We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Stuth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Satiama, LLC was born in a conversation with my sister Susan as we envisioned creating something that would offer people what we called ‘the many pathways’ — the many choice paths to whatever was transcendent for them. We just wanted to invite people to feel free to explore different ideas and thought systems. So, we began as a blog, inviting guest writers and readers to share and chat. We wanted to provide something positive for people who might be searching — a place to read and explore.
Yet Satiama has always had a two-pronged test regarding anything we offer on our website or that we publish. First, we required that all articles, titles, and products come from the heart, from a place of love and respect. Second, we also asked that they be non-exclusive in nature — not propose that the author’s ideas be presented as the only right idea, the only correct way of thinking or living or being. Exclusive thinking is contrary to the ‘many pathways’ that was foundational for us from our first day.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In my heart I have always been and will always be a ‘mixed media’ artist — blending together my musical training and skill with my business and creative writing abilities and even my legal background to able to see a concept as a finished product from the first conversation and loving the journey in between. For example, I hold Bachelors and Masters degrees in music. As a pianist I learned so much about the architecture of a work of music, and how closely sound and color and texture work together to create something new and utterly amazing, for each musician crafts a piece of music into something new through their own, even very subtle, interpretation. I learned that some compositions require the musician to obtain greater technique — to be able to do something very new — and was just a part of adding that work to your repertoire. At Satiama, there was never any question that we were not going to obtain the skills we needed, and we generally leaned into the goal.
But my musician’s mind and training also taught me to multitask at an extremely high level and gave me the discipline to pursue my craft through spending hours alone at the piano. I strongly believe self-discipline is a foundational element to success in anything, along with learning from what doesn’t work to find a better way and a better idea or simply cast away a non-working element. My tenure in academic, legal, and corporate life gave me a strong appreciation for collaboration and the extreme value of teamwork. I had the absolute pleasure of working with and for some difficult taskmasters who always challenged me to be more and to do more, because they knew I was capable of that. But quite by accident, they also taught me to be a virtuoso problem solver and I do still believe there is really and truly a workable solution to every problem.
By the time I started Satiama, I was well-armed with many skills I hadn’t realized I had acquired, but the experience of entrepreneurship will bring out both the best and worst in anyone. I identified what I still needed to learn and aimed myself at acquiring those skills; technology, e-commerce skills, advanced marketing, and so much more. I relished learning them because to me it was not different than learning a new piece of music, along with the additional technique and tools required to perform it. I encourage everyone reading this to never shy away from changing careers or following a path or a doorway that is opening before you. It has not appeared by accident. Pursue your passion and do what you really, truly love, and you will acquire what you need along the way.
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.
I adore when people come and visit me in Colorado, because this really has to be among the most beautiful and historically interesting places in the United States. Taking them on a road trip to Glenwood Canyon, to wine tasting on the Western Slope, and then down to beautiful Durango, to Mesa Verde, and back to Denver with sights along the way — Great Sand Dunes, Bishop’s Castle — is always an amazing experience. I love watching as my visitors’ eyes light up at the sheer beauty of our state — the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks Ampitheater….too many awesome places to mention — but no visit is complete without dinner in Denver. I am convinced it is not possible to have a bad meal there. My favorites would include Rioja down in LODO, and El Taco de Mexico. But my list of favorites is probably a half mile long! It’s not possible to drive around Colorado and not also encounter the amazing people who live here. They are always the icing on our delicious cake.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Satiama is a group success story, which includes my sister Susan, and our close friends who listened and offered their input and guidance. It includes the early bloggers who gave us marvelous articles — too many to mention, and an amazing graphic designer and artist Michelle Williams, who helped to give our brand a signature look and feel and build gorgeous websites for us. Near the top of the list would be Catherine Rosek, who helped us to build the word “Satiama” from three core concepts. It especially includes Dr. Steven D. Farmer, a well-known mind*body*spirit author and teacher whose faith in us gave us our first publication — Children’s Spirit Animal Cards — which is still today our flagship title, selling well around the world, as we were drawn inextricably, like a tractor beam, into publishing in the mind body spirit industry.
But our detractors also made us stronger and better as they caused us to examine our core premises and to continually rebuilt and reinvent ourselves toward the company and brand we are today. I am perhaps most grateful to them as they forged us through ‘fire,’ making Satiama Publishing an even better version of itself.
Photo, Adriana Carlson Photography