KAREN ROSE KOBYLKA
Award-winning makeup artist and hairstylist.
Natural-born spiritual medium and psychic.
Business coach, author, and all-round boss woman.
These are just some of the terms used to describe Karen Rose Kobylka, the Canadian entrepreneur and thought leader whose inspirational 35-year career in the beauty industry has led to a thriving beauty empire. Her wide-ranging, intuitive knowledge of business and beauty has made her one of Canada’s beauty experts.
From working with celebrities and high-end clientele in the media, to developing her own professional makeup artistry programme and line of beauty products, to pioneering the mobile beauty industry in Canada, to scaling up her beauty business empire from only 3 salons to a whopping 16, Karen’s achievements have been recognized with multiple awards and news features, alongside holding the keynote speech at Canada’s largest beauty show, The Allied Beauty Association.
Karen is now focused on developing a number of exciting business ventures including Boom Global (boomglobal.ca), a membership training program for hairstylists who work in seniors’ facilities, and Simply Mobile Solutions (simplymobilesolutions.info), an online community bringing mobile beauty technicians together. Simply Mobile Solutions is set to launch in fall 2020.
Karen, who is currently based in Vancouver Island, recently penned her self-help memoir ‘Soul Dance: A Hero’s Journey’ - a powerful true story that details how she overcame multiple life traumas to emerge as the hero of her own journey.
KAREN ROSE KOBYLKA
Karen Kobylka is more than just a businesswoman and beauty industry expert — she’s the hero of her own story. Through decades of success and struggle, Karen has been relentless in the pursuit of her own happiness, and she’s been inspiring others with her story and coaching skills ever since.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Karen Kobylka has turned painful, life-changing setbacks into a catalyst for business success multiple times. No matter how tough life got for her, she got tougher. From surviving sexual assault and bullying early in life, to managing death and divorce, to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Karen found ways to use her trauma as a catalyst for her strength.
From Beauty Beginner to Business Boss
Karen had always loved making others look and feel beautiful. As a natural-born spiritual medium and psychic, she let her intuition guide her, at the ripe age of 17, to enroll at the prestigious Estelle Academy of Hair Design in Edmonton. Before long, Karen was winning awards for her hairdressing techniques and, after renting a chair in a local salon, soon became a hair and makeup instructor for the Academy. Her exciting, rollercoaster career as a successful businesswoman was set in motion.
Within a couple of years, Karen helped pioneer Canada’s mobile beauty industry after partnering with The Mobile Hair Company, one of the country’s first mobile hair services. Her career began to snowball. Karen became a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist for weddings and in productions across TV, film, and theatre, with a number of elite athletes and Canadian celebrities on her client list.
Karen decided to set up In Motion Style Group, a 5000-square foot salon and spa headquarters with a full staff team of over 12 industry professionals. The business also included its own brand of hair, makeup and skincare products called “In Motion Cosmetics” as well as a makeup academy. Ready to turn the brand into a nationwide franchise, Karen dived headfirst into managing operations for the rapidly-growing business without taking a breath until, one day, she had a near-death experience. Karen realized her busy working life had masked a chronic health issue that could have been fatal. She swallowed her pride and walked away to heal for six months, turning the business over to her partner in the meantime.
But the business couldn’t survive without Karen. Her plans for a nationwide franchise were over. Left with only three small salons located in senior hospitals and facilities, Karen was faced with a tough reality: she had to start again.
Swapping Struggle for Success
Despite the setbacks, Karen pushed forward. She sold In Motion Style Group and, having recovered from her health issues, kicked into high gear. She started a new business, Golden Age Divas, and managed to rapidly scale those three small shops up to sixteen beauty salons that were all located in seniors’ facilities. Karen’s golden touch had created another empire - and again, she had plans to take the senior brand, Golden Age Divas, nationwide.
Karen, who prides herself on developing systems and protocols, quickly became the leading figure for consulting and contracting services for senior facilities of all levels of care across Alberta. She was nominated for the Alberta Women’s Entrepreneur Award and the Global Women of Vision Awards. Then, at the top of her game, strife struck again. After a series of life-changing experiences including the death of her parents and a painful divorce, the tireless routine of work and stress became too much. Karen was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Once Karen fell ill, she had to choose between her mental health or her business. The entrepreneur followed her gut and closed Golden Age Divas to save herself.
Leaving Her Legacy Behind
Since the closing of Golden Age Divas, Karen moved to be by the ocean on Vancouver Island. She began a new life and nursed her health back to its optimum potential, coming out stronger on the other side. She has since become an advocate for those suffering and recovering from mental health and sexual assault issues.
Following her recovery, Karen has published her first self-help memoir, ‘Soul Dance: A Hero’s Journey’ - an empowering confessional story that details how she overcame multiple traumas like rape, suicide and loss to emerge as the hero of her own journey.
Today, Karen is a consultant and coordinator at Kat’s Hair Studio in British Columbia. She’s also now become a certified Law of Attraction life coach, which follows the philosophy that your thoughts and actions become your reality. It’s the belief that your thoughts can change your life for the better, and that you can make your dreams a reality.
A natural builder of businesses, Karen is putting her own dreams into action and starting her own consulting business alongside challenging herself to learn new web and business skills with a private coach.
Karen’s transformation is only just beginning.