Kim Kirton is building something that matters. At 22-years-old, Kim has already launched three social ventures, deciding that entrepreneurship along with its ups and downs, is what she wants to do. Today, Kim is focused on running meaningful events through UnCo. Kim impresses us not only because of her young age and resilience but because to her, entrepreneurship isn’t just about creating something that people like, it’s about creating something that will make a positive social impact.
PN: What is UnCo and what inspired you to start it?
KK: UnCo was born out of a desire to use business as a force for good. The UnCompany represents a break from traditional consumerism, and instead, using our influence and voice to bring people together who want to build something that matters. We started out living our UnConventional vision in 2017 by creating capsule wardrobes that showed women how to do more with less. Through a series of events and experiences, we transformed and grew, culminating in the UnCo Summit happening this September 20th & 21st. UnCo’s new direction is to challenge how we grow our businesses. It sticks to the same values, same beliefs, but with more live action and real conversations to encourage more people to use business as a force for good and build something that matters.
PN: You recently announced the first UnCo Summit, a 2-day event to inspire and bring together women doing amazing things in the community. How is the UnCo Summit different from other events and conferences?
KK: The UnCo Summit invites women entrepreneurs, Intreprenuers, and Wantreprenuers for a two-day summit and collision course on the things that make, create, and accrue meaningful work. Being a part of the UnCo Summit experience isn’t just 36 hours away from your desk. It’s a commitment to working on your business, owning it and thriving from the people you’re surrounded by. We have flown in some of the most inspiring, talented keynote speakers like multi-award-winning industrial designer Ilana Ben Ari, CEO at Twenty One Toys. She creates toys that help children learn empathy and deal with failure. We have Devon Brooks, Co-founder at Blo Blow Dry Bar, Eva Wong, Co-founder of Borrowell, and the list goes on. Apart from listening, we’re also Doing. That’s emphasized with the workshops that you’re encouraged to join. I don’t want to give them all away, but I’m so blown away by the talent that we have and the workshops we’ve put together. The UnCo Summit really is an opportunity to connect and collaborate with some amazing entrepreneurs in Toronto. It’s a decision to not only be compassionate but to actually act on it.
PN: What’s it like being an Asian Canadian Young Female boss. Can you tell us about some of the challenges and some of the advantages?
KK: I typically face challenges based on my age. I’m in my early twenties and I find that people doubt my ambitions and abilities to make things happen. But, trust me, I can make things happen. And just like everyone, I’m learning along the way. I’ll stumble, fall and pick myself up. But my lack of experiences also works to my advantage, because I’m resourceful and can quickly adapt, so that when I see something needs to change (like the capsule wardrobe collection), I pivot and elevate it to the next stage, the UnCo Summit.
PN: Who’s someone that inspires you and why?
KK: Lisa Zamparo – CPA and Founder/CEO of The Wellth Company. I can’t say enough good things about Lisa. She is an amazing entrepreneur and also someone who really holds strong ethos to her company and her everyday interactions. Running a business is hard and super stressful, but I love that Lisa is always positive. She knows her stuff and trusts herself when making hard decisions.
PN: What’s something you’re working toward that you haven’t done/achieved yet?
KK: This is a fun one! I’m working towards becoming a spin instructor one day; a few months ago, I was on a 30-day streak of spinning once a day but now it’s more like 2-3 times a week. Hopefully, I can get to a point of talking, spinning and dancing on the bike so I can one day achieve the goal of becoming a live spin instructor.
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