• UO Interviews: Marisa Kimmel

    Meet Marisa Kimmel, a UO employee living in Detroit and working as the Home Senior Team Lead. Here, we chat to her about her photography, sharing her story through photos, and how she likes to help people feel less alone.
    Shot by Han Symanzik

    Hi Marisa! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what it is you do.
    Hello! First, I am a creative. I feel as if most of my free time is filled with expanding my mind. Whether or not it's photography, modeling, decorating my home, picking up every item in a thrift store or wandering around a place I've never been before. I also work at Urban Outfitters in Troy, Michigan, currently as the home senior team lead.

    What’s been your favorite part about working for UO?
    My favorite part about working for UO is the people. From the many coworkers that I've learned and grown from over the 5 years I've worked for Urban to the customers that inspire me and became close friends of mine.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your work as a photographer? What makes you want to shoot/what inspires you?
    I'm a portrait photographer. I'm interested in who a person is, who a person thinks they are and who they want to be portrayed as in a photograph. The entire process of getting to know a little bit about someone while taking their photo is what inspires me most. The vulnerability that that person is allowing a stranger to see, it's beautiful.

    You’re also not afraid to get in front of the camera and are always posting about how important self-love is – can you tell us why it’s important to get your story out there? 
    I started modeling a few years before I started to shoot other people and I think that has taught me how to help others feel comfortable in front of my lens. Self portraits are where my photography journey started. Photography has taught me so much about my heart and my mind. I'm able to see my growth and my bravery through photos of myself from throughout the years. 

    It's so important for me to voice my story because I know what it's like to feel like you're the only one going through something and that's almost never the case. There are people out there wanting to listen and who wants to understand where you're coming from. I'm one of those people. I am free and vulnerable on the internet and that might just help one person feel less alone.

    On top of everything else, you also have a YouTube! Can you let us know about your channel and what kind of videos you’re looking to continue making?
    I do! I started vlogging a month or two back. I want my channel to be real. I'd like to do videos regarding my journey with losing my hair to Alopecia and how it will effect the rest of my life, but how I'll only let it effect in positive ways. I want to talk about skincare, what type of clothing makes me feel comfortable. Really just a channel allowing people to see who I am.

    We read on your IG that you love skincare – what’s your current routine? (Your skin is amazing.)
    Thank you! Because I do lack hair, my skin is what I focus on most. I found over the years, my skin reacts best with natural products: Mario Badescu, Lush products, Shea Moisture products, a green clay spot treatment, my aloe plant, and rose hip oil. 

    Since you recently moved, can you tell us about your new city and what you love about it?
    I moved right outside of Detroit a few months ago. I lived in Michigan until I was 20 years old and then moved to Chicago for 5 years. Living in Michigan all those years I never wandered to the area that I currently live in. And once the Michigan weather decides to start being spring, I will be exploring every inch of Detroit. I've made my way through a few coffee shops and thrift stores and I'm already in love.

    What’s your biggest goal for the rest of 2018?
    My biggest goal for the rest of 2018 is to practice having an open mind about life. Allowing myself to be out of my comfort zone, trying all the new things even if they scare me a bit. I believe having an open mind helps a person's heart and mind grow.

    Finally, who (or what!) has been your biggest inspiration recently?
    Any person that I come across who is pushing societal norms inspires me.

    To see more from Marisa, follow her on Instagram!