At only thirty-three years old, Kimberly Novosel is a supernova. She is a published author. She is a partner in a music management company. She's co-owner in an indoor cycling studio called Verticity, set to open its door in October 2016. She’s styled Miley Cyrus. She was the guest speaker at a graduation this year. And she’s just getting started.
The small-town girl from Pennsylvania had a love for country music that started at an early age, even though it wasn’t the most popular genre where she grew up. Kimberly recalls, “I was kind of an oddball for being a country music fan. But it was my passion! I adored it. I studied all the liner notes, and I got Country Weekly in the mail every week. I was just totally obsessed. I used to go to shows in Pittsburgh, which was two hours away from my town, and I would kind of stalk the people who worked on the tour. Not necessarily the artists, but the tour manager or the lighting guy or whoever I could talk to. It was one of those people that said to me, ‘If this is what you want to do, you should go to Belmont.’ So that was the only college I applied to. I came to Nashville for Belmont University and studied Music Business.”
Having visited Nashville only once before, applying to only Belmont might seem risky to some, but Kimberly isn’t the kind to shy away from what she wants. And it was abundantly clear that country music was where she wanted to be.
“I love all kinds of music but at that time— in the late 90s into the early 2000s when I got into college— what was so great about country music were the stories. Now, country bordersa lot more on how pop songs are structured. But at that time, there was so much more emotion and so much more realness in country music versus what was happening in the pop world,” Kimberly says, citing Britney Spears, N’Sync and Backstreet Boys as examples. “The first country song I ever loved was Tim McGraw’s ‘Don’t Take the Girl,” which talk about emotion…it makes me cry every time I hear it, even now.”
Kimberly’s longterm goal was always management, so her first job out of college was seemingly perfect: tour promotion.
“It was cool because I learned a lot about the touring world. What was unfortunate is that I was learning it from a cubicle office, no windows, and I just felt very isolated in that way. I learned a lot there the first year, and then I left to go back into retail, which I had done through college, because I couldn’t take being locked up and isolated anymore. Going back to retail led me to wardrobe styling, which was kind of a way for me to get backstage and be at those events- the concerts, TV shows, award shows and all of that energy I had wanted to be apart of. I did styling for five years. That became the first lifespan of my career,” Kimberly says.
And true to Kimberly form, she didn’t do styling for just anyone. She was dressing the stars in no time. “I worked at the CMT Awards. I was in the Last Look room. All the artists that would perform or present would come through that room on their way to the stage to make sure everything was in order, like straps tucked in and all of that. I was kind of the stylist in charge of that for a couple of years. I helped style Miley Cyrus the year she was a host of the CMT Awards. That was a long time ago. She’s very different now than she was back then,” Kimberly laughs. “That was a blast. I worked on Season 5 of Nashville Star and one of the contestants that was on that season was Kacey Musgraves. So I got to kind of witness some of the beginning days of her career, which was cool.”
After a few years, she started to feel an internal tug toward something else. “What was missing from that role was that I was treated like a girl that could shop or the girl who had a fashion background. And while I did know some about fashion and loved that, I really knew much more about the industry than people were giving me credit for. So I thought, if I start calling this ‘image development’ instead of ‘styling,’ maybe I’ll still get to dress people, but I’ll also get to dive in and help them develop their image and what they’re communicating to their fans too,” Kimberly says.
That’s exactly how Kimberly’s first company, KMN Creative, was born and a natural evolution into management began. “You’re working with new artists when you’re doing the image development stuff, and at that time, they don’t yet have a whole team. So really, I was doing many of the management-type duties. As I was kind of figuring out, ‘ok, where am I going to go from here?’, it had been about two years or so. My partner now at Press Management Group, David, reached out and said, ‘What’s next for you? I’m figuring out what’s next for me, and I think we should maybe work on something together.’ So I evolved KMN Creative into what is now Press Management Group.”
Press Management Group, or PMG, is a management company and agency. Kimberly is on the management side, still specializing in image development and traditional management duties. David Kiggins, her partner, specializes in brand partnerships, also an extremely lucrative facet for artists to focus on.
“For instance, one of our clients, Jarred Pierce, does a lot of outdoor type stuff. He’s a hunter and a fisher, and all of those things. David works with the outdoor brands to get him tied in with their networks. Maybe they’ll send products or maybe they’ll have him write an article for their blogs, and he has access to their audience and they have access to his in that way,” Kimberly explains.
What’s next for Kimberly? The sky’s the limit.
“I don’t like to sit still,” Kimberly laughs.