Karen is a Redford, MI native who began Clever Container with her best friend, Jennifer Weaver, in the basement of their Grosse Pointe homes. In 2006, after attending a Pampered Chef party, the light came on and the two women decided to open a party based business for organizing. They were the first of its kind.
Karen’s background in organizing and Jennifer’s business acumen created the foundation for what is now a true partnership. The two women made very thoughtful choices that played heavily into the success they have carved out today. If you look at the timeline, Clever Container began right before one of the worst economic recessions in history. Their strategy to build a direct selling business played right into the faltering economy’s hands.
The two women chose to start a business which invited others to share in their mission. They took on independent contractors instead of hiring full-time employees as they grew. They kept things lean. They worked out of their basement office until 2011 when they decided to take on partners. By this time, they had a proven business model. They expanded cautiously and were able to keep with the times by building out their website as the need for a stronger internet presence grew. Some of it may have been luck, but the overall message was repeated time and again in myriad ways. Slow and steady growth wins the race.
In 2006, Karen and Jennifer started with a vendor show, an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper and 12 products. Today, they have over 3000 consultants, 216 products and a beautiful catalog that gets released every quarter. If sales continue as projected, the company is slated to earn $3 Million this year. By measuring their progress and consistently checking in to make sure that their vision and goals were aligned, these two business partners have managed to create a lasting business model and join an elite group of female entrepreneurs.