“Don’t dwell too much on what you can’t control, but take action where you can” with Kara Brook Brown and Dr. William Seeds

Change the Channel: If unhealthy thoughts or ideas are passing through your mind, or if you’re losing sleep over something, pick up a book, or turn on a movie to change your thinking. Don’t dwell too much on what you can’t control, but take action where you can. As a part of my series about the […]

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Change the Channel: If unhealthy thoughts or ideas are passing through your mind, or if you’re losing sleep over something, pick up a book, or turn on a movie to change your thinking. Don’t dwell too much on what you can’t control, but take action where you can.

As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kara Brook Brown, Creative Director, Waxing Kara. From the time Kara Brook could walk and talk, there was no question what her passion was. Graduating from crayons to charcoal to paint, her talent as an artist and commitment to that passion enabled her to finish high school early in order to attend Mica (Maryland Institute, College of Art) as a Visual Communications major. It was after graduating with a BFA that Kara’s life took a bit of a detour. It started with a small one-woman shop offering logo design and grew to become a 50-person, strategic Web marketing firm with national clients like AOL, The Justice Department and the White House and Halo Pets. After 20 years of putting business before art (except for the occasional escape to view art shows and collections across the U.S. and Europe), Kara decided it was time to return to her real love. Since selling her company in 2008, Kara has trained, focused and immersed herself in the art of encaustic painting. Her pieces tell a whimsical story about the friends, family and experiences that have made up her life. Kara is the founder of Waxing Kara®. She’s an artist with a fascination for beeswax. Kara paints and sculpts with encaustic, a paint made with beeswax, tree resin and pigment. Though you may not have heard of it, it’s actually been around a really long time. Encaustic art dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. Kara found herself going through so much beeswax she decided to take up beekeeping. She liked the idea of a sustainable art form, one that came from the earth into her hands. And once she learned about bees and how important they are to our environment, she poured as much passion into her bees and the honey they produced as she did for her art. That’s how Waxing Kara was born.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

Waxing Kara grew organically from my work as an artist. I paint with beeswax, and in 2010, I started beekeeping to harvest wax for my encaustic paintings. I soon learned about the importance of bees to our planet’s sustainability and the preciousness of honey. This knowledge inspired me to expand my role and create delicious honey lollipops, along with beautiful skin and body care products. Our entire mission at Waxing Kara focuses on the bees, sustainability, and feeling beautiful inside and out. We use natural ingredients that would not exist without bees, while promoting a socially conscious message about the importance of pollinators. And we draw inspiration from nature’s bounty and the understanding that putting healthful things into and onto your body makes you feel healthy and beautiful.

What makes our apiary different are the at least 40 acres that we farm specifically for bees. We began by removing the genetically modified crops from the area. In their place we planted high nectar yielding plants, like wildflowers, lavender, fruit trees, bee balm, buckwheat, clover and more. These plants don’t produce crops we can harvest and sell; but not everything is about the bottom line. We maintain these natural habitats to keep the bees happy and thriving. When the bees are happy, we’re all happy.

Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?

Change the Channel: If unhealthy thoughts or ideas are passing through your mind, or if you’re losing sleep over something, pick up a book, or turn on a movie to change your thinking. Don’t dwell too much on what you can’t control, but take action where you can.

Clear your Mind: While I find traditional meditation difficult, the Holosync Meditation Program is especially helpful for me.

Fresh Start: A clean slate with my diet when I’ve been especially indulgent always helps me reset. Especially after the holidays!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

When Anthropologie called to discuss our line, I thought it was my sister “pranking” me. It turned out to actually be Antropologie, and a collection of our lip products made their way into stores nationwide.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Not finding the right business manager immediately. I have always done well with creativity and strategy but not with the overarching details. It felt like a luxury, but it was a necessity. Knowing your weakness is important as you build a business.

When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

Bees are responsible for one third of the food that we eat. Producing honey is only part of our focus. Taking care of the land, and the ecosystem as a whole, is vital for everything I do as a beekeeper. Without space for our pollinators to live and work in, the environment around us would drastically change. Many plant species, from those we eat to the roadside wildflowers we enjoy during the summer, rely on the bees to be pollinated.

In supporting your local beekeepers, you’re doing your part to keep the ecosystem healthy, which it turn pours itself back into you. Raw honey has amazing properties for the skin and body, and we work to produce goods that make you look and feel beautiful.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Definitely my husband. He is my “everything”.This all started one day on a picnic. Really.On one of our first dates, my husband brought me to Chesterhaven Beach Farm for a picnic. We pulled into the property and drove as far as we could on the dirt path before we hit a wall of corn. We walked through the wall of corn until we reached the beach, picnic basket in hand.On the way, I asked, “Why corn?” He said, “When you have a farm, you farm crops.” I said, “There are so many other crops you could farm that are better for the planet.” He asked if I wanted to take over managing the farming. I said yes. After my art, that was really the first step in starting Waxing Kara.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Clean diet. Lots of greens and whole foods. And, encouraging everyone be in touch with nature and know where their food comes from. Recognizing the importance of the earth, and everything that goes into sustaining us, would help us be grounded, mindful, and healthy.

What are your “3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

1) I never realized how much space we would need to create a viable business. If you are going to get into manufacturing beauty products you need a huge amount of warehouse space to hold all of your raw materials, your containers, etc. because you are buying in large quantities.

2) I wish I would have known what level of effort inventory management was going to be. This business is a big commitment of time outside of simply making products.

3) The amount of detail and time that went into formulating our products, testing them and tracking each batch record is enormous. It would have been helpful to see this practice in action prior to starting.

If you could take one well known woman to brunch, who would it be? (Let another “woman in wellness” know that you respect her as a teacher and guide! )

Katie Hess. She’s the mind behind LOTUSWEI, a beautiful company focused on mindfulness and wellbeing through plants and flowers.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

I see both sustainability and environmental change playing a big role with our company, because of how closely we work with and rely on the bees in everything we do. Taking care of the environment should be a concern for everyone.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Our Instagram handle [email protected]: we put up content on there daily, and it’s the best way to stay in touch with what we do.

Thank you for these fantastic insights!

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