and Doc Martin. My husband and I will curl up on the couch and teleport back to England every night.


Read more stories of our former cover women who joined our Lean In campaign.


READ MORE FROM THE MAY ISSUE

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