Meet Kimberly Toribio, Journalism Student & Creator of Revenir Magazine

From the outside, Kimberly Toribio seems like a typical college cool-girl. With stickers on her laptop that reference shows like “The Office,” “Breaking Bad” and “Friends,” bold personal style and an ever-present look of determination on her face, she might fool you into thinking that she’s just a student; but she’s not. What most people don’t know about the New York-born Dominican third-year is that she splits her time between being a journalism student and the creator/editor-in-chief of her own magazine, Revenir. Her aesthetically pleasing magazine is designed to encourage people to come back to their roots, as well as provide an online safe haven filled with empowering and inspiring content made by students, for students. HC UFL was honored to sit down and chat with Kimberly, a complete #GirlBoss, and one of many of UF’s most inspiring women.


HC UFL: What made you fall in love with writing?

Kimberly:  "I was put into a journalism class during my junior year in high school and I wasn’t really interested, but I decided to do it because I was too nervous to change my schedule. My friend Darcy was in that class, so I thought – let’s go for it and see what happens! I fell in love with my adviser, Mrs. Bennett, she was an amazing person to me and she was actually Gator Alumna, which is what pushed us to come to UF for journalism. She really liked my writing and asked me if I wanted to be a part of newspaper, and I did, so I began as the feature’s editor. The next year, Darcy and I jumped up to a co-partnership for editor-in-chief and that’s where we took control of the classroom because Mrs. Bennett had left, and our new adviser let us do whatever we wanted. We taught the basics of journalism and ended up being mini-teachers of the class our senior year. From there, I loved being in charge. I also grew up watching 'Sex and the City' and all of these fabulous rom-coms with strong female leads who were writers, and that’s where it all stemmed from."

HC UFL: When did you come up with the idea for Revenir? What does the name mean? Who is it for? Tell us everything!

Kimberly: "Last year, another best friend of mine, Melanda, and I binge-watched 'Insecure,' which is a brilliant, amazing, dope-ass HBO show. We were thinking about how she wants to be an artist and how I’ve always wanted to be an artist of many forms. So, we thought, “Why don’t we do something? We’re sophomores and we need to apply ourselves.” I was like, “You know what? I want to start my own magazine.” I’ve been subscribed to Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar since I was 8 and I want to do my own thing. I wanted to see what it was like to be in charge and just put your vision out there. So, we came up with the name together; Revenir is French for “come back.” We put our own little spin to it by making it mean “return to your roots.” That’s the foundation of Revenir, it’s to kind of face yourself and fully express who you are with confidence. I think that with a lot of young women especially, we struggle with our identity. Sometimes it’s cultural, and sometimes it’s not. We wanted it to be a platform for young women — and anybody really — to feel like, 'This is who I am, struggles and all,' to be able to put it out there and be confident. Being able to return to who they are and be proud of themselves."

HC UFL: That sounds so inspiring – but let’s be real, how many times did you want to quit?

Kimberly: "Every day! But let’s be real, it was more like any time there was an issue that came up or a roadblock we faced. I would think that maybe I couldn’t do it; maybe no one’s going to be interested, maybe this isn’t going to go the way I planned it to go. I’m terrified, this is all very personal to me in a way, and to put it out there and wait for people to hopefully be excited about it terrifies me, but it’s something I always wanted to do and when I finally pushed through and got a few people interested, it was the best feeling in the world."

HC UFL: Revenir is an exclusively digital platform. Do you think you’d want to keep Revenir strictly digital similar to Refinery 29 or Man Repeller? Or are there plans to transition to print?

Kimberly: "My goal for the end of this year is to have one special edition printed issue of the whole years’ worth of best features, photoshoots and content. Print is very expensive, especially for magazine paper and a glossy cover. It would take a lot, but we are planning an end-of-the-year “Rev Event” where we would love to have print issues, similar to Vogue’s September issue. For now, we are going to mostly stick with digital but if money were an object, I would love to produce monthly issues in print."

HC UFL: What’s your ideal environment to write in? Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop or is a quieter environment like a library your cup of tea? 

Kimberly: "I would definitely say my ultimate writing environment would be in a coffee shop. I feel super cozy and nice here. Some of my favorites are Maude’s, Wyatt’s and Foxtail. I would have an Iced Chai Tea Latte, and I usually listen to artists like Anderson Paak, Kaytranada and The Internet — any kind of music that gets to your soul but is also energizing. Like something you would hear at a photoshoot."

HC UFL: As a student and editor-and-chief of your own magazine, you must know what it’s like to burn out. What do you do as self-care?

Kimberly: "For self-care, I like to put on a facemask; my favorite is a tea tree oil one from The Body Shop. I’ll also put on music from one of those artists and either read one of my self-help books or draw and doodle. Anything that has to do with reading, writing or music is self-care to me. My favorite books are 'You are a Badass,' '13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,' 'Siddhartha' and 'The Power of Positive Energy.' I used to paint, and I would love to get back into that at some point."

HC UFL: When looking through Revenir’s social media accounts, it’s obvious that your inspiration from art shines through in your fashion choices. If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would you wear?

Kimberly: "Something versatile: a beige off-the-shoulder or one-shoulder blouse, mom jeans, black mules, hoops and a beautiful bag. I’m so into bold colored bags at the moment, I love royal blue, bright red, snakeskin – even green."

HC UFL: Is there anything you want to tell readers of Revenir or HC UFL that we haven’t covered yet?

Kimberly: "I would say that I want people to feel empowered as well as okay with their flaws. I want them to feel valid, and that’s one of the reasons why I even built Revenir. I can act confident on social media, but we all have our struggles and we should be okay with that. My anxiety has really led me in a lot of directions in my life, but one thing I’ve learned from my loved ones and people like Darcy during those struggles is that I have to accept who I am and love myself while I’m working on myself. You don’t have to wait to love yourself, you can love yourself right now, flaws and all and feel like “I can do whatever I want, I can live however I want and I can be whoever I want.” I want girls and readers to feel how they should always feel – valid."

If you enjoyed HC UFL’s exclusive interview with Revenir Magazine creator Kimberly Toribio, stay tuned for more profiles of HC UFL’s most inspiring women. You can find Revenir via their website or at any of their social media pages: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Interested in learning more about Revenir Magazine? Email the team at [email protected]