October 07, 2014 Kari Gran


As you may know, we have this whole business thing down to a science (cough, cough). A healthy, happy Kari Gran-ish science. After working in the Seattle real estate market for nearly 20 years, we’re no stranger to early mornings, long days and hard work. But in starting Kari Gran, we knew “doin’ our own thing” would take a whole new level of self-commitment and dedication. Challenge, accepted.

Yes, we are able to give ourselves some slack here and there to enjoy the little things (read: mimosas, staying in our yoga gear all day on occasion, long lunches). But for the most part, our schedules have a pretty steady grind and we’re a fine-tuned, Lip Whip making machine. This is how we each do it on the daily:

Q: When and how do you start the day?

Kari: I usually wake up between 5 and 6 a.m. and have breakfast between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Weekdays are school days in our house, so things get moving pretty early.

Lisa: I usually start my day with a yoga session and back home around 7:30, and in the next 90 minutes, I have a pretty firm routine. I start with feeding my two dogs, Maggie and Carly, make a cappuccino and head out the door to take them for a quick walk. After that, I make breakfast for myself, skim The Seattle Times and The New York Times – the real paper versions, of course, and I usually have the CBS Morning News on in the background. Then, I shower, get dressed and meditate for 20 minutes, and then head into the office on my scooter.

Q: Do you always start the day with yoga?

Kari: I try to start Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with yoga. I just feel better mentally and physically when I do it regularly.

Lisa: Most days I wake up at 5:25 a.m. and head out to a yoga class that starts at 6 a.m.

Q: Check emails right away, or wait until you’re in the office?

Kari: I generally check emails before I leave the house, but not usually the moment I wake up.

Lisa: After having breakfast, I check the Kari Gran online sales figures from the night before and scan my email for any emergencies, but I don’t really open any emails that do not look urgent.

Q: What is your main day-to-day role in the business?

Kari: I mainly handle the ingredient sourcing and overseeing the manufacturing process. When running your own business, and given that this is a startup, you can always count on something new coming up – some anticipated items and many that are not. I also take part in fielding customer calls and inquiries; it’s alwaysto step away and talk to our fantastic customers!

Lisa: My focus is handling all the financials of the Kari Gran business. The rest of the day usually fills up with meetings and conversations with our ad agency, PR folks, web master, accountant, clients, marketing team or helping Jenny ship out orders. It’s a real mixed bag and that’s what I love about my job. Each day there’s all sorts of problem solving and trying out new ideas to see what works best.

Q: Do you step outside the office for lunch, or eat at your desk?

Kari: I’m trying to start a habit of stepping away from my desk and head upstairs to the loft, but I may never return back downstairs! For now, it’s usually at my desk.

Lisa: Like Kari, I like to get away from my desk. There are slim pickin’s for food in our neighborhood, so sometimes I bring in leftovers from the night before and other times I take a long walk to a restaurant in Lake Union to have their Caesar salad. The best lunch of all is when one of us gets takeout from our favorite Indian Restaurant – Shanik. The portions are huge, so we usually eat for two days off of a Shanik run.

Q: Where do you fit in product formulating?

Kari: I’m always thinking about color and playing with ideas for a new Lip Whip, like the new shades in our Limited Edition Holiday Set launching this November. I do believe that if something isn’t broken, you don’t fix it, so I don’t toy around with the skin care line formulations. That can be a slippery slope to the opposite of a minimalist approach to skin care, and I’ve lived that life of baskets full of product, and life is just a little bit easier for me with a few good basics.

Lisa: I leave the formulating to Kari, but love to test any new creation she makes.

Q: Who is overseeing orders and making sure they go out?

Kari: It’s a group effort, but our lead of operations, Jenny, does the job Monday through Friday. During our skincare sale in September, we had all hands on deck, even Sally the Shipping Dog!

Sally the Shipping Dog

Lisa: Jenny is our go-to gal for shipping, but most of us chip in whenever possible.

Kari & Lisa




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