Feeling confident about yourself, particularly in your underwear, is impossible when you're bloated, uncomfortable and your tummy just doesn't feel right. Introducing Karen Collins, Founder of Happy Tummy co. and expert on gut health management.
Karen is the epitome of the phrase 'If you want something done properly, do it yourself'. After curing herself of debilitating IBS through the use of her unique high fibre breads and recipes, her totally refreshing take on health is one that that we can finally relate to. Her expansive knowledge of all things gut related is mind blowing and her rare, no nonsense approach is captivating. As you can see we are totally charmed by her!
We had a fabulous sunny morning at Karen’s dreamy Clapton home where the magic of Happy Tummy co. began. Now operating from an East London bakery, the business is due to start shipping nationwide and about to launch in NYC.
My house in Lower Clapton, E5. A 5 minute walk from the river and Hackney Marshes - ideal! And within walking distance from my work and epic places to eat!
AT THE MOMENT YOU ARE...
Professionally I am working on expanding the Happy Tummy co. range. On a personal level I am reconnecting with the true me. The happiest version of myself. Turning 31 in February was a real turning point. Shit just seemed more real and out of that came huge focus, strength and happiness. I'm working on keeping those alive and well!
WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO ON A WORKING DAY? DO YOU HAVE ANY RITUALS?
Check the Happy Tummy co. instagram from bed and emails. Customer service is really important to me so I make replying to our community a morning priority. From there I'll jump into workout gear if I'm doing a boxing class or something. I like to get my workout done in the morning first thing if I'm doing one at all. Workouts are a part of my new routine! :)
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
Making people happy. Seriously, I feel like I was born to make people happy. Since childhood that has been the one consistent thing that has driven me.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU’VE TAKEN?
Walking the jungle in Ooty, Kerala in India for 10 miles by myself. I didn't realise I was in so much danger until someone from the camp I was staying at found me in his 4 x 4 and said he was surprised to find me still alive. That was definitely one of those times I knew the danger that lay before me but trusted nothing bad would happen.
HAD YOU ALWAYS ASPIRED TO DO YOUR OWN THING?
Yes! From childhood I've always been in leadership roles. Since about 10 years old I committed to the idea that one day I would help people through preventative medicine. I'm terribly decisive. When I commit to something in my heart there is no breaking that promise down.
THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE IF...
Everyone made it their priority to be happy with who they are. I believe that through doing this one can have a hugely positive impact on the community around them.
EARLIEST LONDON MEMORY:
Driving into London at night from Heathrow airport after getting off a plane from Shezhen, China to relocate from China to London. It was the most exciting car journey of my life as I knew I would be setting up my first home and business in London eventually.
MOST ROMANTIC THING SOMEONE’S DONE FOR YOU?
Moved to China with me.
BEST LONDON MEAL:
The plate of pasta, basket of bread with olive oil and glass of wine I had at Padella in London Bridge for lunch on my 31st birthday by myself. EPIC in every way!
FAVOURITE LONDON DISCOVERIES:
P. Franco in Lower Clapton - best natural wine selection in London.
Belli Fuori on Chatsworth Road - best hair salon in Hackney run by the most incredible Italian lady called Giovanni.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD:
It is so chilled and so vibrant at the same time. There's an incredible sense of community and access to Hackney Marshes gives you that country feel when you need it. There are so many amazing coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and almost all welcome your fluffy friends!
UNFORGETTABLE LINGERIE MOMENT, GOOD OR BAD:
Pissing my pants when I was 4 years old during a violin rehearsal. I was exceedingly shy when I was younger and started playing violin with Suzuki School of Music aged 4 which was super strict! Breaks were sparse! Halfway through rehearsal I was bursting for a pee but was too nervous to ask for a break. Uncontrollably I just started pissing whilst playing Vivaldi. My Mum was there and brought me straight to the bathroom, threw the pants in the bin and got me the hell out of that music room as fast as lightening! I laugh so hard about it now. Distance is a great thing!
WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG/POCKETS ON THE DAILY GO?
Poop bags and doggie treats, lip balm, a notebook and pen, oyster card, wallet, a hair bobble, a tampon and business cards.
IF YOU COULD WORK WITH ANYONE WHO WOULD IT BE?
Victoria Beckham. To watch a woman grow a global brand and her own personal brand the way she has done is awe inspiring.
WHAT DO YOU COLLECT?
Wine... kind of... unless I throw a big dinner party (which happens regularly) and we end up going through the collectables! :)
FAVOURITE LONDON SHOPS?
London Borough of Jam just off Chatsworth Road.
69b Boutique on Broadway Market who sell sustainable fashion brands.
Eat 17 on Chatsworth Road.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST THRILLING WORK INCIDENT?
Having some of my biggest icons sign up as Happy Tummy customers.
ARE THERE ANY MOMENTS SINCE YOU STARTED WORKING ON HAPPY TUMMY THAT PARTICULARLY STAND OUT?
I am so grateful for all the moments that Happy Tummy co. put me in situations where I met people who have gone on to completely enhance my life. I never imagined my business would bring me some of my best friends. A lot of positive change has come out from being around those very very special people.