Allison Kimball is always outside. A quick trip through her Instagram feed shows her hiking, surfing, snowboarding, and generally enjoying the sun. It might seem obvious that the international model and actress would have a glamorous and picturesque feed, but Allison labels herself as “super outdoorsy” and living out her dreams as a model hasn’t changed that even a little.
Though she’s no stranger to big campaign shoots and the excitement of New York City (more on that later), Allison hasn’t let modeling convert her to a city girl. “I think staying true to myself is really important to me,” she told us. “It kind of keeps me going.” She said that not trying to be something (or someone) she isn’t is part of what makes her unique as a model among all the glitz and glam.
This has been especially true over the last year as she’s taken on modeling from home. “My agencies have done a really great job of figuring out ways to still keep us busy and working and inspired and motivated so we can do a lot of at home work, too,” she said. “I’m still having a lot of fun.”
At-home photoshoots are part of Allison’s current normal. Brands send her clothes or products along with guidelines and ideas for content. She takes photos and creates that content usually with just her iPhone and a tripod (or sometimes help from her mom). Allison calls these shoots “real and raw” and told us that “shooting content at home is super fun.” There are ups and downs, but Allison isn’t letting WFH life get her down.
But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t miss big modeling gigs. While at-home shoots are generally more comfortable and have more relaxed timeframes, Allison misses big campaign shoots on-set where she’s surrounded by people. “[They are] more motivating because it just spans a lot more,” she said. “It pushes you out of your comfort zone and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
This desire to push is part of what motivates Allison. A helper and supporter for her friends for as long as she can remember, Allison’s passions are philanthropy and inspirational work. Diving deeper into those passions is what she is looking forward to in 2021. “I love modeling, but I think I kind of want to expand on the industry itself, so I am starting a podcast,” she shared. “I want to publish a couple of my books that I have been working on over the past few years and just get really involved with things like that to kind of expand in that way.”
“My podcast and my books are very near and dear to my heart,” Allison told us about the projects she’s been working up to for several years. “[My books] actually started as more of a hobby and then I just had so much motivation to keep working toward making them longer and editing them and expanding them and making them the best they can be…The main topic of my current book that I’m publishing is self-improvement, and they pretty much go along the lines of my personal experiences whether it be in the modeling industry and the whole entire industry in general, acting, beauty, and everything, relationship issues…”
Her podcast, Spiked Kombucha, follows the theme with Allison exploring topics and sharing stories, hoping to inspire people like her who want to live their lives to the fullest. While she sees her upcoming books as an opportunity to dive into her past and explore issues in depth, she told us that the podcast will be a more in-the-moment, vlog-like format where she will share her own ideas and stories as well as those of guests. These guests, she shared, will likely be from beauty world as well. She wants makeup artists, influencers, photographers, and, of course, models to come on and share their thoughts and experiences.
Allison feels as though exploring her experiences through writing and talking has made her the person she is today, and she wants to share that. “Whenever I go through something good or bad, at least for me personally, I can really feel a shift in the person I am on the inside and what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown and the person I’m growing into. So, starting in that moment, in the midst of a very bad event or directly after it happens, waves of passion, overwhelming, desire to write it out, get it out, whatever.”
That personal habit has led to her current projects and made her want to share her motivations so others can be motivated as well. What motivates Allison? Stepping outside her comfort zone. “I find that because I push myself out of my comfort zone and I throw myself into a new scenario and just give it my all even if it doesn’t always feel like the right timing, that’s when I feel [motivated] the most.”
If you’re looking for a little extra motivation, the first episode of Allison’s podcast is available to listen to now. (Keep up with @spikedkombuchapodcast on Instagram.) In episode one, “Creator Not Consumer,” she talks about everything from the beginnings of her modeling career and finding out what it means to create content instead of just consuming it to being neighbors with celebrities like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds and the drawbacks of glamorous NYC life. Her forthcoming book is also set to make its debut this January.