We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Gwartzman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting a new business, for me, stemmed from fulfilling a need to service a gap in product development and open the opportunity for entrepreneurs, on a full-time or part -time basis , to enter into the e-commerce space from the comfort of their own home. Retail Business as a whole has changed dramatically with the introduction of e-commerce. Never before has anyone been taught the step by steps to successfully start and build a retail business online, make a residual monthly income and have more personal time to do the things they love. I had the knowledge and step by step processes in place to share with entrepreneurs around the world.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My company is called Private Label University. I educate entrepreneurs and service based businesses on how they can use physical private label products as an additional revenue stream to attract more clients, strengthen their brand and make more money. As I previously mentioned… I was a stay home mom whose life consisted of the wiggles and blues clues. I loved being a stay home mom but the entrepreneurial bug was eating at me. I wanted to make my own money, create a successful business and make a difference. It was that drive that motivated me and still motivates me to where I am today. Was it easy? Not in the slightest. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea what to do or how to do it. I just had the vision of what I wanted to accomplish. It was the help of my mentors that gave me the knowledge and I learned what I needed to become an expert in my industry. That didn’t take overnight to do. My mentors helped me with the how and the who etc… And connected me with the right people. Now it is my turn to do the same and one of the main reasons I started Private Label University… I was fortunate to be mentored by the best and without that mentoring and support I would not be as successful, professionally or personally. Private Label University main focus is on Mentoring and educating because that is what gave me the tools to my success. If I can give even just one super impactful Ah-Ha, secret or tip that would propel someone closer to their vision then I know I have succeeded. That is our mission at Private Label University.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ah… I am a big foodie so the week would be channeled around food. I would start with the following food categories and we would hit… 1.Mexican – Los Chingones Mexican
2 Desert – Voodoo Donuts
3 burgers – Root Downs Veggie Burger Sliders
4. Seafood – Jax – Rocky Mountain Oysters
5. Indian – Yak and Yeti
6. Sushi – Izakaya Den
7. Ice Cream – Little Man Icecream
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Where do I begin… The biggest thank you goes to my life long mentor, my dad. Being an entrepreneur himself I had the opportunity to watch him grow one of the largest pharmaceutical chains in Canada. One of the biggest lessons I learned from him was that… When you are close to getting to were you want to go, Fear will always step in to challenge you. Many times fear stopped his growth and opportunities were lost. From that much regret emerged. He shared that it wasn’t until he recognized the pattern and how fear presents itself was when he was able to move pass it, take the risk. For me, like for many, the fear of falling or failing is uncomfortable but is super important to learn move pass it regardless of the outcome as either way you will learn from the fall or gain from the opportunity.
The second most important mentor is my co-founder and husband, Neil. Neil is really my motivation behind my business Private Label University. He taught me the in’s and out’s of private labeling and marketing of products. With his 30+ years of international product development and his experience in making household name products for the big chainstores, I had the best of the best mentor living right in my house. It was with his knowledge and expertise that I was able to bottle the Private Label blueprint process and share it with Entrepreneurs who had no past product experience and knowledge giving
them the opportunity to start a business and make money.
I do want to give a shout out to my kids… I was a full time mom before I started Private Label University. Being a mom was and still is, the best part of my life and would not trade that for the world. However it was also a full time job and one that didn’t pay well… When Neil started sharing his Private Label Product secrets with me I saw it as an opportunity to build a business with of my own and an opportunity to make my own money., outside of being a mom. Private Label University grew into an opportunity for for other moms and entrepreneurs to do the same, create an opportunity to start a business and make money on the terms they wanted. I didn’t give up my responsibilities as a mom, I enhanced them. I was a now working mom still present for my kids and creating an identity and purpose of fulfilling a long time dream. I built my business from home. I thank my kids for being so loving and my cheerleaders as I grew my business and as an entrepreneur.