At KF, we believe in the power of women. Each month, we'll introduce you to a 'Woman Who Inspires'. These incredible women are entrepreneurs, innovators and makers who are paving their own way in business, education, society, motherhood, and many more aspects of life. Learn how they started their ventures, the challenges they faced along the way and see how they are building their future - all of our futures - while inspiring others.
Karen Anderson, Owner of Caprice Decadent US
It has been a cold, snowy month all over the US and to say we could use a little sparkle right now would be a huge understatement. Enter Karen and Caprice Decadent US with their gorgeous jewels and beautiful designs.
We met Karen years ago and immediately knew this woman was a mover and shaker. She has a thirst for growing a business and background in numbers that makes her a force to reckon with. It was also great that we became fast friends and she has been a sounding board and support for not only KF but many women-led brands around the Chicago area. Read on to hear why we love this lady so much.
Hello! My name is Karen Anderson. Wife to a brilliant, fun-loving and kind-hearted Brit; Mom to two adorable, highly energetic little boys; and owner of Caprice Decadent US - an import business focused on a luxury costume jewelry brand based in Norway. I’m an East Coast girl who rode the wave of my first career all the way to London where I met my husband. Now, after stints in London, NYC and Boston, we have settled in Chicago and are learning to embrace Chicago winters :)
Why did you start your own company?
I can’t say I always dreamt of being an entrepreneur. Just like I was never the girl who dreamt of her wedding day. I believe in a higher power and genuinely enjoy experiencing what life has in store for me.
I worked for 13 years in public accounting then decided to take a break while we started a family. 3 very humbling years into being a stay-at-home Mom, I realized I was not cut out for the job and started to reflect on my experience and skillsets honed from my professional life. I loved my last few years working in national strategy and missed the thought process required that seemed to come naturally to me.
My focus shifted to building a business that would allow me to use my skillset in a meaningful way and shortly after Caprice Decadent US was born.
What has been your biggest failure in business and what did you learn from it?
I struggle accepting the word “failure” but I certainly have had many learning experiences in business.
Perhaps the most significant lesson was learned upon my return to NYC from London. I was assigned to work with a team who, in retrospect, didn’t really have room for me. My role was undefined and my direct Partners didn’t have the capacity to support me in navigating the role. I spent more time putting out fires within our team than I did actually making progress. Two years later, I was presented with the opportunity to join a new team who proved to inspire.
What first felt like a couple years lost in my development turned out to be one of the most important learning opportunities of my career. “Teamwork makes the dream work” is only true if you have the right team. With the right balance of skillset, personality and leadership you can move mountains.
What is the first thing you do after waking up to jumpstart a successful day?
I drink herbal tea then exercise. Sometimes it’s a 20 minute HIIT ride on the Peloton and sometimes it’s a hour-long walk. But both options get my body moving, awaken my mind and set me on the right track for making the most of the day.
What tools would you recommend to anyone trying to start their own business
The ‘notes’ function on your phone and a to-do list. Ideas can come to you at any point in the day and you don’t want to forget them!
What person in history, living or dead, has inspired you and how?
My grandma, my “Lola”. To know Lola was to know kindness, patience, beauty, elegance and sophistication.
Lola was born in the Philippines at a time when opportunity for women was limited. Despite all that, she went to college and worked for the American army during the war. She raised 7 kids all while being a devoted wife to a husband with a demanding job. Years later, they returned to the United States where my grandfather was born. She endured judgment and ridicule due to the color of her skin and the way she spoke yet despite all that, her heart remained open and her kindness shown through.
There wasn’t a day she would allow herself to be seen without her hair being perfect, her make-up done with precision and her outfit on-point. She took pride in herself, in her heritage and her family. And for that I’m forever grateful and inspired.
If this wasn’t your job, what’s something else you’ve always wanted to do/start/create?
I have to say, this is my dream job. It perfectly fits my skillset, pushes me out of my comfort zone, allows me to play in an industry I absolutely adore, all while allowing me the flexibility to be present for my family.
Let's Get Deep...
What emojis do you use most when texting?
Face blowing a kiss, folded hands and smiling face with hearts (BTW I just googled emoji meanings to get the right meanings!) 😘🙏🥰
What is your go to cocktail?
Skinny, spicy margarita
What books are you currently reading?
I’m not a big book reader. In my free time, I prefer to read the news, cook/bake, connect with friends and find ways to enhance my boys’ lives.
Go to fave garment in your closet.
Spanx Faux Leather leggings!
What is your signature scent?
Miss Dior Eau de Parfum
Early riser or night owl?
Early riser for sure. The early bird catches the worm ;)