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Meet Kimberly Pitliangas of The Thaxton & Thaxton Speakeasy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Pitliangas.

Hi Kimberly, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I have never been one who had a clear idea of what I wanted to do when I grew up. Intuition and opportunity (both recognized and created) have been my guiding forces along the way.

Fear of the real world and no clue which direction I desired to go, I extended my stay as a student and graduated with an MBA. Fresh out of school, I landed a job as a mortgage broker. Two years later, I was propositioned, by one of my best friends, to be a business partner in a smoothie franchise. Against everyone’s advice, we decide to go for it. Two and half years later, we shuttered the business and were thankful to come out of it, with lessons learned and our friendship still in tack. I then bounced around with part-time jobs here and there. I bartended, dabbled in interior design, furniture sales, and became a mother!

Somewhere in there, I found myself, once again, being propositioned, by a friend, to be a business partner. This time, it was to open a bar. No. A lounge. We were interested in opening the kind of place that we would enjoy. Not a club, not a sports bar, and not a bar within a restaurant. This all sounded lovely. Except, this time around, I had a bit more experience to pull from. If there were a few things I knew, they were: 1. I never want to be a business owner again. 2. I will never go into business with a friend again. 3. I have never wanted to work for my family. Fast forward thirteen years later. I own a Speakeasy lounge and wedding/event business and I did partner with a friend. To top it off, my business is located within a building owned and renovated by my father. For all that I thought I knew, I am going to pair it down and recommend that one, never say never.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Smooth? Ha! No. There have been financial peaks and valleys, as well as struggles with identity and branding. My partnership dissolved. And then, of course, there is COVID-19. The strange thing is that the obstacles either stop you in your tracks or they challenge you to evolve and work smarter. While it is not always fun, if you believe in yourself, love what you do, listen to your team, and are willing to constantly reinvent, you will make it to the other side. When you do, I can assure you, it is most definitely empowering.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about The Thaxton & Thaxton Speakeasy?
The Thaxton is a multi-level Art Deco event venue, circa 1927. We specialize in boutique weddings and events. We excel in superior service and a vintage vibe!

Thaxton Speakeasy is an underground cocktail lounge located on the lower level of The Thaxton. The lounge is only open when not privately booked and is Saint Louis’s only password-protected nightspot.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Life is too short to walk alongside people that do not inspire. Every day, make a conscious choice to surround yourself with those who are positive, uplifting, AND different from you. You might be surprised what you learn!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Portrait & cocktail – Sammi Jo Jones couple – Kelly Pratt Photography

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