Today’s Notable Young Professional is Kim Miyama, wedding and event planner guru. What I like about Kim Miyama is that she subscribed to a philosophy that I too have always lived by, “I will practice and prepare myself, and one day, my time will come.” For instance, Kim started off as an event planner for the Historic Distillery District and gained the confidence and skills to break off on her own and, well, crush it. Since then, Kim has been a crucial part of events like the Rogers Cup, the Men’s Canadian Open, the 2010 Winter Olympics, and countless weddings. Regardless of budget, she brings the same dedication to the project, which says so much about her character.
We caught up with the Toronto native to find out what inspires her and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
– Julian Brass, founder, Notable
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I’m the owner of Kim Miyama Events, a boutique wedding and corporate event planning company. We take a client’s vision for an event and bring it to life!
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
In 2011, I quit my job and took a year off to travel the world. When I came back to Toronto, friends and industry contacts started to ask me if I would be interested in helping with their events as an independent planner. Starting my own business scared me, but as I started to get more referrals and the business started to grow, the fear turned into drive and motivation.
I think my true inspiration is my mom. She had her own business, and growing up I watched a strong, independent woman do what she loved, all while taking care of three kids and my dad. She taught me to go for what I wanted, to work hard for it and to never give up.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
The first time a Kim Miyama Events wedding was featured in WedLuxe. I have been a part of some incredible events, like the 2010 Winter Olympics and the Rogers Cup, but having an event by my own brand showcased was really special.
4. Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
I used to set specific goals to achieve by a certain age, but then I did it all. So instead of re-writing the list, I decided to just live life and let things happen. With the industry constantly changing and me evolving as a professional, I’m always open to new opportunities and challenges. There are many directions life could take me in the next five, 10, 20 years so I’m doing my best to just enjoy the adventure.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Stay hungry. Things don’t always come easy but hard work pays off. Money comes and goes, but if you work hard and trust your gut, you’ll find your own success.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
My family and I support any charity or initiative in the pursuit of finding a cure for MS. Having a brother with MS and being diagnosed recently myself, it’s a cause that is very close to home and my heart.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
The market is very saturated and sometimes it feels like everyone wants to be an event planner! It’s discouraging when you lose an opportunity because false promises have been made to win over a client. You get what you pay for in this industry. Our clients appreciate and understand the time and effort we put into each and every event, and they know we’ll get the job done right – the first time.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
Someone who is different from the rest, a leader and impacting their community.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Wish at Yonge and Charles in Toronto. It’s such a cute place to go for a date or dinner with girlfriends (that all white décor!). The service is always on point and the food is fantastic.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Internet – Google. I hate not knowing things, but am stubborn and won’t ask someone. So I ask Google.
Song – anything by Ed Sheeran
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
I’ve really been loving Dauphine Magazine lately. They have a next-level luxe when it comes to bridal aesthetic and the images they share are stunning!
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
New Zealand is definitely one of my favourites. Their native maori culture is fascinating and the country itself is breathtaking. For my next trip, I’d like to visit Japan and see where my family comes from.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
I get major food FOMO! I get jealous when I see other people’s plates arrive, so my friends and I order different meals so we can share.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Staying in with my best friends, drinking white wine spritzers and eating pizza while watching the Kardashians.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Clothes and shoes.
Travelling. There are still so many places I want to explore.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Being able to do what I love and having time to spend with the people I love. That’s what makes me happy, and I think true success is about being happy.