Shel Kimen is SVP of Digital Strategy at SaatchiNY. To learn more on her professional background, you can check out her LinkedIn page. If you’re a fan of sailing, music or olives, you might be interested in her blog.
1. What do you do at Saatchi & Saatchi?
I do a lot of different stuff that loosely falls under the heading: Digital Strategy. I help our brands find new ways to engage with and learn from their consumers. I’m part of our strategic planning group.
2. What was your first job?
I worked the counter at McDonalds. I got my first real break though when I was 18 working in a T-Shirt shop. They let me design a font. Back in 1989 we did that by hand…
3. If you weren’t at Saatchi & Saatchi, what profession would you most like to try?
Sailing adventurer? I’d also like to write about eccentric and inspiring kooks and history, like about how the Inuit played three day long ‘soccer on ice’ games over a ‘field’ that spanned ten miles and used a walrus head as a ball.
4. What motivates you most?
The search for new perspective. Good old fashioned competition is pretty powerful too.
5. What blogs, magazines, books, papers or websites can you not live without?
I’m not very attached to most media unless it helps me fix my boat or find wind like Practical Sailor or Windfinder.com. (She’s a super geek, super geek, super geeky). But I am pretty sure I couldn’t live without a radio. A real one. There is something sexy about uncontrollable and intermittent static.
6. What are your Lovemarks?
Kiehls makes me feel simple and sophisticated. Fairway Market is luxurious, exotic, and insanely practical and democratic all at once.
7. What’s your best “nothing is impossible” story?
My mother spent most of her life working very, very hard and taking care of other people – her brothers, father, me, my father, her mother, etc… She kept trying to go to college but work and family always got in the way. When she was 48 she finally got to go to school and ended up with two degrees and a masters in education. She always wanted to help kids with learning disabilities. Now she teaches mostly migrant middle school kids in Florida that don’t know how to read. They love her. She is awesome. And she knows that people learn best when they want to learn about something they care about. So she has them study phonetics with their graffiti fonts and make hip hop songs to teach poetry. It’s frickin’ inspiring.
8. What is your favorite place in the world? Why?
Tierra Del Fuego and the icy fjords at the very bottom of South America. I like all snow and ice but until you see it there is no way to describe it – all blues and greens and fierce power. It is epic and raw and I am humble and small. Plus, penguins ROCK.
9. Who do you most aspire to be like?
I think it’s hardest and most worthwhile to just be who we are…
10. If stranded on a deserted island and you could bring only one thing, what would it be?
11. Tell us something surprising about yourself.
I am a huge Green Bay Packers fan and I am addicted to fantasy football. Wanna have a Saatchi league?
12. What’s your DOT?
A return to minimalism.
13. What’s your favorite creative pursuit?
Writing and making mix tapes (even though they aren’t tapes anymore and I use my laptop now instead of turntables…).
14. What led you on the path you’re on today?
Doing what I enjoy. Building real and lasting relationships. Trying new things. Taking comfort in ambiguity. Embracing failure. And OK with occasionally being broke because of it.
15. Do you have a motto?
16. What do you do for fun?
Sail. Read. Listen to music. Harass Aisea Laungaue.
17. What’s your favorite client story?
I’m very much a behind the scenes woman. But any story that involves a client respecting the Account Sup or Producer who stayed here until 1am for a week straight makes me really happy.
18. What’s your favorite thing to do in NY?
I’m a broken record here… but yeah, I like to sail. And sailing in the Long Island Sound is just spectacular. You don’t have to go far to get very, very away from it all.
19. Who is your favorite artist/musician/designer?
Lately, I really like this writer Pierre Berton, a Canadian who writes about miners and artic explorers. I also like the photographs of my friends Gabriella Marks (www.triggerfinger.com) and Julia Solis (www.darkpassage.com). And I listen to possibly unhealthy amounts of American roots music. John Fahey is super awesome. WKCR on Sundays rocks my world.
20. When’s the last time you gave a standing ovation?
EFFIE awards June 2010. A big ad man who cared deeply about kids in Detroit died suddenly near the end of a tireless campaign to engage them in their own education. He got the gold and in a tear-jerking moment his wife and two kids came up with the team to receive the award. Should’ve been High Life though…
Interested in doing the King St. Q&A? We want to meet all of you! All you have to do is copy and paste the Q&A, overwrite with your own responses, then send it to the editors via the Contribute button on the bottom right.