The story behind the name.
I loved words…
I loved being involved in student leadership and cheerleading when I was a teenager. I loved creating stories and sometimes I even shared them. I loved my journalism class and knew exactly what I was going to be when I grew up… a newspaper reporter for the Napa Register (now known as The Napa Valley Register). I’d simply earn a journalism degree at Napa Valley College and then get a job at “The Register” — what a plan! When I was a senior in high school, however, I met with the Napa Valley College counselor and was told the journalism program had just been DROPPED. I was in disbelief! My plan was ruined and I had to quickly “pick” something else, so I did, but taking medical secretary classes just wasn’t for me, so I went to work.
I then found my other big love in retail and customer service. I was bitten by the bug with my first job as a part-time sales clerk and eventually took on positions as a manager, gift buyer, merchandiser, and district manager. That chapter continued for a solid 13 years and then on and off again for a few more before starting a family. I didn’t realize it then, but I had actually started training for my career back in high school!
By being involved in student activities and consistently holding positions as a class officer under the direction of our Vice-Principal of Activities, Mr. Albert Vidaurreta (aka Mr. Vid), I learned about leadership, special event planning, and about managing others (and it was great fun). It was perfect training for a future “Hallmark Girl”.
Loved my kiddos…
As a young “worker-bee”, I thought I’d be the mom who would go right back to work after having children. Of course, I could balance motherhood and work! (So I thought.) However, I didn’t know at the time how falling in love with a newborn baby could cause one to quickly change plans. I stayed at home for a few years and then returned to work, but by the time baby number two arrived, ownership had changed at the company I worked for, which changed my working world a lot and made it pretty easy to make the big decision to become a stay at home mom. I was blessed that my husband earned a salary that allowed us to survive financially, and am still very thankful for that luxury every day.
While being an at home mom, I enjoyed writing for local publications and creating a personal blog, and enjoyed planning events and interacting with others by way of PTA participation and helping in the classrooms at the schools my children attended. I found it very fulfilling but still missed working at times, and I still held the big (secret) dream of owning my own gift shop. I had worked for the best of the best in Hallmark/Gift Shop retailers, Jim and Dorothy Roberts, and longed to own and run a successful gift store just like they had done. Their store, Roberts Hallmark (originally called Roberts Variety / Roberts Bel-Aire), was a longtime local favorite in Napa, California, where customers were treated as friends, and the gift shopping and customer service experiences were second to none.
Kimberly’s Joy Gift Shop?
The name Kimberly’s Joy came to fruition when my mom retired in 2002. I guess you could say I was pretty naive at that time in my life. I thought to myself, “With Mom retiring, maybe we can open a gift store together! I could run it and we’d both make a living, and it would be great!” I never told her of the plan. I had quickly figured out on my own that it probably wouldn’t work out as her monthly retirement earnings didn’t offer her much “disposable” income, and I certainly didn’t have any money to put towards it. So, I let the idea go but always kept it as a special dream in my heart.
At that time, I hadn’t told a single soul about it. However, I had already come up with what I thought was the perfect name, “Kimberly’s Joy”. My name is Kim (Kimberly) and my mom’s name is Joy. I thought what better name for a gift shop than Kimberly’s Joy? A gift store where we’d sell gifts that made people smile and brought others joy — perfect!
Kimberly’s Joy has officially launched!
It is now the year 2019. I am NOT opening a gift shop like the original plan but I am thrilled to be launching a website and blog under the name, “Kimberly’s Joy”. I have been training and working towards this moment for the last thirty plus years (but who’s counting?).
And I owe it all to…
I learned about retail, management and customer service from my wonderful mentors, Jim and Dorothy Roberts, Founders of Roberts Variety/Roberts Hallmark in Napa, California, and leadership from the late Mr. Albert Vidauretta, former Vice Principal of Activities at Vintage High School in Napa, California.
I have learned about being brave, being kind, being selfless, and always giving more than one can afford from my mom, Joy, who has not had an easy life and who has often said it isn’t always easy living up to the name Joy.
I have fond memories of the man who taught me my “times tables” before anyone else in my class knew how to do them and who also taught me that dollar bills should face the same way in a cash drawer, my dad, the late Al Dalton.
And I thank my Uncle Bob and Aunt Barbara for buying me my first picture dictionary before I started school. I poured over that book and absolutely loved “reading” it. My uncle is one who has always encouraged my writing and who also shares my love of management. In my mind, he, along with my dad, always made it “cool” to be smart and I just love that!
I also have a special place in my heart for Connie Anderson, Publisher of Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine in Napa, California. Connie hired me as one of her very first contributing writers when she started her magazine. It was such an honor to write for her and something that will always be special to me. If I still lived in Napa, I would still be a part of her team.
But mostly, I thank my husband and my children for our wonderful life together. What great joy and inspiration they bring me every day! My husband might be my biggest fan (or maybe my mom is…) ~ his support is endless and so appreciated!
And in closing… one fun little secret!
I have a little secret for those of you who are