We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen L. Dade and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
No Risk! No reward! I know that it probably sounds like a cliche, but it’s definitely the truth. Nothing in life is a guarantee and it’s all predicated upon taking some form of risk to some degree. For me, the foundation of it is faith. Faith in God and in my capabilities and abilities.
So, risk has played a major role in my life and career. Of course, we know the pandemic changed a lot for a lot of us. I lost my job and I decided well you know what, I’m going to step out and start my own company and see where it takes me. Here I am two years later with a successful business and career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My company is iKARE Essentials, LLC and we sell SEAMOSS. Seamoss contains 92 of the 102 minerals that the body needs for optimal functionality. It helps to regulate your thyroid, blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, plus a plethora of other things. You can check out my website at www.ikareessentials.com to see all the other inherent benefits. When I started it, I prayed that God would give me what I needed to stand out above the crowd and offer varieties that no one else does. We have Pina Colada, Apple Pie and Berry Berry Not Contrary just to name a few.
What sets me apart is first and foremost, Me just being Me. Nobody can do what I do better than me. It’s not cockiness, but confidence in what I know I was created to do. We all have a mark that we’re supposed to leave in this world. It’s up to each of us to hone in on what that is and make sure that we complete the assignment. I am an advocate for natural healing. This is not to take away from what doctors offer. They definitely add value to healthcare but I believe that in addition to traditional medicine and healing, there is a place for the things that are offered from the land. I take pride in ensuring that my customers are educated and get quality every time. I also add other herbs and spices that enhance the product to boost it to another level of healing.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Out of all the things that I do and have done, I’m most proud of my book “Behind the Collar.” It depicts my life from being molested as a young girl and the journey that it took for me to get where I am today. So many people have experienced similar narratives, but what makes mine so powerful is that I’m living in victory, and I am no longer a victim of what someone else chose to do to me.
What are some of the challenges you face?
Because I wear so many hats the biggest challenge I have is just being able to juggle it all. Nothing in life worth having comes easy. It takes hard work, perseverance, and consistency. I overcome them all through prayer, staying grounded and walking in humility.
Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being a comedian is super rewarding because I get to make people smile. I have had several tell me that they were in a bad way but read something that I posted on Facebook, and it made their day. Then being a CEO is amazing because I get to provide people perhaps a better quality of life due to the product that I offer. If I can help just one person, then my life would not have been in vain.
Let me say to the world that your age does not determine your destiny. I’m a late bloomer. I went back to school in my mid-forties. I have an A.A.S. in Fitness and Exercise, B.A. in Sports Medicine, and an M.S. In Nutrition. I became a standup comedian at 55, “Special K’s Komedy Korner.” An author at 56. Award-winning author and starred in my first play at 57. I started iKARE Essentials, LLC at the age of 57. I will be 59 in December and I’m Not Done Yet! Keep pushing & persevering even through adversity and it will be worth it ALL in the end. 😊
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Downtown Chicago without a doubt. We have some of the most iconic places in the world. One thing would be Jazzin at the Shedd Aquarium. There are several places where you can sit and see the lake shore. It’s an amazing view. Depending on the day that you go, you can also witness fireworks which is one of my favorite things. Lol. Also, the unbelievable animals that live inside. Some of the displays are astounding.
If you’re really into breathtaking views like I am, there’s the signature room on the 96th floor. At night the whole city is lit up. OMG it is absolutely stunning.
Then there’s shopping. The Magnificent Mile offers tons of upscale shopping like Bloomingdale’s and Nordstroms. You will also be able to see some of our landmarks like the historic Chicago Water Tower and the Neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. Oh, and not to mention the 100 story John Hancock Center, which has a rooftop observation deck and fine dining. This is making me want to go downtown right now.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Who deserves the credit 1st and foremost I would have to say is God. My whole life and everything that I do is predicated upon my relationship with him. He is the one who leads and guides me. He gives me strength, divine protection, and direction in every aspect of my life.
I definitely get my strength and tenacity from my mother Ursula I. Dade. She is 93 years old and will be 94 in December if God sees fit. She has endured a lot in her life, but she still stands strong.
My spiritual mom, Mary Jones. I believe that God strategically places people in your life at different times contingent upon what it is that you need. When I went into the ministry, I had no clue what to expect or what to do and she has been an amazing spiritual force.
I would be remiss if I did not mention my beautiful 29-year-old daughter, Kianna M. Grant. You have no idea when you become a parent what it’s going to entail, the sacrifices you must make and how pivotable that moment is. A lot of what has given me my drive and motivation is so that I can be an example to her, so she can look at me and see my tenacity as an example of no excuses and no boundaries. She is proving to me each day that it is a privilege and an honor to be her mother. When I look at her, I see a reflection of all that I have instilled in her and it is extremely fulfilling. I’m a proud mother!
There are also others who have been supportive like my sister, best friend, niece and nephew.
Linkedin: Karen Dade
Facebook: Karen Dade, Special K’s Komedy Korner, Behind the Collar
Youtube: Karen Dade. Special K’s Komedy Korner.
Other: TikTok – Karen Dade
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