Kim Nokwaza, Trust Specialist
Kim is a Trust Specialist who has operated within the Banking sector in South Africa for the past 12 years. She would like to be an influence in changing the behaviour of women who still defer critical financial decisions to their husbands/male partners. Her blog is a platform that gives her peers an opportunity to review their careers, take control of their finances and lead meaningful lives.
About Kim & An Ode To Style
Tell us a little bit about you and your background
I am a devout career girl, and I have been in corporate for 12 years, and every time I say that; people are gobsmacked and their response is usually “Huh?! How old are you then?!”. Truth is, after completing high school, I didn’t follow the conventional route of pursuing tertiary education (university) immediately. I went into full-time employment and studied part-time. Not easy, but totally rewarding!
Tell us about your Instagram profile and how it all started.
An Ode To Style was Initially intended to be a creative outlet for me. I work in corporate, my job is quite demanding, and I wanted to share my life in corporate with my peers. As someone who enjoys looking good, I thought I’d also share some of the outfits I chose to wear. This platform grew tremendously in its first year, and it evolved into something more than just a blog with outfit inspiration. I partnered with big brands on exciting campaigns; and featured on various media publications: sharing some insightful information on the work that I do. In a nutshell, I view my website and Instagram profile as more than a mere blog. It is a platform that gives my peers (women in particular), an opportunity to review their careers, take control of their finances and lead meaningful lives.
Let's Talk Business
What is your day job and how did you get into it?
I am a Trust Specialist and have operated within the Banking sector in South Africa for the past 12 years. My role entails the management of a portfolio of Trusts, for the purposes of wealth creation and preservation. I work closely with Wealth Managers in assisting clients create an integrated plan to achieve their goals.
My day typically starts with dropping my daughter off at day care, thereafter I make my way to the office. After work, I head home, prepare dinner. We have a stay-in nanny, and she picks our daughter up from day care, this is of great assistance to my husband and I. While I prepare dinner, I play with my toddler, and catch up with my husband. After that, it’s lights out for her, and on some occasions; I’ll catch up on some work, and then head to bed.
What is the one thing you believe has helped you succeed and what advice would you give to someone wanting to do the same job?
What has helped me succeed in my career is being consistent and going the extra mile. I have also accepted challenges because I understand that doing so, will help me uncover areas about myself that I never knew existed. There is just something thrilling about operating outside of my comfort zone. My advice to anyone wanting to pursue the same career path is, to remain consistent and aim to excel in all you do. Mistakes happen, it is not how many you make that define your character, it’s how you deal with those mistakes that will define you.
What is one book you’d suggest people read?
‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho and ‘What I know for sure’ by Oprah Winfrey
How would you describe your business style?
I’m a firm believer in effortless style and keeping it simple. When I decide on a work outfit, my approach is always to project femininity and understated elegance. My business style is also inspired by French women. They are effortlessly stylish, and never try too hard.
What advice would you give those dressing for a new job?
I’d say, as a start focus on cultivating a capsule wardrobe - which comprises of staple items such as a crisp white shirt, a classic suit with mix-and-match pieces (a pencil skirt, blazer, formal pants and dress), a pair of timeless black court heels. To accessorise, I’d say one should invest in classic pearl studs or pearl neckpiece. The above, in my opinion, is the basis of a work wardrobe. One can then build on from it and add neutrals, some florals – of course, as they deem fit.
What trends do you like to wear in the corporate fashion space?
Generally, I’m not a trend-driven dresser, however I must admit that pencil skirts are a prominent feature in my work wardrobe.