An Interview with Musician and Health Catalyst Kim Collins
I've known today's bitch for a long time. For years I knew her as a witch (note the letter change) who cured herself of breast cancer without relying on modern medicine. I remember seeing women on Oprah who ate kale and their cancer went away, but no one knows anyone like this in real life. Why? Because they're witches, which I one hundred percent mean as a compliment.
In the last few years, I've been lucky to become friends with Kim and I can't get enough of her. There's a quote I like that says, "The world looks so different when we remember we are an energy, not an image." Kim's energy is like catnip to me. I leave every interaction with her wanting more. See also: her backyard. If you live in Nashville and don't know her, you're living wrong. Meet today's bitch (witch,) Kim Collins!
What do you do and what is the name of your business?
Oooh, that’s an intricate question for me. Ten years ago I would be able to simply say I am a musician, but I have three “careers” now. I know, that’s death to success for some; not having a singular focus. But I have come to terms with this being my nature, now that I’m in my late forties. Follow your passion they say? Ok, I will. And I currently have three.
One, I make music. I write songs, play drums, accordion, guitar, mandolin and sing in a band called The Smoking Flowers.
Two, I am a holistic health mentor. I teach and speak about raw foods, juicing, herbalism and my personal experience with healing cancer naturally, without chemo or radiation. My newfangled health coach business (I prefer to call myself a Health Catalyst though) is called Own Your Ohm Health & Wellness. I named it that because I believe it’s time we take our health back into our own hands. Be more attuned with our bodies and responsible and not rely on big Pharma, overly westernized doctors and the FDA for what’s right for us individually.
And lastly, I do interior design and intertwine that with my imported vintage rug company, Lotus Eye Interiors.
When did you first learn about this field of work?
I’ve been a musician all my life, well since the age of five. When I moved to Nashville in 1989, I began my singing career, but I am still learning. I didn’t start playing drums until I was thirty-eight.
As far as health goes, I have studied and practiced herbalism, Ayurveda and holistic healing since 1992. But I feel as if I learned more in the past five years (specifically raw foods and alternative cancer healing) than the previous twenty years combined while battling cancer.
And lastly, I’ve been into design as long as I can remember. My mother was an interior decorator so I guess I got the knack from her. I studied Feng Shui in the 1990’s, and I think that enhanced my love for the art form. I first realized this could be a career for me when my friends started to ask me to come decorate their places for them.
How did you know it was what you wanted to do?
Some things you just know intuitively. I knew from a young age that performance, in some capacity, was my calling. You know when they mention finding a purpose in life? I think I knew this was my purpose before the age of ten years old. I was also a dancer since a young age and thought of trying for Broadway, but a series of events led me to Nashville and the rock and roll scene here instead.
As far as being a health coach and speaker, I have always wanted to be in the natural health field of work to some capacity. But I felt that since I was a singer, I needed to focus on that alone so I didn’t think about starting another career until the universe shouted out, “THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE MEANT TO DO TOO!” I’ve always been passionate about health and the holistic lifestyle. I think that’s why healing my cancer naturally was a no brainer to me.
I still don’t know if I want to be an interior designer! Haha. I just keep getting asked to design things! And I love vintage rugs! A girl’s gotta eat.
What was your path that lead you to where you are now?
I like to think of our “path in life” as a mirror to our body, soul and our life’s purpose. For me, my path has been about seeking and giving. I am a seeker of adventure, spiritual enlightenment, healing, soul fulfillment, happiness, inner wisdom and truth. On this journey, I have been fortunate enough to have had many touching experiences, trials, tribulations and challenges that have enabled me to walk in many shoes. So if anything has led me to where I am now it's that I listened to my heart and trusted my intuition. I’ve never worked for the “man” and never will.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
Music has been my main career for twenty-eight years. As much as I’d love to think of it as simply pure art, there inevitably has to be the business involved. I think for me it was less about deciding to start my own business, and more about how to create music and allow it to help pay my bills so that I can continue doing what I love to do. The same is true for my other endeavors.
What was the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
That consistency, daily work and authenticity are the keys to success.
What was the most difficult part of starting your business?
Separating the art from commerce! Oh, and selling myself. I am horrible at that!
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Learning how to stay true to myself and to not care what others think of me.
Failure you learned from or that helped you improve the way you work?
What would you do with 2 more hours a day?
Deep clean my house! Oh and cook more. I am so passionate about healthy cooking and I try and cook something new and creative at least two to three times a week… but I would do this every night if I had that two extra hours!
What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve made?
A major record deal. When I was in my late twenties my solo project, Kim’s Fable, was being courted by a couple labels. I turned down a big deal because I felt I was going to be trapped with a partner in that band that I knew I needed to leave. I see that sacrifice as a possible mistake now… maybe I was fearful of success? But I have no regrets even if it was a mistake because all that I learned from that time.
What is your greatest success (or something you’re most proud of) related to what you make?
I am most proud of the fact that I have always followed my dreams and turned them into reality. That I make a living doing what I love. That I have always been in control of my art and not attaching a monetary value to it. I feel successful living and breathing as an artist and a free spirit and doing what I feel is my calling. It’s hard in this modern world to not follow the status quo, and I am proud that I have avoided that, at least to a large extent, in my world.
What’s the first app or website you open when you wake up in the morning?
Instagram, if I open anything. I like looking at beautiful things and reading positive inspiration. And most of whom I follow on Instagram provide that.
Where do you go when you need inspiration for your work?
My back yard. It’s a magical fairy forest.
How do you decompress at the end of the work day?
I don’t have an end of the work day technically. But when I need to decompress I either meditate or make a cup of tea and relax on my back porch. Oh, and red wine.
What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?
Taking orders from myself.
Lastly, and most important, what is your favorite TV show and what is your favorite snack?
My favorite cable series is The Leftovers. I like to watch things that can change your life instead of mindless TV. Currently I am enjoying Feud though! I loooove me some Bette Davis. My favorite snack? Raw cacao balls (I make my own) and I can’t help but love a good avocado toast on sprouted grain bread.
All photos courtesy of Kim Collins
P.S. Meet last week's bitch: Graphic Designer and Letterpress Printer, Nieves Uhl!
P.P.S. See a full list of all my Bitches here!