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Q&A with Giggles owner Marcia Kimball

By Staff | Jan 22, 2009

Marcia Kimball is a Sanibel resident and the owner of Giggles children’s clothing store in the Tahitian Gardens shopping center. She is hip, stylish and is not afraid to speak her mind – especially if its for a cause.

What was your

childhood like?

I grew up in Winchester, Mass. I have an older sister, Sally, who actually works for Tom and Ron from Tommy Dixon in Cape Cod this year. My brother is in Michigan. We all spent summers in New Hampshire, my childhood was great! My dad worked for Hood Milk in Massachusetts. Of course, I drove my mother crazy at ALL times!

What brought you to Sanibel?

My daughter and I wanted to get out of freezing New Hampshire when Allycia had a school break. We love the ocean and had heard about the beautiful beaches of Sanibel Island from friends. We stayed at the Sanibel Inn. We both fell in love with the island right away!

We know you own Giggles, a children’s clothing store on Sanibel. What made you decide to open up a store catering to children?

It’s a long story of how I opened this store, but before Hurricane Charley I found a house I wanted to buy and three days after Charley we closed on the house. I went back and forth between New Hampshire and here a lot but now I’m here most of the time. The store started small but thanks to Robbie Roberts I’ve made the store bigger. We were originally in the space C Turtles now occupies (well, half of it). Now we are in our new store which is completely remodeled with the roof raised. We love it here at Tahitian Gardens and are looking forward to a great season!

You seem so bubbly and bouncy. Have you always been like this?

Lets see…bubbly and bouncy, it’s hormones baby! Read Suzanne Summers books (they are about hormones). I also work-out three times a week. I take Body Attack and Body Pump, which are both so hard! It hurts and kills me but each day I feel stronger. I don’t eat red meat and haven’t for over 30 years now. I guess I’m just an old hippie. I try to be healthy, but I’m addicted to M&M’s! I love expensive red wine-hey it’s good for your heart. I have great friends and wonderful animals that I adore. Miko (my Lhasa Apso)is always with me at Giggles. I guess all these things give me energy-so much that I find myself at Giggles moving things around until the wee hours while rocking out to John Mayer. Lots of energy!

Aside from working at Giggles what do you do in your spare time on Sanibel?

Spare time-what is that? I forgot! When Allycia was here at Christmas time, we spent a lot of time at the beach.

You always appear glamorous and stylish. What is your most glam exuding outfit you own?

I really don’t consider myself glamorous. It’s nice to have a dear friend who happens to be one of the best plastic surgeons in Boston J. I guess I try to be stylish, and C Turtles in Tahitian Gardens keeps me that way! I refuse to wear age appropriate things. I love 7 Jeans and T-shirts and dresses by Splendid and Ella Moss. I like to be cool. I love statements, and one can certainly make one with clothes!

Word is you have some pretty famous friends. Can you share who they are and how you got to know them?

Well here it goes. I’m proud to say that I worked for The Hillary Rodham Clinton Campaign for two years on the road, being a soldier in her army. What an amazing woman she is! It will always be a pleasure to say that I worked my butt off for her. I have always been a supporter of the Democratic Party, and I have worked for John Kerry’s campaign in NH. I also worked for Al Gore in NH. Jeannie Shaheen, our new senator from NH, has been my good friend as is her husband Bill Shaheen. Bill made sure that no matter where we (our team) was, that when he called we flew out and got to work. I got one of these calls in November and flew to freezing NH to campaign for Jeannie the week of the primary. Billie had me in the boonies of NH meeting people and talking about Jeannie.

When she was first the governor of NH, I did foster care with her to save the important Healthy Kids Program. After working in the foster care system, I started working with Jeannie to make the system better. John Lynch, the governor now, is also a close friend.

He calls me the “Fashion Police” since I always had the job of making sure our candidates looked good on T.V. When HRC was last in NH, she and Bill Clinton were there together. I asked them to take a picture holding a “I love the bean” sign (this is when Daniel owned The Bean). So he took it and enlarged it and hung it. The new owner took it down! But Daniel rescued it and its now in the Ava Maria Bean. We all miss Daniel. Most of my friends up north are involved in politics. I know so many kids that are now chief of staff or deputy chiefs of staffs to big politicians. I remember when they started holding signs at a rally. Oh, I still hold signs, I love to stop traffic! Politics is exciting and sometimes heartbreaking-it stimulates you until wee hours of the morning. You work hard. You do a million different things, and you’re hungry all the time-I’m allergic to wheat so I was really a mess. But you learn to sneak into where the press eats-then you’re okay!

We didn’t like the media very much. A good day was when I could harass Chris Matthews and make him mad. You’d finish late, go to the hotel, have a martini, and then fight with the opposition. We had fun, but it was really hard work. Keeping up with Hillary was hard work. I’m so glad she is going to be Secretary of State. My choice of President is obvious-but President elect Obama has to earn my respect-we shall see.

Hillary will do such an awesome job as Secretary of State. I predict that she and WJC will become one of the strongest international couples ever. I also traveled with Chelsea Clinton. She always called me her good luck piece. Every state I worked with her she won. She is an exceptional young woman and fun to be around. Leoma Lovegrove painted my floor at Giggles and now I’m selling her artwork. She will be painting lots of kid’s artwork for us soon!

What are some tips for keeping adults and their children looking stylish and suave?

As for moms, I think most are too busy to worry about it. Just be comfortable in whatever you’re wearing, especially when you’re chase toddlers around! Their health and happiness is all you need to worry about. Kids are very fashion conscious, even at the age of 4, girls know what they want to wear! Amazing! I love the babies and always want to hold them.

Kids like coming to Giggles, we have a great place for them to play while mom shops. Many moms want their babies in traditional clothing, some want hip rock & roll type things. Most grandmothers are glad to see the traditional smocked outfits in both boys and girls.

We try to make shopping at Giggles a fun experience for everyone. If dad is bored, the Roberts family has supplied giant rocking chairs outside! If kids behave, we give them free pink M&Ms. If I had to give a tip on fashion to a busy mom, I would send them next door to Suzie at C Turtles.

OK, so enquiring minds want to know: what is something about yourself that most would be shocked to learn?

Maybe people would be shocked to know that I was a road manager for a rock band in the 80’s. I had purple hair, only wore leather outfits, and even rocked snake boots!

What is your secret to living a happy, fabulously fun life? How do I live a fabulously happy life?

Well it is not all roses. I have a lot of responsibilities here and up north. I do my best to keep a positive outlook on things, but sometimes its very hard…when you believe in something you have to work hard and you have to work when you don’t want to and you have to listen to all the bla bla bla but you keep on and you fight and you push yourself and in the end you will win and no one will stop you from achieving your goal. Hillary taught me a lot..I saw her start at 6 a.m. facing cameras and finishing in a different state at midnight.

She had amazing stamina and will grit to keep on and that is what I will do. One of my favorite little sayings is this, “Life is not measured by the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away”.

I try to be amazed every day. I thank God for my daughter. She is the reason I have those moments. I have Adrienne Argento who helps me run this store. I don’t know what I would do without her. I am so thankful for her. She is a senior Civil Engineering student at FGCU and still finds time for Giggles- thank you Adrienne!

Be happy and give back. Don’t ever forget where you came from. Life is just too damn short to be unhappy. Like I said, we live in Paradise, let’s not forget ever how lucky we are!