We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim Cross and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim, what’s your definition for success?
I define success in three ways: the impact on my kids and my household, the impact on my extended family and friends, and the community.
For the kids, success is being an example without them outwardly saying I am. Having my teens ask me questions about business, being a mom, building websites…all these things tell me that my talking, teaching, and sometimes chastising isn’t falling on deaf ears. My sons being motivated to start their own business at a young age without me forcing them to is success.
For my friends and family, it’s knowing I create a solution that they can depend on to do what I say it does. It’s getting emails from folks that say “this person or that person told me to reach out to you…”. Having the trust of those I love most and that love me is a HUGE success. When that happens, I’m relieved and can breathe easy knowing I am contributing to the longevity of my family and friends by giving them goods that will do no harm.
For my community, success is being able to give of me and my business in a way that helps long term. Veterans, women in business, and fellow creatives are my passion. I am all three so all three so helping those communities is VERY important to me; both as a business owner and a member of each community. I’m stoked to get back into the swing of our annual Coats of Many Colors coat drive for homeless veterans this year! Being immunocompromised, protection from Covid had to be my priority. So, getting back to it with the social workers at the VA is going to feel soooo good. THAT is success!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Formulating skincare is mostly science but there’s definitely an art to it as well. There’s a ‘feel’ the products must have when being mixed; there’s a ‘look’ products must have. The art is what I love most…it’s the part that allows me to customize products for my people. The science is important, but it’s the art of customization that sets me apart from others. I’m so very stoked that I’m able to create a product that is personal. Getting here was by no means easy…I, at many points on my journey, have been the definition of “trial and error”. Challenges balancing family, business, school, self, bus driver, sister, mom, designer and a host of other things have helped mold Zhi and me.
I don’t believe one ever overcomes challenges, we walk through them. Walking through the agitation of constantly explaining why I have bags under my eyes or why there are towels in the dryer but not the linen closet helped me learn how to better delegate. Walking through the challenge of being purposeful about loving on me when I mentally want to work but am physically exhausted continually helps me lean into pouring from a full cup, not an empty one.
The world needs to know that I am the Happy Skin Formulator at Zhi Bath & Body and I teach. What that means is I formulate and manufacture goat milk skincare products that are high-quality and free of the harmful toxins that we absorb into our skin each day. And I just have to say it…I make THE BEST soy candles…period. Everything is packaged in such a way that it can be reused or recycled; climate change is real…we have to do our part.
I also host Sip & Soap and Sip & Scent classes where I teach people the art of skincare and candle making. I’ll soon launch my advisory service where others can pick my brain on topic related to starting a skincare business, designing and printing coloring books, and teaching the teacher.
My story is one of being shy, lacking self confidence, and cloaking my disability. I am an example of what dedication to “doing the work” can achieve and I’m just getting started. I continually build my brand on the principle of using my gift to serve others. In serving others, I build a legacy for my family and the community.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh my goodness, it would be the best, most tiring day! Charlotte is a melting pot of soooo many different cultures and tastes, it would be hard to choose. But I think we’d wake up to breakfast made by my kiddo or me around 0800ish. By 1000, we’re out for the day! First stop, getting out feet done! I’ve not been able to have my feet pampered in years, so having her here would be perfect timing. From there, we HAVE to eat at Eddie’s Place for Shrimp & Grits with a side of She Crab Soup for lunch. Who can do lunch without dessert? We’ll find some place downtown to grab some ice cream and sit at Romare Bearden Park and just talk…catch up around 1300. She’s familiar with the area a little so our shopping spot is her choice. Then of course dinner and drinks are on me at Leroy Fox.
Hopefully the weekend trip is on the weekend of Juneteenth or Taste of Charlotte so we can put each day on repeat and just enjoy the time.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For sure! I SO could not have done this alone! My family (you know who you are), DeeDee, Donna Maria, Fancy & her team, Nicole and my Richfriends; especially CC#1!
Other: https://www.pinterest.com/zhibathandbody email@example.com (product questions, white label options) firstname.lastname@example.org (teaching, advisory, and speaking) email@example.com (coloring book creation and designs)
Mathilda Christoffersen – product photos