5 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
Karen started in the music business booking bands and DJ-ing at Leeds university. In the late 80s, she took a job at Rough Trade Distribution climbing the ladder in a male-dominated sector by asking the right questions and learning the numbers. In 1990, she used her redundancy to start Key Production, which specialises in the design and manufacture of Vinyl CDs, DVDs and cassettes plus bespoke packaging for both music and a growing list of other industries.
Through first organic growth and then a series of acquisitions that added knowledge and expertise to the company, Key Production Group now comprises 56 people at four offices in England and is the leader in its field. Karen also built and owns a sustainable Hotel in Nicaragua as well as mentoring and speaking at schools and universities.
What would you love to share with other women to encourage them to start their own business?
DO IT! When you set up your own company it’s ok to feel scared, it’s ok to ask questions and it’s ok to fail. It’s the best feeling in the world when it all works out. Follow your passion and know your numbers. It was really important for me to have people around that supported me (friends and family) that I could talk to.
What are your top 5 tips for entrepreneurial success?
Follow your heart and your passion.
Know your numbers.
Build a good team around you.
Be good to yourself. Be yourself.
Who are the top 5 women who inspire you the most?
Don’t make me choose. The one that stands out is my Mum – I am because of her.
Musically – Debbie Harry and Siouxsie Sioux could do no wrong as my passion for music was developing – and what style.
Then I’ve got to go for Marie Curie and Jane Goodall for the scientist in me, the suffragettes in general, Anne Frank and Hellen Keller when I was a pretty young and we can’t go without mentioning Rosa Parks!
What is your favourite saying/Inspirational quote?
You don’t build a business, you build people and then people build the business
Website & Socials
Insta: @karenemanuel1 & @Key_Production
Twitter: @karen_emanuel1 @KeyProduction