This week’s Meet a Mom feature is the very lovely Karen Anderson, Lake Forest mama of two sweet little boys and international fashion distributer for the Norwegian jewelry brand, Caprice Decadent US! Karen embodies the essence of reinventing one’s mama-self! Pre-children, Karen worked in Public Accounting and National Strategy Capacity at Deloite. for 13 years before taking a few years off to raise her boys. She is thrilled to leverage those hard-earned corporate skills to propel her current business forward! Read the full interview below to learn more about how the special “a-ha moment” that inspired her to reinvent herself around her family, timely tips for airplane travel and favorite local stomping grounds! And she hopes to see you at her first pop-up event in Lake Forest (dets below)!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to your current town?
I’m a Connecticut girl – born and raised. We moved to Chicago for my husband’s job in 2016 and Lake Forest in 2017. We fell in love with the beauty and charm the town has to offer – the public school system, the parks, the beach and Market Square.
You’re a mama! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I’m a proud Mama to 2 darling boys – 4.5 and 3. Life is busy with them! 🙂
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom? Please share at least one mom “hack/tip” that makes your every day life a little easier…
My favorite thing? Those moments when our son proudly shares something he learned or whips out his sense of humor/sarcasm out of nowhere.
We fly a lot given our families are in CT and the UK. Allowing the boys ample time to run around before getting on the plane is key! Especially for the long-haul flights. I’ll get to the airport early, find an empty gate and let them be boys! I also keep all the packed toys, books, Kindle (!!) packed until we’re in the air. There’s enough available to capture their attention until then!
Those are great travel tips! What is your least favorite mom job?
Brushing their teeth. We have a two minute timer and the boys just won’t brush for that long on their own, so I sit there. But that’s a struggle for me with all the to-do’s running around in my mind!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I was a competitive classical pianist for 8 years and started playing when I was 3.
Favorite local places to spend with the family?
West Park in Lake Forest and the playground at the beach are two of our favorite places to play after school! As for restaurants, we love Slyce in Highwood and Authentico in Lake Forest.
You are a mompreneur! Tell us about your business!
I started a business just shy of a year ago that’s focused on helping international emerging female fashion designers go global by helping them penetrate/introduce them to the US market. My first client is a Norwegian jewelry designer and the brand is Caprice Decadent US (Caprice Decadent Bohemian in Europe).
What was/is the inspiration and/or training involved behind your business?
I worked in Public Accounting for 13 years before taking a few years off to raise our boys. My last 5 years in Corporate America were in a National Strategy capacity and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to leverage that skill set for whatever I did next!
It sounds like you had a corporate full-time job that you left? Tell us more about that!
Yes! I worked at Deloitte in the Investment Management practice for 13 years before taking time off to raise our boys. Deloitte afforded me the opportunity to live and work in London (where I met my husband!) and live in a few of our favorite cities stateside. It was a wonderful firm to work for but when I had our first child, I struggled to see how I could manage to be the Mom/Wife I wanted to be while pursuing my career in a competitive/fast-paced environment. Especially given my husband was traveling 4 days a week. So the decision didn’t feel hard for me, it felt right.
That said. I knew I wanted to get back into work at some point, leveraging my corporate strategy skill set, but I wanted to make sure it was something I really believed in.
What was the a-ha moment you had with forming your current business?
Yes, there was definitely one of those! I was having margaritas with my dear Norwegian friend who had recently moved to Lake Forest from Oslo. She talked about a jewelry line she absolutely loved and shopped when in Oslo. She knew the designer had an interest in penetrating the US so I started to research. Legitimized the brand, gained comfort with the competitive landscape then spoke and fell in love with the designer.
The idea was born! I would work with emerging international female designers and help them globalize their brand by introducing them to the US market! And in this particular case, introduce them to colleagues who can do the same in the UK and Switzerland
What are some of your proudest moments with your business where you said “wow, I did that”?
I’ve been in business for less than a year so a lot of my “firsts” are still fresh in my mind. Which proud moments stand out? (1) Securing my first deal with a wholesaler who fell in love with the jewelry and decided to carry it in all 5 of their locations across the East Coast, (2) Being featured in Sheridan Road, and (3) Opening my first pop-up shop in Market Square, Lake Forest!
Any beauty advice to share with our busy mamas?
Dry shampoo!! 🙂 And… the power of a great pair of earrings!! I realize that sounds like a shameless plug but I’m serious. I can’t tell you how many days I pull on jeans, a cute top or sweater then throw in some fab earrings and boom! Outfit transformed into something that makes me feel pretty, fashionable and pulled together. Find a pair that compliments your skin tone/hair color and it will pop.
what is your most favorite accessory and why?
I have 2. (1.) My double bliss ring in champagne. It’s a spectacular ring and my favorite way to wear it is with black pants, casual top and cute sneakers. Perfect contrast of fabulous and functional. (2.) my golden age pearl earrings. I wear them with EVERYTHING.
It sounds like you’re a fashionista! What IG influencers do you follow for everyday inspo?
Great question! I pull a lot of inspo from Instagram. My two favorites are (1.) @louiseroe. Not only is she incredibly stylish, but she’s witty and down to earth (2.) @jeanwang. She does a fab job pairing expensive and affordable pieces and always looks so well put together 🤩
How important is it for you to have a passion outside of being a mother?
Incredibly! I want my boys to pursue their passions and what better way to learn than to observe from their parents?
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
You’re so very important in their little world…create the memory you want them to have of you.
What’s on the horizon for your business?
- Establish Caprice nationwide as a go-to brand for fun, feminine and personality-defining jewelry.
- Further grow Caprice’s footprint in Europe.
- Fine a second brand to work with and introduce into the US.
- Join Karen (and her fellow mompreneurs @Simply_May, @neverwithoutnavy and @annmariescheidler) at her very special pop-up event Thursday, December 5, 2019 6-8pm, 264 Market Square in Lake Forest! See the invite below👇🏼Can’t make it? No worries – the pop-up shop will be open until December 14, 2019!
Caprice Decadent has a Black Friday sale that expires on Cyber Monday (12/2/19) so don’t wait if you want to snag the perfect accessory for anytime! Visit https://www.capricedecadentus.com/ to browse the gorgeous jewelry collections and take advantage of these discounts:
CD10: 10% off entire order
CD15: 15% off orders over $250
CD20: 20% off orders over $500