About The Founder

Shelby began The Kimberly Place as a passion project. From the beginning, she has seen God’s vision for it so incredibly clearly. Diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks herself, Shelby wanted to create the space she wished she had found in her darkest of times. A place of hope, refuge and connection. A place just like this.

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From Shelby:

Hello everyone! I am sooooooo happy you are here and so honored that you are currently taking some time to get to know me. I am not super exciting, so bear with me.

I am a photographer.

I am a major introvert.

I love good food. Eating it and making it. I collect cookbooks and it makes my husband crazy.

I misspell everything.

I am obsessed with listening to audiobooks, and whoever says that it isn’t real reading… well. We can’t be friends. (Kidding, but really… try it. It’s the best kind of reading!)

I am very passionate about mental health and making it a conversation that people have on the regular. SO many people struggle in silence. And that is NOT cool.

Like I said, I am just so happy you found The Kimberly Place. Take a look around, join a group, get a cute tee… Reach out to me at hello@thekimberlyplace.com with any questions or just to say hi. I love responding to your emails!

My Mental Health Story:

I have struggled with General Anxiety Disorder for as long as I can remember. I remember being 5 years old in a Rainforest Cafe, about to eat lunch with my family.. And then all of a sudden feeling an overwhelming sense of not being okay. Physical symptoms always went along with this terrible feeling. Nausea, sweats, fatigue.. When this happened I had to go to the restroom to escape and I could never eat after all of that. This happened a lot to me when I was younger, although, I had no idea what it was. Restaurants and crowded spaces, particularly ones where social interaction was required of me, were my triggers.

As I grew into a teen, these episodes subsided. I hit high school and it all came back full force. Everything above, x100. With the addition of random chest pains, a racing heart and constant worry about everything. Mixed in with some worst-case scenario thoughts on a day to day basis. I missed school days, hurt my relationship with my (now) almost husband, worried my parents… and I still thought this was normal. I had no idea what this thing was. I didn’t even know it was a thing. I thought everyone had worry that was constant and came with horrible physical symptoms!! I thought I wasn't a good enough Christian. I wasn’t a good enough girlfriend. I wasn’t cool enough. I wasn’t enough, period.

Then one day I googled my symptoms. Now, I hate to say it, but Web MD helped me out that day. I realized I probably had something going on in my brain. But maybe I didn't? Maybe I was just a worrier?

The short version of this story is that I started talking to people. My mom most of all. I discovered mental illness runs in her side of our family. She helped me in ways I will never be able to repay her for. She is my rock and confidant in this struggle. Someone who understands. Someone who I can swap stories with, even today. I also saw a doctor and improved my diet and saw great changes in my anxiety that actually stuck for many years. Until September of 2018.

Enter: Panic Attacks.

It was a normal day. I had a meeting with a client scheduled for later that afternoon. I had gotten engaged a couple of weeks before, and this was supposed to be the happiest time of my whole life. I went to the meeting in a quiet coffee shop, just like any other day. While listening to this wonderful client of mine tell me about her dreams and visions for her photo shoot, I began sweating. I felt a tingling sensation up my spine and head. Heart racing, hands shaking. I felt like my arms weighed 100 pounds. I tried to lift them and type, but it was like I couldn’t move. All of this, paired with the overwhelming, all consuming, extreme sense of fear and that I was not safe or okay. I thought I was having a heart attack, stroke or something of that nature. I thought I was dying. I ended the meeting abruptly, and (while I was so fearful of trying to stand) got in my car and began crying on the phone to my mom while my fiancé left class to come get me. While I waited, I just cried and couldn’t move. I couldn’t stop shaking. I thought I needed to go to the hospital ASAP, but we ended up staying in my apartment for the rest of the day while I proceeded to have a couple more attacks. I couldn’t even use the bathroom with the door closed, I was so fearful of being alone. I was so confused. So betrayed by my own body. At the time, I didn’t even know what to call these things that I now know were panic attacks. I thought something was wrong with my heart or my brain. Something had to be off for this catastrophic physical response to occur over and over again.

The testing began. I insisted on an EKG. Blood tests. The works. All came back perfectly healthy, and I couldn’t understand why this was happening if my body was healthy. I was against medication for anxiety for as long as I can remember. I didn’t want any chemicals messing around with my brain. It felt like a bandaid… But the attacks kept happening and they were brutal. I couldn’t do my job, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t go to the store, I couldn’t live in my apartment... I had to stay with my parents! I could not be alone. After a few weeks of this, I was done. I wanted, no needed, that bandaid to function. So I made an appointment and was prescribed Paxil for my panic attacks.

I so wish this was my happy ending. So many people get wonderful immediate results from medication. And I do now! My medicine has worked wonders… It just needed some time. I experienced horrible side affects the first week of taking my medicine. Shaking, sweats, loss of appetite and, worst of all… It actually triggered panic attacks. I remember having 8 in a row one day, with my parents beside me not knowing what to do.

I do not know how I made it through that week of adjusting to my meds. I had so much fear and doubt. I am a Christian woman, and I was so mad at God for this. But He taught me so much through this time. Clinging to Him and His promises were the only thing that got me through. I am on the other side now, happily on medication. There are still minor side affects like hunger and tiredness. BUT little to no more big attacks. I still have anxiety from time to time. I have HARD days. I don’t know what my future holds or when/if I will ever get off this medicine. But it is working for me now. I can function and I will take that win as an opportunity to serve my God and love on others.

Through this struggle, God birthed The Kimberly Place. I want people to feel at home here. To feel like they belong. To lean on this community for support in your darkest of times. I want people to leave here feeling

STRONGER.