Juggling family, work and beauty start-up

Isn’t it amazing how our own personal journey’s can inspire a business? The Simplicity Line founder, Karissa Stelma, had no idea that what began as a mere observation of the products available on the market in 2010, will grow into her very own brand.


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After not finding anything that’s right for her on the beauty shelfs in 2010, she decided to create her very own recipe while pregnant with her first daughter. The formula that turned out to be quite a personal success – a 40lb weight gain with not a stretch mark in sight. She tweaked her magic potion for her second pregnancy, with the same results.

It was not until she began the challenging journey of IVF in 2018, that Karissa truly took stock in everything that was directly affecting her fertility, as well as anything touching her skin. She was inspired to start The Simplicity Line, an organic skincare line made for women who are concerned for their skin, their health, and their fertility. When she finally became pregnant, Karissa largely associated their success with her heightened approach to well-being, including efforts to heal her body both inside and out.


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Her first personal product – NINE Stretch Mark Savior belly balm – was developed using only the highest quality sourced ingredients for those who take their health and skin seriously. Simplicity Line products are completely safe and recommended to use during all trimesters, into motherhood, and beyond.

What did you study at university?

I studied Economics in undergrad and then did my Masters at NYU in International Affairs and Law.

What was your first job?

My first job was working for a PR agency in New York.

What inspired you to launch The Simplicity Line?

Unexplained infertility. At 37, I struggled to conceive my third child and turned to IVF. I had always been aware that the products and cosmetics we use can affect our health, but I had no idea just how much the toxins, phthalates and ‘nasties’ in most products can just kill our eggs (and sperm!); not to mention block the path to amazing to skin and health. There are huge benefits all around to reading the ingredients in your products, knowing what they are, and being able to pronounce them. Our debut product NINE Stretch Mark Savior was made for women trying to conceive and or pregnant – but it’s great for everyone. My kids use it on their dry skin! We have a new cream launching in January and the whole line will be blissfully simple and effective.


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Talk us through your daily routine

These days I wake up around 6am after a very short sleep, compliments of my newborn. Log onto my ‘real job’ – I’m the COO of a DIFC firm – to catch up on work and check email while I’m still on maternity leave. Feed my son. Get my two girls off to school. And juggle all day long– like most working mums. By the time my husband gets back from the office I have been experimenting and testing new beauty concoctions in my kitchen and working on a new book that will be published in 2020. Family dinner. Adult time. Netflix or reading. Bed.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

Follow your own footsteps! Life has an awesome way of putting things across your path that stretch you and help you grow as a person – personally and professionally. Ride those waves.

Which fashion brands can we find in your work wardrobe?

These days my maternity clothes are still making their way out of my closet. Generally, I wear custom suits to work. But my preferred shoes (that are super comfy and durable) are anything Ferragamo. Some Banana Republic and Zara staples are essential. On the weekends I wear whatever is clean and hope there is no spit up on it when I leave the house.


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What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

I always find advice overrated. I ask for a ton of it and then wind up doing my own thing anyway. But if I had to choose – ‘Be positive’. Your mindset is everything.

And what is the worst?

‘Play it safe’. (How boring!)

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Too many to count! Most recently, infertility and the IVF journey. But wow was it worth it.

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