Of all the luxuries a home office affords, bed bugs were not one Bobby Kimberley expected. The Toronto marketing entrepreneur had to drop everything and get out of his Parkdale neighbourhood apartment this August, finding a temporary home – and workspace – with a friend across town.
As life often goes, this coincided with the busiest few weeks of Mr. Kimberley’s career. In September, he programmed a music festival, organized a musical Lake Ontario boat cruise, and masterminded an extravagant party themed on 2001: A Space Odyssey, along with a companion installation for the Toronto International Film Festival. By mid-October, Mr. Kimberley earned some time to breathe – but only after DJing a dance party with his business partner and girlfriend, Anna Wiesen, and overseeing a semi-surprise concert for client Red Bull with New Jersey-bred punk band Titus Andronicus.
Bed bugs couldn’t stop 32-year-old Mr. Kimberley’s business; he has learned to be nimble in his three years as an entrepreneur. He runs two companies: Young Lions Music Club, a community-focused music events and marketing company, and a creative agency, Young Offenders. Each plays off the other, as he taps his network of talented creatives to put on increasingly more entertaining and elaborate events – for himself and for brands – throughout Toronto.
Brand partnerships are an essential part of Mr. Kimberley’s business model. They’re also the reason he struck out on his own to in 2011, when the music PR company he helped run insisted it subsist on low-revenue campaigns for bands instead of seeking out new income streams, partnerships included.
He took the connections he’d developed at the firm, including with the lifestyle-marketing wing of Toyota’s Scion division, and started his own company, making a career out of brand relationships. Three years later, his plate is more than full.