Karen is the CEO/co-founder of Montanya Distillers and Zoetica. When Karen started Montanya in 2008, she was the only female in a male-dominated industry in the US. This impacted her ability to gain respect, buy materials, sell her products, be safe from sexual harassment, and be taken seriously in her work. It also impacted the willingness of banks to lend her money, the willingness of investors to get involved, and venture capital firms to say yes (in 2018, female founders received 2% of venture capital in America and 4% of bank financing).
Karen watched male colleagues with smaller and less successful companies access resources regularly denied to her. Yet she persisted, stayed focused, and refused to let circumstances deny her success. Now, after more than a decade in business, her companies produce double-digit growth annually, and she is one of the larger private-sector employers in her community. She is known for training and mentoring women nationally, and she is the founder of The Women’s Distillery Guild, which is now part of Women of the Vine and Spirits (WOTVS). Karen leads the Women in Distilling group at WOTVS.--- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/freeman-means-business/support
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