Inspiring Individual - Annabel Karmel

In the second part of our interview with the inspirational Annabel Karmel, Annabel shares her top tips and inspiring story to help other mums transform their passion into a thriving business and become a successful mumpreneur ….


Inspired Mums is delighted to have contributed to your new book for mumpreneurs. What do you think are the biggest challenges for women who return to the workplace after having children?

Finding your guilt threshold.  Of course everyone feels guilty about leaving their children to go to work - but some mums wouldn’t be good mums unless they had a career so don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s vital that you believe in yourself, which makes confidence as important as competence.

I believe it’s important for women that motherhood is valued in its own right but equally true that having children shouldn’t necessarily be the full stop at the end of a CV. Shattering the glass ceiling with a changing bag over your shoulder is no longer limited to the realms of fantasy!

You are one of the UK’s most successful mumpreneurs – what advice would you give other mums dreaming of starting their own business?

After building my business empire from scratch at my kitchen table with three children in tow, I’m proof-positive that anything is possible if you have passion and determination.

I had a compelling story, and every smart business needs one – what’s yours? Having a genuine, emotive story connects people with brands. That ‘why’ behind what you are offering not only gives people a reason to connect with you, but it is what will fuel your passion to make you want to succeed.

Most people also think that being an entrepreneur means you have to come up with a unique invention. But that’s not the case. You don’t have to pioneer something new; you just need to do something better than anyone else – something that outshines your competitors.

It’s also important to make the most of your networks. You’ve got to be willing to go out into unfamiliar situations; be unafraid to talk to people who have knowledge and experience and, above all, be prepared to listen. As Dale Carnegie said “you can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”

How important do you feel it is to follow a passion when starting a business?

Don’t start a business just because you think it will make you money. You don’t stand a chance if you are not 100% passionate and committed. The more you believe in your idea and in your chances of succeeding, the more likely you are to do just that.

Of course, we all have doubts from time to time – but if you are really passionate, those niggles shouldn’t prevent you from doing something that you really want to do. And remember, you can outsource to fill in any gaps in your skill set. However, it’s likely you’ll discover lots of transferrable skills that will put you in good stead. 

Do you have any regrets?

I absolutely love my work and I always say that if you choose a job that you love you will never have to work a day in your life. What you do for yourself dies with you but what you do for others lives on. I hope that my recipes and the work that I have done in the field of children will continue.

I honestly believe that you make your own path in life and you learn from any mistakes you make. Many established people and products rose to their pinnacle thanks to criticism, doubt and mistakes - not a smooth supportive journey to the top. It’s the bumps in the road that foster perseverance, ensuring that you constantly fine-tune your idea.

I learnt the value of persistence with my very first book which was turned down by over fifteen publishing houses before a book packager realised its huge potential. Each rejection letter could have been enough for me to doubt the viability and worth of my idea but I continued to believe in my pitch as I knew I had a well-researched product.

The opposite of success isn’t failure, it’s not trying. If you seldom fail there is a good chance you’re playing it too safe. Failure rarely feels fun at the time but the lessons it teaches are likely to lead you to greater successes in the end. Persistence and focus, rather than regret, got me to a good place. If you want life to be magnificent, you can’t expect it to be easy.

What’s next? Have you got any exciting plans for the next year or so that you can share with us?

I’m incredibly excited about the launch of my brand new book Mumpreneur.

After building my business from scratch at the kitchen table, I’m now using my wealth of experience in juggling the demands of work and motherhood to help equip other mums with the confidence, skills and tools to set up their own businesses.

As well as sharing my own incredible story, I’ve included inspiration and advice from a host of inspiring female leaders, including Fiona Clark, and leading business owners such as Chrissie Rucker MBE, founder of The White Company, Wahaca’s Thomasina Miers, and Nails Inc founder Thea Green.

From believing in yourself and your idea, to finding a niche and taking on investment, each chapter embraces a different ‘ingredient’ for success to help mum-based enterprises set-up, grow and flourish. 

This spring, I’m also launching a family cooking app which includes all my favourite recipes for all occasions. It also includes a fun interactive cookery course for children. Watch this space!



Mumpreneur (published by Vermillion and sponsored by Direct Line for Business) is out now.  Check out Annabel’s Mumpreneur resource hub at, or connect on Twitter and Facebook.




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