Karen Smith Parry

"We" are technically "me"...Karen Parry, a girl from North Vancouver, BC however, I do have many people who chip in & help me from time to time and if things keep going the way they are, we will officially be a "we" very soon.

I grew up in North Vancouver as a major tomboy. I had three brothers, no sisters and lived in a neighborhood full of boys so I spent my days doing anything I could NOT to be given a head-start just because I was a "girl". I purposefully avoided things that made me stand out as being female. If I only knew then what I know now, I would have been a savage skateboarder, street hockey player, song writer, flower picker, baseball player, dancer, water skier, seamstress. You know...A GIRL! 

My parents died way too early of both cancer (my mom) and ALS (my dad) and though I know genetics play a roll in many cases of each, I also know environmental elements participate too. When I had my three sons I began to be paranoid about the possibility that I would receive a similar fate to them so I began investigating things I could do to make my life on this beautiful planet just a little bit longer...this was mostly food focused though.

Because I am still such a true tomboy at heart, beauty products were never really on my radar. I mean, I have always LOVED make up and putting it on to get ready for a night on the town but I never moisturized or took any kind of care of my skin. I slept in my makeup almost every night if not every night but as I approached my mid 40's a light went on. It was probably the wrinkles on my face flashing "You're getting old you loser!" that got me moving in the right direction. Clean products that work...THAT WORK! Not as easy a task as you might think.

Around this time, I was approaching 20 years in the beauty industry on the wholesaling side and I started noticing a huge ground swell of interest in the clean beauty industry. Add to that, the fact that I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a never ending cycle of creative marketing ideas (my passion is photography/film), you've got all the basic factors that brought me to Next Level. I seek clean brands with incredible results created by independents as I too am an independent. Some of our brands have been globally recognized and I hope all of our brands reach that kind of success. They all deserve it.