We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Lindsey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Karen, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In 2003, I was diagnosed with Stage III, Her2 positive breast cancer, and received radiation therapy for six weeks in which I was recommended 4 types of topical creams to help with radiation burns, and irritation, but unfortunately, I received no relief. So, I started researching and experimenting with natural ingredients and produce a topical lotion, which didn’t extract chemicals, and immediately produced results in the healing of my skin and discoloration. After having much such success, I began sharing with family, and friends with the same condition and with other forms of irritated skin such as eczema and received amazing feedback and results. Knowing the impact on the general health of your skin and the outward appearance of it can have on your self-esteem, and your confidence, I decided it was important to not only share my creation of a soothing lotion, but also educate others on healthy and natural ways to combat cancer, and other skin irritation related diseases. This began my journey in creating NERAK Natural Essence, an all-natural skin care product that soothes, nourishes, and moisturizes all skin conditions, such as burns caused by radiation therapy, sunburns, eczema, and dry skin.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have over 30 years of experience in training and development. I graduated with an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts degree. I am a Certified Project Manager, Course Design and Developer, Developing A Curriculum (DACUM)) Facilitator and Systematic Curriculum and Instructional Designer (SCID). What sets me apart from others is I took my love for educating and serving others and the struggles of being a black educated woman in an organization that did not support promoting Blacks in senior leadership positions. In addition, I continued to make strides in my field while battling breast cancer and created a natural solution, NERAK Natural Essence lotion when there was not a natural alternative for me. I overcame some of the challenges by continuing to press forward and networking with senior leadership. There are many lessons that I learned but most specifically that everyone brings something to the table regardless of their position or status.

I want the world to know that you can survive anything and I am passionate about working with the cancer community to educate them on skincare during treatment to ensure they do not experience the same kind of misinformation and lack of resources that I experience.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first day would be an overnight stay at the Ritz Carlton which would include a day at the spa and dinner while catching up on old times. The second day would be a cultural experience attending the African American National Museum and later that night we would be a night out on the town listening to jazz. The third day would be site seeing around the DC metropolitan and an intimate dinner cooking my favorite cuisine (my famous enchiladas) and making my signature drink (lemon drop) with friends just sitting around sharing stories. On the fourth day, I would take to the local markets and finish up with dinner at Capital Grill, my favorite restaurant. On the last day of the visit, we would go down to the national harbor for a boat tour from Maryland to Virginia to have dinner at the Chart House in Virginia.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give my shoutout to Corey L. Stevenson, Jr., author of Mommy has cancer: What I learned about cancer and how I helped my mommy. The book inspired me in many ways but especially how supportive he was of his mom and how he was able to articulate and share his experiences with his classmates at such a young age.

Website: www.NERAKNaturalEssence.com

Instagram: @neraknaturalessence_llc

Twitter: @NERAK_skincare

Facebook: NERAK Natural Essence, LLC by Karen

Youtube: NERAK Natural Essence by Karen

Image Credits
All photos were taken by me.

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