Karen is a turtle neck wearing Ontario expat. She came for the BC mountains and stayed for the dragon rolls. Before Karen started Blume, she was working in commercial real estate. She decided to trade in excel sheets for lattes and hasn’t looked back.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what inspired you to start Blume?
On my many coffee meetings in the real estate industry, I saw so few healthy options! People who manage their caffeine or sugar were underserved and I understood for myself that caffeine triggered anxiety, affected sleep, and upset digestion. I set out to live and eat more intentionally and ended up being inspired to share these blends with others.
What does your typical day look like?
Right now, like most I am working from home. I try to move and hydrate in the morning, as well as still dressing and getting ready for work to set an intention. I have always been a to-do list maker. I have tried a bunch of programs but always end up going for the old fashion jotted down to do list. I manage a small team virtually. I carve out no-meeting days for special projects and am always ideating new products and ideas.
What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I was strongly discouraged from quitting my job. It's the classic story, where you have a good job, there is a clear trajectory and ladder to climb so why change?
In the end I stayed too long. Do I miss the benefits of a regular job? Sure, sometimes. But the learning, and passion that I feel for work today is totally different and I wish I hadn’t been scared to take the plunge sooner.
What does success mean to you?
Loving your work and being able to maintain personal time too. I see so many people define themselves by their work and the hours they put in. I want to wake up, and be excited about my work but also be able to trust my team, and enjoy my life outside of work. Living with intention, means making time for all aspects of your life whether it be fitness, travel, family or friends.
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
Self doubt creeps in for everyone. Are we growing fast enough? Was that the right decision? Am I capable? I am very lucky to surround myself with people who I trust to be honest about my self doubt with as well as take their advice on how to get back on track. I truly believe resilience is a skill that can be learned, and.. I'm still learning.
Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to help you stay balanced?
Exercise, especially during COVID. Whether it be a run on the seawall, a quick bike ride or even a yoga flow at home on youtube. You need to make time to safely move. I always make time to get outside and stay physical.
As a self-care focused brand owner, what are 3 tips you recommend for people to incorporate more wellness/self-care into their day?
1. Drink more water!! It is good for you. Just do it!
2. If you are prone to anxiety or bad sleep, manage your caffeine intake. I find that I sleep so much better and feel less jittery if I only have one cup of coffee and never after 1PM. This goes with getting enough sleep and making sure the bed stays a bed. Don’t start working and watching tv there, create strong boundaries and routines around that space.
3. Move your body. I know it’s hard right now with the state of the world, but force yourself to get outside and make time for yourself.
Where can we find you?
Blume is sold in about 400 retailers in Canada and the US. We have an online store here: itsblume.com with all our offerings and a retailer map! You can also find us on instagram at @itsblume.
If you liked this interview, you might like our recent interview with Merrill Stubbs, Co-Founder of Food52.