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Annabel Karmel 'The most important ingredients in the recipe for success'



Annabel Karmel, a baby expert and mother of three, is a truly inspiring figure for women. She began her business journey at her kitchen table and has evolved into a respected and motivating source of guidance for mothers in feeding their babies and children. Her entrepreneurial success story originated from her love for preparing tasty, wholesome meals for babies, kids, and families. Since the release of The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner in 1991, Annabel has authored 50 books in more than 25 languages, developed her own food product lines, weaning tools, and meal planning/recipe app.

Her most recent creation is a book titled Mumpreneur: The Complete Guide To Starting And Running A Successful Business. In this book, she reveals the keys to her success, offers practical advice, and shares inspiring anecdotes from prominent business figures and working moms, aiming to empower other mothers to pursue entrepreneurship.


1. What was the inspiration behind starting Annabel Karmel?


My career began as a musician, specialising in the harp. I studied classical music at the Conservatoire in The Hague, Netherlands, and later at the Royal College of Music in London. My initial professional engagement was performing at the Savoy Hotel in London, an incredible experience. The loss of my first child, Natasha, who tragically passed away at 13 weeks old due to a viral infection despite being born healthy, prompted me to transition into the realm of nutrition. Even though Natasha's passing was not related to diet, I felt compelled to create a lasting legacy for her. When my second child, Nicholas, showed signs of fussiness with food, I struggled to find appealing recipes to entice him, which led me to develop my own. After receiving positive feedback from fellow mothers whom I shared my recipes with, I decided to compile them into a book based on scientifically researched nutrition - the New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner.


2. You're living proof that you don't need a business degree to build a successful business brand, and you're on a mission to empower moms to become their own boss. Was this your big motivator for writing your book Mumpreneur?

I wanted to write Mumpreneur to empower women and to demonstrate that anything is possible even if you have kids in tow. I would always get mums coming up to me asking about how I set up my business so I thought I would share the secret ingredient to my success to help others on their entrepreneurial journey.

I wanted to prove that shattering the glass ceiling with a changing bag in tow is no longer limited to the realms of fantasy and Mumpreneur is about providing a support network for women and giving them the recognition for what they do.


3. What is your opinion on why certain women have a negative view of the term 'mumpreneur'? How do you feel about it?

Some individuals have a negative perception of labels, regardless of their intended significance. Personally, I find the term "mumpreneur" to be highly empowering. It is commonly embraced by women who manage their own businesses, showcasing their entrepreneurial spirit while balancing home and family responsibilities.


4. Based on your experience, what key elements do you believe are crucial for the success of mompreneurs? Have you identified any similarities between your own path and the stories of the women you have interviewed?

The biggest ingredient needed is confidence. It takes real confidence to return to start-up a business after having children – and self-belief is absolutely vital in order to succeed. Confidence is just as important as competence – if not more so.

Mumpreneurs also need passion. If you’re really passionate about what you do and believe in, then this trait will shine through for your kids to see. Henry Ford famously said ‘Think I can’t and you won’t. Think I can, I will and fly!’ I wholeheartedly believe this.

It’s also important for mums to find their niche, which doesn’t mean inventing something new, but often just doing something a lot better than what is already out there. Focusing on a small section of a marketplace helps you to connect with and engage with a specific audience.


My niche was providing nutritious and tasty recipes for babies and children, and it’s from building credibility in this area that I’ve been able to expand. That one book has created a global brand. All the remarkable women I interviewed for the book are highly skilled and a great source of inspiration. Through their hard work, they have reached their current positions, driven by their equal passion for their work and the confidence to pursue their ideas without being afraid of failure..


5. How did writing a business book differ from writing recipe books?

It was different but hugely rewarding. It actually felt like a natural step for me. For over two decades, I’ve blazed my way through challenges, stumbles, and setbacks while juggling family life to make it as a business owner, and this was my chance to share my learnings and inspire other moms to follow their passions.

It was also humbling to have so many amazing businesswomen come on board to contribute with their wisdom. Their advice is priceless in inspiring women who want to do something for themselves but don’t have the self-belief or skills to turn their pipe dreams into a reality.

6. What have been your three proudest business moments to date?

Back in 2006, I was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for my work in the field of child nutrition. I didn’t believe it until I saw my name in the newspaper. I’m passionate about making a difference to people’s lives, and this award made me realize that there was a lot more that I wanted to do.


A significant achievement has been transforming my well-loved recipes from my books into high-quality food products available in supermarkets. Recognizing that cooking from scratch may not always be practical, I dedicated effort to developing baby and toddler product lines that offer the familiar taste of home. These ranges have achieved global sales exceeding 5 million copies and have been translated into 25 languages.


7. What does the term ‘the world is your office’ mean to you?

It’s a great saying! It suggests that everything is in reach and as long as you have the confidence to go out and work hard for it, you will achieve success. The world is your oyster if you want it to be.

 

Join us this 4th of June as we are thrilled to host Annabel Karmel for an intimate Mumble talk and seated lunch at our partner location Sparrow Mayfair.

During our insightful conversation Annabel will share with us the secrets of her success and journey as a female founder: Drawing on her own extensive experience in juggling motherhood with building a thriving enterprise, she will equip you with the confidence, skills and practical tools to supercharge you and your business.

 

The event will feature a 3-course meal, goodie bags, networking opportunities, and an inspiring talk. We are excited to have you join us on the 4th of June. Please mark your calendars. And book your seat HERE.


‘Mumpreneur: The complete guide to starting and running a successful business’ (published by Vermillion) is available HERE. Check out Annabel’s Mumpreneur resource hub at www.annabelkarmel.com .


 

Photo credit:

Katerina Astrella founder of visualmarbels.co.uk


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