In this episode, Mark Baratto sits down with jewelry creator Karen Moore of Zen by Karen Moore.
We talk about her past corporate life, when she began designing her jewelry, her inspiration, and of course her husband’s blue eyes 🙂
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More on Zen by Karen Moore
Nature surrounds in the Florida Keys – where the sun, breezes, shifting skies, and turquoise water combine into something like a second skin. Life is saltier and brighter in this part of the world. You feel more intuitive and vibrant here. It’s a way of being that infuses ZEN by Karen Moore jewelry. Zen is what you see and experience in each piece. ZEN by Karen Moore jewelry settles the soul, like warm sand on bare feet.
Karen Moore creates her jewelry pieces by hand, inspired by her life on the ocean and her travels. Her jewelry works alone or in layers, depending on the weather of your mood. It tells a story in gemstones, whether a speck of Amazonite on a suede cord that adorned your neck the day you needed a bit of good luck; the chunks of Labradorite anchoring a ZEN Wrap® Necklace chosen for its transformative power the day you started a new job; or a mala bracelet strung with conch shells and freshwater pearls worn to feel close to the ocean. Formed deep in the earth’s layers, in volcanoes, and by the tides, gemstones hold concentrated energy and beauty that magnify when worn on the body. Try on. Tune in. Find your ZEN.
From Corporate to The Conch Republic
Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Karen Moore felt a connection to nature as far back as she can remember. The first phase of her professional life took place in the corporate world, where she worked in software and accounting and traveled frequently. She lived many places, including Spain and the Florida Keys (where she met her future husband, Clint). Karen savored the landscapes of wherever she landed – be it the sun sinking down behind a rugged mountain line, lush green trees swaying in the breeze, or the fluid ebb and flow of the coastline. In quite the same way, she found herself irresistibly drawn to gemstones, collecting strings of beads from various markets, without a full sense of why.
The first piece of jewelry she made, a prototype of her signature ZEN Wrap, was inspired by a necklace she inherited from a beloved aunt. In 2008, work landed her in Arizona, where her connection to nature resonated. She attended her first Tucson Gem Show, meeting suppliers she has maintained to this day.
Karen’s first trunk shows took place in windowless conference rooms, where she sold to coworkers and word-of-mouth clients attracted to her creations. Soon, this work became her “real job,” and she and her husband moved back to the Florida Keys to live in the sun and salty air. Now, the way Karen lives is inextricable from work, whether it’s living with positive intentions, free diving in the shallows of Florida Bay, working with aromatherapy, or making smoothies from local mangoes. The balance in her jewelry reflects the balance in the way she lives.