It’s been five years since Girls Aloud went their separate ways. In an interview with My Baba, ex-bandmate Kimberley Walsh discussed what’s she’s been up to since the band parted, family life with her two sons, and her exciting new clothing range Kimba Kids. Since leaving the band, Kimberley’s focus has been her children, Bobby, aged 3, and Cole, 18 months. “None of us had kids while we were in the band, which is quite rare,” she told My Baba. “We all wanted to wait until we had time to dedicate to children.” While rumours keep appearing of a Girls Aloud reunion, Kimberley is still sceptical as to whether it will happen. Now, both Kimberley and ex-band members Cheryl and Nadine have children, she believes it’d be almost impossible to arrange it around their families’ schedules: “the best thing would be to get a crèche at rehearsals!” she joked. Nonetheless, Kimberley is hopeful that the band will reunite for at least one thing in the future.
While Girls Aloud was a large part of her life, Kimberley has also worked as a presenter, actor, model and been a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. When asked what was her biggest achievement, the singer responded with the time she climbed Kilimanjaro in aid of Comic Relief in 2009. “I’m most proud of that because it was most out of my comfort zone and the first time in life I’ve surprised myself,” she told us. “Otherwise I’m really proud of what we achieved as a group. It’s very rare for a girl band to survive as long as we did. Strictly was amazing too: I loved the experience and am still obsessed with the show.”
Her clothing line Kimba Kids launched this month. The range is called Kimba Kids because Kimber was the nickname ex-bandmate Cheryl gave to Kimberley when they part of Girls Aloud. The line, which is made for children 3-12 years old, is now available to buy on Next.co.uk. The focus of AW18 range is that it’s fun and affordable clothing for children. Having her own children and realising the lack of variety out there inspired the range. “I felt there was a distinct lack of colour and print available for kids – and boys in particular – on the high street, so I decided to create something myself.” Having two boys of her own made it easier for Kimberley to work on the boys’ range, “It was easier because I had a stronger idea of what I’d like to create,” she told us. Nonetheless, she admits there is a novelty in designing girls’ wear. “I’ve got loads of friends with kids so I asked their opinion of what they’d want’ to wear. The response from the children was “a lot of leggings and throw-on dresses. They love things that are easy to wear” and so this played a huge part in her designs.
Kimberley has been involved in the design process every step of the way, but “shooting the clothes for the first time is the most exciting thing,” she told us. “You‘ve spent all this time creating, going back and forth with samples and the photo shoot is the place where the design process is complete and you’re finally happy.” She took Bobby along to the shoot and he “got in front of the cameras posing and loves being the centre over attention” although she admitted she won’t be sending him in that direct just yet. Kimberley’s brother Adam, an expert in retail manufacturing, also played a big part in developing the range. “His side of things can get a bit stressful because he’s dealing with the production and factories, so I just have to know when to let him breathe. Overall, we’ve worked together well,” she said.
Juggling family life, especially with an 18-month-old, while launching a fashion line has been a hectic. When asked how she enjoys downtime with her family, Kimberley admitted, “If I’m with the boys, there really isn’t any relaxing going on.” She used to enjoy cooking for her family but with an 18-month-old, there’s no chance. “If Cole’s been sat there more than five minutes he throws it on the floor. But, in an ideal world, I would cook more; I like making real pizzas — anything that the kids can get involved with.”
I love family days with them and I love the way they interact with each other. They either adore each other or fight each other. There’s a lot brotherly love there.” With the warm British weather we’ve been experiencing, the children just want to be outside all the time. “We have the sprinkler on and music playing. Bobby makes a den to get in the shade; Cole ruins it; they have a fight; then they make up again!” With this, Kimberley isn’t feeling too guilty about staying in the UK this summer. While she enjoyed a recent holiday to Barbados, she admitted the kids are “at a hard age for holidaying.” 18-month-old Cole would run and jump in the water without fear. “You ask yourself, ‘how can he not realise he can’t swim?’ I hate that side of toddlers — that they would jump in the water with no fear at all. I feel like the neurotic mother ruining the holiday because I get so anxious about them!”
“Since becoming a mum, I feel there’s no time for anything,” Kimberley told us. “No regime, no fitness nothing other than playing football with the boys and running around after them like a madwoman, trying to stop them falling down stairs. That’s kind of my fitness regime.” When it comes beauty and skincare secrets, Kimberley doesn’t have any. “You’ve really achieved something if you take your makeup off in the evening and slather your face in moisturiser then wake up looking half-alive after how many hours sleep you had.” Despite this, she wouldn’t change a thing. “Life has changed so much, but it’s always very full, interesting and fun. I adore the boys; I’m obsessed with them.
Kimba Kids is now available to buy at Next. Click here to shop the range.