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5 Business & Life Lessons We Learnt From Annabel Karmel

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Annabel Karmel is one of the world’s leading experts in children’s nutrition. The mother of three, who founded a business at her kitchen table after the tragic death of her first child, has successfully pivoted to digital and navigated the rise of social media with an app – and has her own food line, too. On Tuesday 4 June, Mumble Forum hosted 40 guests at Sparrow Mayfair for an intimate Meet The Founder lunch with Annabel herself. Couldn't make it? Below, we recap Annabel’s five golden pieces of wisdom from her personal and professional life so far.

  1. Her biggest regret? Lacking self confidence

When we asked what she would do differently looking back at her life? “Plenty!” she laughed. But, what was clear, was that it wasn’t the business decisions themselves that Annabel would change – it was her self belief and self confidence. Nods of agreement echoed around the room. For Annabel, it came down to wishing she’d taken leaps earlier for herself, rather than waiting to be approached.

  1. Build a community and engage – properly – with your audience

Annabel is passionate about really nurturing her audience and using their insights and feedback to shape her business and brand. She told guests the particularly poignant story of how, when one of her food products was taken out of production, parents of neurodiverse children – some of whom found change difficult to navigate – contacted her asking for alternatives. Annabel’s solution? She sent them the recipe to re-create the products at home. Even now, if you comment on an Annabel Karmel social post, she is the one herself personally liking, commenting and sliding into your DMs.

  1. Being a mumpreneur made her a better mother

Annabel’s daughters Lara and Scarlett (who looked on from the audience) are both entrepreneurs. With Lara working for her mother’s brand, and Scarlett as co-founder of Sensus Collective, Annabel’s entrepreneurial values have had a profound, positive effect on her family. Annabel’s advice for working mums? Quality not quantity when it comes to time with your children.  

  1. Embrace change and innovation

Having published her first cookery book over 30 years ago in 1991, Annabel’s business has navigated the digital revolution. Launching her app was one of her biggest moves – and it was all down to listening to her audience and meeting their needs where they were. Now, parents can make use of Annabel’s app to quickly put together nutritious meals for their children with whatever ingredients they may have. As with many digital products, fitting into your audience’s daily routine is far more successful than demanding they adapt to you. And, when it comes to social media, Annabel knows a thing or two: with 500,000 followers on Instagram, being an early adopter and embracing change has truly paid dividends.

  1. Authenticity is everything

Annabel’s driving force, and the reason behind her unerring motivation, is rooted in the tragic loss of her first child Natasha. Determined to give her three subsequent children the best nutrition possible, this was how she first developed her passion for food – a passion and drive that still remains to this day. There is vulnerability in Annabel’s story and authenticity behind her “why” – something she encourages all business owners to find.

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