Q and A with Kimberly Drotar Allen, Co-Owner and Producer at Odie Films in Orlando, Florida
“I think it’s important to adjust your plans as you continue to change and grow as a person.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: My biggest passion in life is helping people. For a long time, I thought that would be through a traditional route like providing therapy or being a social worker. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in psychology, I realized that I also have a passion for small businesses and nonprofits. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs; my parents actually built a business around helping other business owners flourish in their respected fields. I had no idea how to combine these passions into a career path until I reconnected with my now husband, Clayton, who introduced me to the world of videography. I quickly realized that video was a powerful means of communication that allowed me to help others tell their stories and spread awareness about issues important to them. Together, my husband and I own a small production company based out of Orlando, Florida, where we work with other small businesses and nonprofits to tell the stories that matter to them.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I went to good public schools and was very lucky to have supportive parents and grandparents. I was never super active in school activities or sports, but I loved donating time to charities and nonprofits from a young age. My parents were determined to instill in me just how fortunate we were and I’ve never forgotten that. While other kids were out playing sports or with their friends, I was at home organizing book bag drives and walk/runs.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: As a kid, I think I felt lost because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. It’s so instilled in us to pick your path and stick to it, but I think it’s important to adjust your plans as you continue to change and grow as a person. Even once you “figure it out,” you need to be able to check in with yourself and make sure this path is still what you want. There’s nothing wrong with changing and pivoting. The world is not nearly as linear as adults want you to believe.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: Feminism means more to me today than I ever thought it would. I grew up privileged; my rights weren’t something I necessarily needed to think about. But being in a male-dominated field and having my husband as my business partner, the amount of times I naturally get overlooked as the woman in the room is astonishing. My mom is my biggest role model and my biggest supporter. She went back to college when I was in kindergarten, she’s built and run multiple successful businesses, and she’s the most incredibly driven woman I’ve ever met in my life. She is strong, determined, and loving. She is a feminist to me and I can only hope to become half the woman that she is.
MORE ABOUT KIMBERLY: My best advice to people trying to “figure it out” is to stop trying to fit yourself into premade boxes. There are a lot of career paths that are already laid out and traveled but don’t be afraid to find a new way for yourself. Becoming a producer at my own production company is not a normal path for a psychology major, but so many different parts of my person are being fulfilled by this untraveled path.
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