Kalmar is a London based lifestyle and wellness brand encompassing fashion and beauty borne from a concept grounded in wellbeing and mindfulness.

How did it all begin?

It all began with a desire to create products that will help you to connect to a moment of sacredness, allowing you to focus on self-care and to retrieve the feeling of self-love. At the age of 29 during a career in finance, I received a very strong spiritual calling to stop and listen to my inner voice. It was at that time that I became a spiritual writer. Throughout my path, I have always known words are powerful. Scents too carry a vibration and energy that help people connect to their true self and to the good energies they need in their life every day.

What sets your business apart?

There is total integrity to Kalmar’s goal and vision in creating products that promote inner joy and make you feel better about yourself, whether it is with the scents or the kaftans.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

Wellbeing. Helping people to find balance in their life. Helping people to be self-reliable, finding their energies of love, peace, calm and joy. I think today we all live in a very demanding world, we all struggle through the judgments and the demands of society. We all run to create what we think is the best life. And women even more so, as we have such a panel of obligations and are more pressured by our image. Kalmar is a brand that understands this with compassion and care.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

We are planting the seeds right now to expand the collaboration with spas that embrace the same vision. We have created amazing healing treatments with the four Kalmar scents. Each one brings you something different, allowing you to learn how to connect to your deeper self but also realign your whole body with the energy you are aiming at – with a beautiful, relaxing and reenergising massage.

Karen Ruimy

Founder of

Kalmar

What do you feel passionate about/what
drives you?

I am a passionate woman; that drives my life choices. I am an artist by essence, a dancer, singer and writer. These are my true passions. They are burning in me and leading the path to my joy. The energy of passion develops so much joy within that you fall in love with your life and become so creative and positive. Passion or doing what you love is key to your expansion.

Share an example of early life that has
shaped you?

Going on stage for the first time in a big theatre.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

The first is when I found myself in a lab with my friend the talented nose, Tom Kosmala. It opened in me another field of knowledge but essentially one of consciousness. Scents feel like musical notes when you discover them and their incredible subtlety. I felt so passionate about them and how incredible the field of possibilities with scent really is. The second highlight revealed the opportunity for me to create the prints for our kaftans. I started by contributing and then became totally involved as every collection brought its own inspiration. With the team we create the prints like paintings. Again this brings me lots of joy.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

To be patient when developing a great product. Really patient. Never leave a doubt in this process because you always regret it down the road.Trust your gut feeling always. I cannot repeat this enough to all entrepreneurs and to myself! What an amazing tool we possess. Sadly we pay dearly when we don’t believe in this feeling.Enjoy the process. Enjoy your company, enjoy working with your team, take care of them. A company is another family you gather in your life.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Who are your direct customers? How do you connect with them? Work on that.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

Listen to your true desire. Write it down. Trust your gut, your intuition. Enjoy your creation. Be resilient because the journey is bumpy. Enjoy the ride and smile.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

A group who believed in the vision.

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

I hired a team to create the kaftans and I had to part from them. Then I had the whole baby in my hands. I had never worked in fashion. I had to pull up my sleeves and figure it out. Yes I love clothes and I have a great sense for them but I had to learn a lot in one go. I was anxious at the beginning but saw I could not let go of the brand as it was already an entity that was happy living – and I loved it. I took it on as a challenge and slowly tried to find the right people for the brand. Right people at the right place. Being humble but demanding. Learning on the road. My faith in the brand gave me the energy to learn and find I could do it and dig in my creativity. There is no accident when your journey changes. Embrace it – oulala!

Why is it important to support women-led business?

Women are so brave in that they have to be the giver in the family, the womb in all manners of speaking. At the same time they need and want to express themselves out there in the world. Women come today with amazing talents that they finally dare to share. They are needed in a world lacking compassion and feminine qualities. The world has been shaped around male values so it is a hard path for women to succeed. It is time for them to shine and to be supported in any way. Women are amazing when they team up together.

60

Seconds

with

Karen Ruimy

My inspiration is...

The best flamenco dancers… it just creates in me a wave of emotion and creativity that is beyond explanation. And reading a spiritual master - just a few lines lift me up and open up my field of though.

My greatest fear is...

Being alone in a foreign place without any connection and funnily enough it is also my favourite dream. Hard to understand but it is. Taming this fear is always bringing me to great discoveries of places and myself.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

Going on stage at the age of 35 in one of the most of the most prestigious theatres in Paris. Or leaving my million dollar job for my spiritual path.

Guilty pleasure?

No doubt chocolate and meditating, or meditating with chocolate!

Mantra you live by?

ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY.

Female role model?

Simone Veil.

Women-led brand you love?

Maria Bravo and Eva Longoria for the Global Gift Foundation, which started as a dream to give back and help women throughout the world. The Global Gift Gala has done amazing work, helping many foundations in different countries to sustain schools and orphanages. It has now opened a children's treatment centre in Spain to help those suffering with rare and chronic diseases. These two women are just full of energy and generosity.

Top productivity tool?

Be calm and centred, all will follow with grace and clarity.

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