We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Karasek and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kristen, what principle do you value most?
The principle that matters most to me is integrity. I want my staff, customers, students and friends to know that when I give my word on something I will follow through.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I never say “no” to a new idea. What sets me apart? I work hard, I learn quick, and never think I’m too good for any job that needs to be done. Teach a class? Sure. Write an email? Sure. Sweep the floors? Sure. I am willing to go the extra mile. After attending Dance Educators of America and competing with my collegiate dance team, I officially started teaching dance and working behind the scenes at Reflections in Dance in 2002. Additionally, judging dance competitions was always something I was interested in doing when I became seasoned enough to do so and I started to in 2018. But…I put judging on hold and I had my daughter Ella in 2018 and my son Maddox in 2019!

Speaking of new ideas…in around June of 2020 one of my oldest friends Nessie Clarke came to me with an idea for a children’s subscription box and asked if I wanted to partner with her to make it happen. It was a natural collaboration for me, as I loved the idea and am dedicated to working with children in all different capacities. We had both found ourselves home with our own kids round the clock with a growing disdain for the amount of screen time 2020 was demanding. So, voila! In September 2020 Boxo Holidays premiered. Boxo is a children’s arts and crafts subscription box that focuses on the different major holidays. Each box includes 4 different hands on/ screen free crafts for kids to do. We are so proud of our product and hope it brings joy and togetherness to families everywhere.

Aside from teaching dance one of my passions is altruism. After being diagnosed myself in 2008, I started fundraising in 2010 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. To date, I have helped the NMSS raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now, it is my honor to sit on the NMSS So-Cal & Nevada division’s junior Board of Trustees, aptly titled the Emerging Leaders Board.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Places that I love to eat: Shibuya sushi in Calabasas & Firefly in Studio City. One thing I love to do is spend the day at the beach in Malibu or Del Mar. One thing all of my visitors have always loved doing is going to see the Hollywood sign- it’s iconic!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
If there is any person or persons who deserve a shout out for my personal success (along with the success of Reflections in Dance’s 38 years as a business) it is my mom and dad. My parents, Doreen & Mike, opened Reflections in Dance together in 1982 in Brooklyn, New York. In the last 4 decades they have had as many as 4 studios operating at once, but perhaps most impressive is that they had bi-coastal studios operating for many years. They have seen the recession, they’ve seen a pandemic, they tragically lost their business partner, they moved cross country — but their steadfastness remained. While my mom has always run the day to day activities my dad has been behind the scenes steering the ship. Together the combination has always been magic. Without their constant love, encouragement and ‘ you can do anything ‘ attitude I would not be the person I am today.

Website: www.reflections.dance & www.boxocrafts.com
Instagram: @reflections_ca & @boxo_crafts
Facebook: @reflectionsindanceca & @boxocrafts

Image Credits
Yes I have the rights

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