Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women. This month I sat down with Karen, entrepreneur, wife, mom and owner of one of my favorites shops, In the Mood Intimates.
We met a little over two years ago when I was shopping for a few new bras. I spent nearly two hours in her store chatting with Chelsea and Nicole who work in the shop.
What I love about Karen, she surrounds herself with these beautiful, intelligent women who genuinely want to help other women. Whether it’s fitting them properly for a bra or helping them pick out the coziest PJ’s (PJ Salvage are my personal cozy favorites). They are there to help other women.
18th Style: Where are you from?
Karen: I am originally from Roslyn Heights, NY. I moved up to Connecticut 20 years ago and have been living in Fairfield, CT for 15 years.
18th Style: Tell us a bit about your background?
Karen: Most all of my career has been based in women’s health and well-being. I started out of college in market research with A.C. Nielsen for consumer products companies marketing to women’s needs.
From there, I worked for several large consumer products companies in domestic and international marketing including Tambrands, L’Oreal, and Playtex Products. After having my daughter 14 years ago, I decided that I wanted to start my own business so I could work from home.
I started In the Mood Intimates online just before she was born. I worked while she slept and grew the business on my own schedule, always looking to expand into a brick and mortar business in Fairfield if the location was right. I found the right location three years ago in the Brick Walk and now we have the online business and the shop in town.
18th Style: When you first launched In the Mood Intimates, what were your goals?
Karen: Since I just had a newborn, I really did not have any set plan. I wanted to challenge myself to growing the business yearly. I entered the intimate apparel world and the online world at just the right time. Everything was booming and Amazon was not the presence it is today so I was able to create quite a following rather quickly. I took pride in every success and learned the hard way with some big failures. I enjoy what I have built over the years and am very proud of every success and failure.
18th Style: What’s your best advice for women aspiring to create a successful business?
Karen: You need to have patience. Patience in growing your business, building your image, finding the right staff to represent you, and everything else that you think might be quick to develop. You need not to be hard on yourself for bad days and you need to really rejoice in the good days.
You need to surround yourself with amazing people that support you because owning a business is a roller coaster ride… a very rewarding roller coaster ride.
18th Style: Did you ever doubt yourself? If yes, how do you quiet the voice within that makes you doubt yourself?
Karen: I doubt myself all the time. That is where the support network comes in. I bounce ideas off of them. They are not as close to the situation as I am. When someone is looking at your doubts from a distance, they can see the forest while I am focusing on the trees. They give great perspective and more important they give me confidence.
I also have a group of lingerie store owners that I talk to throughout the country that understand the business and we help each other with all types of business issues.
18th Style: What does the future have in store for the shop?
Karen: I have been in a brick and mortar store for about three years now. I would like the store to become a destination spot for all women’s intimate apparel and lounge-wear needs. We work on this through our online presence and social media platforms. I would also like to become an educator on bra fitting to moms and high school girls.
I want to share my experiences on what proper fitting undergarments can do to your self-esteem and body image. I would like to have bra fitting seminars for women’s groups, book clubs, etc. I have done a few of these lately and we laugh and have a great time and in the process everyone is fitted for a proper fitting garment.
18th Style: As an entrepreneur, wife and mother how and do you find time for yourself?
Karen: It’s always hard to find time for myself. I rarely ever get a large chunk of time to do anything by myself , however every morning I wake up before everyone else, make myself a cup of coffee and just sit and read for about 20 minutes before I start my day.
That is my “me” time and if I don’t get that it makes for a rough day. I need that 20 minutes and coffee, it keeps me sane.
18th Style: Ok, let’s lighten the topic of conversation and have a little fun. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Karen: I would love to be able to teleport. I love to travel all over the world. If I was able to teleport, I could have breakfast at Disney World, Lunch in Turks and Caicos, and dinner in Italy. So much fun!
18th Style: What’s your favorite quote or saying?
Karen: I have two:
18th Style: Do you have any favorite fellow female entrepreneurs that you follow on Instagram?
Karen: I like to follow all the local shop owners in town. I also get a lot of inspiration from GirlBoss.
18th Style: Lastly, I love fun facts. Tell us something people wouldn’t know about you? It can be anything.
Karen: I am an avid crafter, cross-stitch, knitting, painting, sewing basically anything that I get to use my hands. I love to get my family together and do crafts with them. It is fun bonding time and has become a tradition in our house.
Check out In the Mood Intimates and Karen’s Blog Post, Be Patient
Here is little snipet:
We want the solution.
We want it now.
We want to change.
To be better.
To be fitter.
To be happier.