Today’s #RealLifeWonderWoman is peas-itively (yes, peas-itively) one of the most caring people I know. She’s also one of the smartest, savviest, most creative business women I know. Like Wonder Woman, she balances the dichotomies of softness and toughness, compassion and grit, intelligence and instinct.
Cheryl Karpen is the Peas-ident (yes, Peas-ident–are you catching a theme here?) and creative genius behind the Eat Your Peas brand. Her publishing company, Gently Spoken, is dedicated to helping others communicate love, hope, and encouragement when individuals can’t find the words themselves.
Cheryl believes life will be messy, yet beautiful, sometimes difficult, and often hilarious. She is convinced if we know we are loved, believed in, and know our life has purpose and meaning, we can survive and even thrive. I am thrilled for you to meet today’s real-life Wonder Woman…Ms. Cheryl Karpen!
KR: Cheryl, can you tell us about what brings you joy and fulfillment?
CK: Making a difference. Helping others communicate what’s on their heart and mind. Watching others succeed and soar.
KR: We all have inner superpowers. What are some of yours?
CK: Connecting the dots—to a brand, a dream, a chance meeting, a heartbreak, a book idea, a word, a disappointment or a setback.
KR: Can you tell us about an influential woman in your life and how she inspired you?
CK: A village of women have inspired me! My friend, Chrissy, inspires me because of her positive spirit while enduring years of cancer treatment. My friend, Diane, inspires me because she teaches little ones who are like monkeys in her classroom yet they may grow up to be a doctor, farmer, or entrepreneur because their first grade teacher told them they could be anything they want to be. My friend, Kris, inspires me because she never gives up no matter how difficult the dream or challenge. She’ll take on the medical community, city leaders, small and big thinkers. Kris believes in the possible. I could go on and on. Who inspires me? Everyday women who I am honored to call family and friends.
KR: If you could have one super-human power, what would it be?
CK: A cure for cancer.
KR: What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?
CK: Traveling, kayaking, reading, listening to people and their stories—often strangers. Taking walks and listening and observing the beauty of nature.
KR: How did you come up with the idea for the Eat Your Peas collection?
CK: I wrote the original Eat Your Peas book for a teen I admired and adored. Maddy was going through a time of self-doubt and hopelessness and I wanted her to know I would be there for her anytime of the day or night—that’s why each one of the Eat Your Peas books begin with a unique promise to be there for a loved one throughout life’s heartaches and hilarities — in addition to page after page of encouragement, of course. Today we have seventeen titles and have touched more than 1,500,000 lives with an “I care, I’ve got your back,” message.
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KR: Knowing what you know at this stage of your life, what words of wisdom would you give to your 20-year-old self?
CK: Let go of the need of the approval of others; not everyone is going to like you or understand you. And that’s okay.
Learn more about Cheryl’s company and the entire Eat Your Peas Collection at eatyourpeas.com.
With 15 books and over one million copies sold, the Eat Your Peas Gift Book Collection has an encouraging and uplifting message for individuals ages 5 to 105—living proof that an “I care” message has far reaching tendrils into the heart of humanity.