It all started when I gave a speech last month to a group of local women entrepreneurs. Whenever I speak to an all-female group, I feel comfortable sharing one of my “secret weapons,” as women seem super-interested and open to it.

And that is my color palette.

I’ve written before about how I have been working with a colorist since the early 1980s. Jennifer Butler’s expertise is in helping people look their best by wearing the colors, patterns, and textures that make that person look their best. In her studio in Los Angeles, she has more than 10,000 color swatches that she uses to select the perfect colors and textures to match a client’s eye color, hair color and texture, and skin tone.

Over the years she has also added the dimensions of personality and energy to her color consultation, which give insight to her clients about their season. (In personal color analysis, people are often assigned a “seasonal” color palette, meaning a particular group of colors related to that season.)

For the last seven years (since I last had my color palette done), I’ve been a “Tawny Spring.”

So, after my speech, I thought it might be a good time to revisit Jennifer to see if there have been any changes to my color palette. That Saturday morning as I was getting ready to drive to her house, I had second thoughts. Maybe there was no reason to see her. I was certain that there really hadn’t been any major changes in my coloring. But I did have a gnawing feeling about the fact that during the past couple of months, each time I went shopping and tried on colors and styles that were on my palette, they no longer felt good to me.

So I walked into Jennifer’s house a few minutes before our consultation. She was just concluding a workshop with other clients, but I saw her when I walked in and smiled at her. I could tell from the look on her face that she didn’t recognize me. Once I said my name, she caught herself and said, “Welcome.” After we chatted for a few minutes, we moved into her studio. That’s when she shocked me.

“Karen, you have become a Summer,” she said. “And actually I did not recognize you―you have changed so much.”

Now that may not sound like a big deal, but when you have been dressing like an energetic, cheerleader-type Spring for a long time, hearing that you are now a “twilight, full of grace” Summer is quite a shock.

For the next three hours, I watched Jennifer select an almost completely different color palette for me. My eyes had darkened. My skin was pinker. She encouraged me to darken my hair back to its original color, so it would complement my skin and eyes.

Here is my former palette, when I was a Spring. You can see that the colors are brighter.

Here is my new, Rose-Bronze Summer palette.

As she selected my new colors, Jennifer noticed a few hairs around my face were a bit curly and asked me about that. That’s when I reminded her that I have naturally curly hair, but have been straightening it and blow-drying it straight for more than 30 years. I told her that when I was a young girl, people made fun of my curly hair; they called me names. There were no happy memories associated with curly hair.

That’s when she made a life-changing comment: “It seems that you are in a period of personal transformation and authenticity. Perhaps you might want to consider wearing your hair natural.” That was a pretty heavy thing to hear. But since my divorce was final seven months ago, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a period of self-reflection. And I could not get the thought out of my head about what it would be like to be the real me. Curly hair and all.

So, I took a deep breath on Monday morning and went to work with my naturally curly hair, dressed in colors from my new palette. People in the office did not recognize me. They asked me what I did to my hair; my answer was “Nothing. This is my natural hair!”

As a matter of fact, since all three of our summer interns have naturally curly hair, we had a Curly Hair Day in the office. It was empowering for all of us as we gathered for our photo!

It’s been more than two weeks now since I decided to be me. The real me. The authentic me.

I’ve had friends comment: “You look fantastic, happy, and like a different person.” Other friends, when they see me, say nothing. (I think they are in shock that I have dared to go natural.) Just this morning, several of my work colleagues commented that I look so happy, thinner (that was a plus!), and more calm, like a totally different person.

Are you asking yourself, “Am I wearing the colors and styles that make me look my best?” Or are you thinking, “I can’t afford to have my colors done. I’ll have to get rid of so many of my clothes.” I encourage you to check out the videos, before-and-after photos, and information on Jennifer’s website.

While it can be scary to buck fashion trends and peer pressure, finding out what your palette is and dressing accordingly can be an amazing thing for your self-esteem, your personal confidence, and for your success in your career and personal life. Being authentic in how you present yourself makes a phenomenal difference.

Left: Me, dressed as a Spring, being someone who I am no longer. Right: Me, dressed as a Summer, my authentic self.

Karen

 

Book now for the popular California-grown purple sweet potatoes, exclusively available from Frieda’s Specialty Produce

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Organic Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes

Los Alamitos, CA (August 2017) – Shoppers’ favorite Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes are back in season and ready to ship on September 6. Plan your ads now and pre-book the trendiest item in the sweet potato category from Frieda’s Specialty Produce.

According to recent research from Welch Foods, shoppers are seeking health benefits from colorful foods, especially antioxidant-rich purple.

“Shoppers have been contacting us wanting to know when the season will be starting. The Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes definitely have a cult-like following,” said Alex Jackson Berkley, senior account manager of Frieda’s. “Purple foods continue to be a hot trend, and purple is definitely the new orange when it comes to sweet potatoes.”

“Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes are a must-have item for retailers to include in their fall table resets,” said Berkley. “Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes are also ideal to promote pre-Thanksgiving, winter holidays, the New Year, and Easter/spring.”

Organic and conventional Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes are available from September through May in 15 lb. and 40 lb. cartons. Every potato is labeled to reduce front-end checker error. An organic 12/3 lb. bag is also available.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

OK, we’ve all read about the solar eclipse coming up on Monday, August 21. It will be the first time in 26 years that a total solar eclipse has been visible from the United States.

Many people are flocking to Portland, Jackson Hole, and St. Louis to experience the moments of daytime darkness in person. For me, I know I can view it online, and that will suffice.

What’s really on my mind is to share some insight I’ve gotten into why so many people, including some heads of state in particular, are acting so darned weird right now.

Here is the context, thanks to Gahl Sasson of Cosmic Navigator, a good friend of mine:

A lunar eclipse, the most recent of which happened on August 7 in Aquarius, is kind of like an Old Testament version of Valentine’s Day. It’s a great day to spend with friends and lovers. It’s also the time to end a relationship that isn’t working and to say goodbye to a personality trait in yourself that you don’t want anymore. “Overall, since it is an eclipse and lunar, you might feel [overly] sensitive and emotional,” Gahl says. “The werewolf in you might come out, so please be careful with your reactions.”

Mercury is in retrograde until September 5, mainly in Virgo (Read more on my previous blog about Mercury in retrograde). “Right between the eclipses, when the energies are the most intense, the planet of communication and negotiation is going on a vacation,” Gahl says. He warns of unnecessary perfectionism and criticism, and recommends not signing legal documents, making big purchases, or starting important projects.

Monday’s solar eclipse takes place in Leo. Gahl says “something significant” will happen in the U.S. with “long-lasting effects… Most likely it will quicken the fall of political leaders, CEOs, and other powerful leaders. You can say that the biggest economy [on] the planet is going through an open heart surgery.” On the other hand, it’s a good day to start something related to “love, children, happiness, sports, and entertainment,” he says.

This all makes perfect sense to me as I’ve been reading the news of companies replacing their leaders (Wells Fargo Bank, Uber, and Mondelez, for example) and potential changes in countries’ leadership around the world. It’s easy to get overwhelmed.

But then, I had a feeling this was coming. I believe that the change in energy in the universe has an enormous effect on everyone. So, if people are acting a bit tense, moody, or it seems like your communication’s been haywire since last week, you can just blame the cosmos!

Karen

P.S. It seems obvious, but  do you really understand the difference between a lunar and a solar eclipse?

In a lunar eclipse, the earth casts a shadow on the moon. At least two lunar eclipses happen every year.

Credit: NASA

In a solar eclipse, the moon casts a shadow on the sun. And of course, even during a solar eclipse, we should never look directly at the sun. Solar eclipses happen once every 18 months.

Credit: NASA

The specialty produce company partners with wholesalers and foodservice distributors to inspire new food experiences for children nationwide

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Back to School FFVP 2017

Los Alamitos, CA (August 2017) – For wholesalers who supply school districts, planning begins now for the coming school year! Frieda’s Specialty Produce can help its customers get to the head of the class by offering exotic fruits and vegetables for the school snacking program and the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP).

“We offer customized programs with fun and exciting fruits and vegetables like starfruit and watermelon radishes. They can really set our customers and their school districts apart,” said Jeff Kelly, sales manager of Frieda’s. “Thanks to our unique product selection and our team’s expertise with FFVP, we know what a school district needs and we can help win the bids.”

The FFVP grants funds for elementary schools to offer free fresh fruit and vegetable snacks, helping kids learn to make healthier food choices. “We’re making an impact on America’s future and our growers’ sustainability in the industry,” said Kelly. “Kids love to try new things, especially when it’s colorful, flavorful, and fun; specialty produce gets them excited about fruits and vegetables.”

Wholesalers and foodservice distributors interested in including specialty produce such as rambutan, cape gooseberries, baby bok choy, and organic finger limes in their FFVP should contact Frieda’s account managers today.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

Last month I visited some dear friends on Bainbridge Island in Washington. Each morning, my friend Liliana would make us breakfast. Before breakfast, we would sip our coffee, sitting around in our bathrobes and chat about the day.

But I noticed that before she had her cup of coffee, she sipped on a mug full of something else. I was curious, so I asked her about that practice.

She told me she drinks a cup full of hot bone broth every other day, first thing in the morning.

Bone broth?

Liliana assured me that there are some health benefits to bone broth. So I decided to do some research on my own.

According to this article in Shape magazine, drinking bone broth can help with joint pain; create a healthier gut and stronger bones, hair, and nails; improve sleep; and more.

In researching a little further, I found even more information from one of my favorite spiritual and healing authorities, Louise Hay. Wow―who knew?

It is starting to make sense to me. What’s the classic “bone broth?” Homemade chicken soup. When we get sick with a cold, that’s the classic dish we’re told to consume. Perhaps that’s why some refer to chicken soup as “Jewish penicillin.” Supposedly, sipping on hot chicken soup, the homemade version made by simmering the bones and carcass of a chicken, along with onions, celery, and carrots, will hasten your recovery.

By the way, broth and stock are essentially the same thing. Some describe stock as being more viscous from the collagen that seeps out of the bones during long-term cooking. Bone “broth” has become the trendy name, even though it might actually be closer to a traditional stock.

From healing your gut (something we should all be concerned with), to getting natural collagen to make us look younger, to the rich, satisfying savory flavor that comes from sipping the broth (or enjoying bone marrow spread on toast at a special dinner), I definitely am intrigued with my newest discovery.

It seems as if I learn something new every day!

Karen

I’ve noticed a lot of companies are updating the look of their packaging. Sometimes it’s the sign of a company truly trying to better resonate with consumers.

Driscoll’s old label (left) and new label (right)

Other times, I wonder if they got a new marketing agency that said, “It’s time for a brand refresh,” but it didn’t make a discernible difference.

Or an already successful brand has new features and benefits to highlight.

Angie’s old branding (yellow) and new (purple)

And other times, some old-school brands say, “What the heck, we’re staying with what we have.” Which I respect.

So when I saw the trade ad for Bragg organic dressings and marinades, it caught my attention.

I’ve written about Bragg before, as its apple cider vinegar has become quite the popular ingredient in the latest elixir, a healthy “cocktail.”

And I love Bragg’s products. And they definitely stand out at the grocery store, not because they are attractively packaged with the latest graphics, but rather because they are unique-looking. Distinctive.

And that distinctive look is also authentic.

I did a little digging on the company’s website, which resembles its packaging, and the story of Paul Bragg and his daughter Patricia is filled with passion, conviction, and a genuine concern for health. It was refreshing to read their homey stories and testimonials from ordinary people, peppered with endorsements from Katy Perry, Clint Eastwood, and a few others.

So next time a marketing agency or your new marketing person suggests you need to refresh your brand, redo all your packaging, or more, step back and think about the motivation behind that.

I think the authenticity of your brand is most important, even if you break all the rules with your look, like my friends at Bragg Products. Sometimes, just when you are getting tired of the look of your packaging or your logo, it’s about the time that consumers are starting to recognize it.

Karen

Latest trends article points to growers, distributors, and chefs creating the next ‘it’ vegetable

Source: Wall Street Journal

Los Alamitos, CA (August 2017) – What makes produce trend? Wall Street Journal writer Karen Stabiner sought out to answer that question in the newspaper’s latest food trend story, “Forecasting the Next Food Fad: Are ‘Kohlrabi’ and ‘Yacon’ the Next Kale?” published on July 27.

The author reached out to Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, as well as top-trending chefs and farmers, to report on the new urgency of fruit and vegetable trends and the increasing demand for the latest items at restaurants, grocery stores, and home delivery services.

“…Caplan has never seen anything like the current scramble for marquee produce. ‘Information travels at the speed of light’ in the Instagram era, she said. The next big thing gets a lot more exposure, and faces a lot more competition,” said the article.

Stabiner discusses the synergy between farmers and chefs with exclusive new vegetables, both on the small scale and larger scale, touching on items like kohlrabi, broccolini, escarole, and tropical root yacon.

Stabiner explains that national distributors like Frieda’s often take a more strategic approach to trend-building, requiring a product to have “volume and a decent shelf life.”

“For example, yacon was brought to our attention a few years ago,” added Caplan. “But the volume was limited and shelf life was just not viable for retail.”

Other trending items mentioned in the article include jackfruit and Frieda’s exclusive Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes—both with good shelf life, great volume, and stable supply to be available anywhere and almost year-round.

Watch Karen talks about how produce trends:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoVqiE2ekRc]

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.