SEPTEMBER 23, 2021
Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Haley-Coleman.
Hi Kimberly, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My career has been circuitous, to say the least! From training on-air CNBC staff in financial tools, putting dead people into space with Space Services, working at museums and start-ups! But I found my true calling when I founded Globe Aware a couple of decades ago, organizing experiences that allowed people to have fun helping people. These short-term experiences in 26 countries are designed to give back, show participants a side of the culture they are visiting in a way they never would, but also to make a huge social impact in a short amount of time. Prior to Globe Aware, such experiences were primarily the domain of high school and college students or of churches or meant a 2.5 years Peace Corps commitment. Since then, the organization has grown in ways we could never have anticipated. For example, now corporations send their staff through us, using contribution matching, paid Volunteer Days Off, allowing tax deductions for portions the staff member pays for, etc. BUT THEN the pandemic. Borders closed, travel safety called into question, the world stopped, and I decided to temporarily pivot. And THAT is what led to my creating The Tickle Bar, America’s newest and most unique affordable luxury.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As conditions around covid 19 have rolled up and down, so too have both my businesses. We have instituted new protocols and have had to keep up with changing requirements. We are doing things we never anticipated. The border situation and pandemic safety conditions change frequently, and we have been lucky to flourish in an uncertain market. Having rapid covid tests administered at our program locations prior to participants returning to the US or transferring program locations from one country to the next, it has NOT been a smooth road, but it has been enormously interesting and gratifying. It is such a privilege that I get to run businesses that provide joy to people at a time when people especially need it.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As the mother of two teenagers going to the same high school, I did back when I lived in Lakewood, I feel lucky that my daughters get to bear witness to a business person learning how to adapt quickly to changing conditions. This generation, despite the setbacks and struggles, will be stronger than previous generations because of this. When the President declared the Travel Emergency in March of 2020, we did not wait to react. We had closed our Asia programs in January, then immediately started finding creative ways to cut costs. I went unpaid for quite a while, we applied for and received PPP rounds of funding, we created virtual programing to bring services to folks the world over as an alternative to our core businesses, and then we figured out how to fill a niche that people suddenly urgently needed. After months of severely limited human interaction, we created an affordable business to get safe, human, healing, nurturing touch. As a parent, as strange as it sounds, I am glad this all happened while they were still under my wing.
What makes you happy?
Like most people, my greatest source of joy is service. That can be providing the specialty homemade vegan dinners my eldest likes or planning and building a school in Laos. How could anything else compare to that? I think it’s a given, universal thing for which we all yearn.
- Globe Aware programs run from $1000 t0 $1600 per week
- Tickle Bar sessions (think of light back tracing your mom did on your back when you were growing up) from $25 and up
- Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.globeaware.org and www.ticklebar.com
- Instagram: @globeaware and @tickle.bar
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/globeaware and https://www.facebook.com/Tickle.bar
- Twitter: @GlobeAware and @TheTickleBar
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/lylejenish and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwgF2Oy0Nf94OayQJeHj8RA
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-tickle-bar-dallas