Artfully Audacious Roots
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.”
- GEORGE BERNARD SHAW -
As a spirited child growing up in an underserved area of Baltimore, she declared herself a painter at age four. Her parents didn’t have much, but they allowed Kara to take art lessons from a neighbor who championed annual art projects to benefit the local youth. The experience shaped her life.
In each of her teen years, Kara selected a cause (like American Cancer Society and Sickle Cell Anemia) and requested contributions from her community. Kara’s father always encouraged her caring spirit, but when he passed away while she was still in high school, Kara was forced to set aside her philanthropic efforts and leave school to provide for her own family. She started a business in order to get through college.
With that same focus and fiery energy Kara’s father had fostered during her childhood, Kara obtained her GED along with a dual degree in Visual Communications and Art History from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She accomplished these academic goals while working her side-hustle as a graphic artist. A formidable career in design and then communications technology followed. Ultimately, Kara bootstrapped her own successful communications business, which she later sold to allow her to return to her artistic roots and painting.
Today, Kara specializes in a painting technique known as encaustic, a method that uses heat to melt and fuse layers of beeswax, tree resin, and pigment. As she engages in this ancient medium, Kara feels a kindred spirit with the bees — her purposeful, community-minded companions.
When Kara shared her first harvest of Spring Wildflower on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, friends and family were thrilled by the pure, unique flavor. She felt so connected to nature and the rich earth of the farm that she wanted to do more. Like a bolt of lightning, Kara’s next chapter struck her imagination: Creating a business that shares the benefits of honey and the flowers that feed the bees.
By the second harvest, Kara was creating artistic and natural products from her expanded hives and the farm’s bounty: lavender, sunflowers, clover, tupelo, and more. What next? she wondered. A perennial optimist determined to “figure it out,” Kara established Waxing Kara™ — the precursor to Bee Inspired™ — as a brand rooted in nostalgia yet soaring toward an adventurous future.
While Kara’s entrepreneurial mission is to create hand-crafted, results-oriented products, her personal mission is to advocate for underserved youth who have that go-getter moxie. In 2002, Kara established a scholarship foundation in her Father’s name at her alma mater, MICA, which has awarded two scholarships per year to aspiring art students ever since.
More recently, Kara has evolved Waxing Kara to the broader Bee Inspired brand. Bee Inspired brings new opportunities to experience natural solutions for life’s occasions, drawing inspiration from nature’s bounty and those tireless bees. All while promoting eco-sustainability and entrepreneurial advocacy.
Kara’s pay-it-forward ethos extends to her support of the One Tree Planted non-profit organization along with her participation on the board of VisionWorkshops, a worldwide non-profit organization teaching the art of photojournalism to underserved youth who struggle with verbal and written communication. This program, often taught by National Geographic photographers, encourages children to learn and communicate in new ways. Read more on how Bee Inspired gives back.