Women Who Own It
Kari Warberg Block
Founder & CEO
What inspired you to start your business?
I had a run-in with a rodent on the farm, in a real up close and personal way! I didn’t want to use poisons or kill methods to stop the problem, and prevent the $$$ damage. Once I learned that 98 percent of the available options were toxic, or kill, and that no one company had plans to develop something naturally effective, I founded EarthKind. Today, 12 years later it’s 90 percent kill/poison methods.
What challenges have you faced as a women entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
I became an entrepreneur out of necessity. My challenges were poverty; geography (from a farm in western ND); no industry experience; no education other than a 11-month certificate in hotel management. What I did have was a strong purpose to change an industry by making it easy to be kind! That means developing innovative products that worked better, and then making them accessible, affordable, safe, and super easy to use.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Your company can only grow as big or as small as your vision.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
Lowe’s! They’ve taken us under their wing, and we’re all super grateful!
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
The trend towards buying from companies who are ethical — 50 percent care about this now in our category.
What three traits define you?
Observant, challenging, kind.
What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?
Risk, 24/7 responsibility.
What do you love about being a business owner?
The power of the contribution I/we can make to society and the environment, and even policy.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Go for the ask!
How do you define success?
Being part of showing people who they are at their best.
What’s your favorite career moment?
My funniest was when my kids found me in the National Examiner magazine one page before Lady Gaga! “Mom makes millions from a mouse.”
What’s the best way to start your day?
I spend 5 minutes each day before I get out of bed being grateful. For everything, anything. I try to list 50 new reasons each day. It’s amazing what a difference this makes in attracting more of the things I’m grateful for, and keeping stress in check.
At night, I thank all of the people from the day that I appreciate, with a prayer of blessing for them and family.
How do you unwind after a long workday?
I sit by the water, and empty my mind. It’s a type of mediation. The sound of the water, whether real or imagined calmed me and puts me in a blissful, lighthearted state.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... first create context.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… live a day at a time.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… love.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… do an act of service. It gets my mind off everything, and I always come back with a fresh perspective.
EarthKind develops and manufactures naturally effective pest prevention products for caretakers of homes and businesses.