Karen J. Gerrard, Founder and Creator of SEAMS Beauty is the modern day woman balancing responsibilities as a business owner, mother and wife.
Born in London England in 1964, Karen nurtured her entrepreneurial spirit through education in the creative arts and fashion. In 1990, after working a decade in the fashion industry, Karen opened a successful fashion accessories store.
After several years, she chose to sell her shop to focus on her family and supporting philanthropic endeavours.
Karen’s passion for sewing led her to later pursue a Millinery course at The London College of Fashion. Her hands took a beating from the repetitive use of sewing needles, hot irons, and constantly being in water.
‘I wanted to buy a hand cream that would moisturise and help heal my sore, dry, pin-pricked hands, but didn’t transfer grease onto the fabrics. I couldn’t find one so I created SEAMS’.
During the next year, Karen worked with a pharmacist and formulated SEAMS Hand Cream.
Karen keeps production in the UK to support British manufacturing and to enable her to build face-to-face relationships. Karen is proud to have created the best possible mending, non-greasy hand care, and is now working on developing a full collection.
SEAMS launched at London Fashion week in 2013, and quickly became the go-to hand cream backstage at film and TV studios used by seamstresses and make-up artists.
SEAMS takes the practical need for comfortable hands, and has developed a beautiful naturally derived product that instantly renders skin soothed, soft, and silky to touch.
‘There is so much emphasis on looking after our faces, but it is our hands that show the real signs of ageing’ says Karen.
It’s a joy to welcome her to the blog:
Describe a typical day for you?
I wake-up at about 6:30 and the first thing I do is turn on my mac which can be a disaster as I can stay in the room for hours working! I try to peel myself away by 8 am or usually when my stomach lets me know it needs food, so it’s breakfast and some exercise at the gym or pole dancing first-thing.
I return home for a green smoothie and a shower and get back up to my office, then it’s often a lunch meeting, emails and social media on the go.
I’ll continue working at the office and I’ll sometimes go out in the evening. I’m usually back working on my mac late up to 1-2 am depending on whether my eyes can stay open.
My kids have left home for uni but there’s often things they need help with which get done during the day, we are all on a family group on Whats App which is great for communication and means we always there for one another. There’s often fun banter between us all, so we are never out of contact.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My children, first as I am so proud of them. When they were small, I did charity work running and putting on events, one of which was with The Prince Of Wales.
I am also proud of the fact that I now go to the gym and exercise every day, a simple thing for many but I wasn’t able to do this before as I used to feel dizzy and disorientated whenever I exercised. I found out six years ago that I have epilepsy and have had it all my life which was the reason I felt ‘strange’ at times.
I’m now on medication that has changed my life and which has helped me follows my dreams.
My biggest work-related achievement is SEAMS. Starting in 2013 and now selling both in UK and USA as the go-to hand cream for hardworking hands, I’m currently developing new products for dry hands and skin – the practical made beautiful.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
- SEAMS Hand Cream (Of course).
- Purse, Keys, Bottle of Water, Business cards, iPod.
- Unless I have to I am usually without make-up in the day so always have a Small make-up bag with just in case quick fix essentials – travel size Lancome hypnoses mascara, Charlotte Tilbury eye powder pencil, By Terry Terribly Densities, Mac Blot Powder, Chanel Les Beiges sheer powder.
- Notepad – Pen – Nothing beats writing something down.
- Magnifying eye glasses, I have these all over the place.
- Cashew nuts that keep me going as I need to eat little and often.
- Lots of weight in my bag but its fairly uncluttered as I tidy it out every night! That’s the Virgo in me.
What are your ambitions in life?
My ambition has always been to build a global company with something I’m passionate about.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
How much money it was going to cost!
What advice would you give a budding business woman?
My advice would be to follow your passion. And don’t overthink.
Also take advice- listen to experts in your field of interest. I’ve been fortunate to have come in contact with lots of lovely people who have helped show me the ropes of my new business.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years time I see myself running SEAMS as a global company.
What do you wish you’d known about motherhood before having kids?
I wish I had known how to be more relaxed with them. I finally achieved this by my third!
Finally, happiness is…
Happiness is to love and be loved, lying on a beach and eating chocolate!