Name: Kimberly Nocita
Residence: Deland, Florida
Profession: Owner, GKA Industries
Passions: Skydiving, SCUBA and musical theatre
Favorite Motto: We are not promised tomorrow, so today better kick ass!
Number of Jumps: 350
Website: GKA Industries
Editor's Note: Kimmy Nocita is the owner of GKA Industries (that's Girls Kick Ass people, just in case you were wondering,). Her company designs and sells an assortment of aftermarket parts and accessories to the women's sportbike market.
GKA's specialties include integrated tail light conversion kits, adjustable racing shorty levers, flush-mount signals and LED license plate lights. Small Business Owner Kimmy is very aware that women comprise a minority share when it comes to motorcycling and other extreme sports. That hasn't stopped her from dedicating her life and career to promoting and encouraging more women everywhere to get involved in what she defines as "extreme fun."
I know Kimmy because her parents played a very important role in my life as a teenager. While my parents were trimming the yard, watching the news or visiting with friends, her super cool and much younger parents (who were friends with my neighbors) were heading to the desert with all the fun vehicles I craved to ride. I credit Al and Debbie Nocita and that obscure movie called "On Any Sunday" for my passion for all things two wheels.
Read on to learn just how extreme this female business owner can be.
Kimmy, how did you get into this line of work?
I grew up in a "man's world." My Dad was heavily into fast cars and drag racing. As a child, I spent a lot of time around speed, off-roading, going to races and hanging out at car shows. So naturally, as I grew up, my siblings and I all gravitated towards activities that got the adrenalin pumping.
So how did you transition into who you are today?
A few years ago I discovered skydiving and that is how I met my boyfriend and business partner. He just happens to be a mechanical engineer and motorcycle buff, too. He introduced me to the world of street bikes and I began working for his company selling aftermarket parts that he designs.
When did the idea for GKA come about?
Well in 2010, I started GKA Industries as a separate entity and began officially distributing for his company, TST Industries. Together we have created quite a partnership.
Why did you choose to target market to women?
I enjoy marketing specifically to female riders. Similar to skydiving, it's empowering, exhilarating, and builds confidence. It reminds us that even in a man's world, girls can still kick ass!
What makes GKA stand out for the others?
I've become a big proponent of encouraging more women to get involved in extreme fun! The company is all about quality product, impeccable customer service, and above all, encouraging women to pursue their goals, live a healthy lifestyle, and get the most out of every moment.
What kind of advice would you give to women who are thinking about getting a motorcycle?
Do your due diligence. Make sure you understand what it is that you're riding. Talk with other women who ride and learn as much as you can before actually getting on. There is a lot of fun to be had out there, but without safety as your number one priority, the fun will get cut short! Be smart and keep on riding for years to come!
Do you think some people don't understand motorcycle riders?
Absolutely. I think anyone who dares to live life on the edge will always receive judgment and criticism from those who live their life in constant fear of anything and everything. Know that what you do makes you happy. Be glad that you found that and encourage others to find what makes them happy, too.
In life, what is most important to you?
Family. Family will always come first. I have been so privileged to enjoy so many adventures in my life thus far, and to get to share them with my family makes it even better. I now look forward to starting my own family and experiencing everything all over again with my own children.
Any skydives in strange or unusual locations?
All of my skydives have been at various drop zones around the United States. I have done 2 jumps out of hot air balloons, which were definitely the most exhilarating. Jumping out of something that is virtually not moving feels very strange. Closer to what a BASE jump feels like. And when you jump from a balloon you are forced to pick your landing target on the spot, which adds an extra element of fear and fun!
Where have you SCUBA dived before?
Most of my SCUBA diving has been here in Florida, where I currently live. Florida has opened the doors to fresh water diving in springs. It's been totally different to what I'm used to with the ocean, but I absolutely love it. I've also done some diving in California, Australia (the great barrier reef), St. Maarten and Hawaii. All have offered something unique. My favorite dives are wreck dives. There's something so eerie about exploring sunken ships on the ocean floor!
Have you traveled to other countries with your family?
My parents turned my siblings and me into world travelers at a very young age. By the time I graduated high school I had been to England, Ireland, Italy, Greece, the Caribbean, Australia, and many other locations around the US and the world. Some of the best memories I have are summer vacations with my family. I got to see a lot and do a lot so early on that it definitely set the tone for my life and encouraged me to continue exploring new adventures as I reached adulthood.
Do your parents continue to advise you or are you pretty much just doing your thing?
Well, I'm 27 years old now! I definitely live my own life, especially considering I live 3,000 miles away from them. But I am very close with my parents, my sisters and my brother. We are a very tight knit unit. They also have 30+ years experience being self employed entrepreneurs, so I often turn to them for advice about business and life in general. They are great mentors and role models for me and will always play a significant role in what I do.
Tell me something about you that very few people know?
My left front tooth isn't real. I broke it in half in an off-road accident when I was 12 years old.