A Conversation with Kimberly Chapman

A Conversation with Kimberly Chapman
By Dr. Shanessa Fenner

Kimberly Chapman is the epitome of beauty, brains, and ambition.  Having a successful hair care line, Chapman Products and Sheen Magazine keeps her busy these days.  Let’s learn a little more about this Renaissance woman and how she manages it all.

Dr. Shanessa Fenner: When did you first realize you wanted a magazine and a line of hair care products?
Kimberly Chapman: I married William Chapman who had already started the hair care products so I just came in and made it better. He is the one who focuses on the products in preparing them with the ingredients and I deal with the management part. We have a great partnership. We started the magazine because I needed advertisement for the hair care products so I went to certain magazines and Essence was one of them and they wanted too much for the ads so I said to myself that I will do my own magazine and do my own ads.  

SF: Tell me about the Chapman Foundation.
KC: We started it because most of our clients are customers, barbers, or stylists. I wanted to give back to the barbers and stylists and help their children go to school to be barbers, stylists, or any occupation they want to become. We wanted to help those who are the main ingredients of our company. We give scholarships to beauty and barber schools. We also do an HBCU tour each year that starts in August and ends in October. Every year we go to visit HBCUs because we believe in them and we want to bring back the focus on them.  I thoroughly enjoyed going to an HBCU and that is one of the best educations that you can have.  I attended South Carolina State and it gave me more confidence in who I am and my people.  We are great people. We have been told for so many years that we are less than but now I see a lot of us are changing that ideology that they have given us for so many years.  

SF: Are there any current projects you are working on?
KC: We are working on a project all the time but right now we are coming up with an anti-aging skin care line called Akura. We are preparing for the HBCU tour in August.  In August we will be in Atlanta for the Bronner Brothers hair show displaying our products.

SF: What makes you get up in the morning? What motivates you?
KC: I try to believe that being spiritual is possible.  I try to work on myself all day every day. I get up every day because I am not finished with my journey that I am continuously working on which is being a better Kim Chapman.  What motivates me is knowing there is a purpose for me being here. I’ve learned that if it is hard and it takes a lot of effort then it is not worthy. I think that when God put you here if you are following his direction then life is easier.  When you make those choices that go against him you will start to go through a lot of turmoil.

SF: What has been your biggest life lesson?
KC: My children. They teach me every day and I know that they have to go through their journey like I had to go through mine.  I don’t want to see them hurt because I have been through certain things and I see them going through it and want to stop them and I can’t.  Learning to be Mama and standing on the sideline is a lesson I have to learn.  

SF: Who has been your mentor?
KC:  Everybody has been my mentor.  Everybody that I meet gives my something to take.  I did not understand my mom but now that she has passed I thought that she should have been doing different things as a mother for me such as be there more.  She was there less and I think if she had been there more I would not have been the person that I am now. My parents and my children have been mentors because I take a little bit of everybody with me.

SF: What is the one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
KC: That I am shy. I like being by myself and just being alone.

SF: What have you learned in the process of building a business?
KC: I think I can write a book on that.  It is a lot of stuff. I have learned that if you say you are going to do something, do it. Be a woman or a man of your word. If I expect something from someone they should in return be able to expect what I say to them.  The commitment is everything unless you go in and have another conversation don’t just change things without communicating. Communication is very key.  When it doesn’t work go ahead and eliminate the relationship without a problem. If it doesn’t work you have got to go.   

SF: What is the single most important thing to you?
KC: My good health.

SF: What kind of legacy would you like to have?
KC: That I was a good spirit, a woman of my word, and I cared and serviced people.

SF: Final thoughts?
KC: I just enjoy life and I think people should concern themselves mainly for being able to think and make sound decisions for themselves that will be a lifetime because you have to live your life as so you are making decisions just for the moment it may not be something that will be beneficial for you in years to come. Think and use your brain.   


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