“We are in a time of great change.”
These are the words of a woman from North Dakota, hardened by winters in the Upper Midwest and what can be the cold reality of a woman chasing her own ambitions.
She’s a realist. But, there’s optimism in her voice. A lot of it.
Kari Warberg Block is the Founder and CEO of EarthKind, a natural pest control company. She was the first entrepreneur to introduce a non-poisonous answer to keeping bugs and rodents at bay. Warberg disrupted the pesticide industry, catapulting her brand to a $50 million evaluation and creating real change in an industry that sees very little.
“Each generation brings a unique opportunity. The key to being disruptive is to spot it first,” Warberg said, taking a moment to speak with HER Magazine in between hosting a webinar and pitching products to national companies.
Warberg spotted her opportunity to break through when she climbed into the cab of a rodent-infested truck and a mouse scurried up her leg. The perfume she pulled from her purse and sprayed on the pest was the precursor to her complete line of non-toxic repellents and air fresheners.
Now, EarthKind products are manufactured from natural ingredients grown by American family farmers. They sit on the shelves of major retailers, including Lowe’s, John Deere, Ace Hardware, and Tractor Supply & Co.
Warberg is killing it with her no-kill philosophy.
From perfume sales associate, to entrepreneur, to advisor to President Donald Trump.
Being the innovator that she is, Warberg has set her sights on disrupting the national status quo of what it means to be a woman in business. She serves on the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a nonpartisan group of 14 women who advise the president, Congress and the Small Business Administration on the economic issues that affect entrepreneurial women.
In this role, she helped to compile a database of resources that guides new entrepreneurs through the very same challenges she faced when she was starting out.
Since President Trump took office, Warberg says she’s looking forward to more opportunities than ever before for women to succeed.
“This new administration is very pro-woman,” Warberg said, explaining the issues President Trump’s team has been raising are important to her, including affordable child care and maternity leave.
She understands the struggle women, especially single moms, face while starting a business.
“I was on food stamps and AFDC [Aid to Families with Dependent Children]. I got a grant to go to college and required rental assistance and day care assistance. I worked my way out of it.”
The CEO says she will share this perspective with Ivanka Trump at meetings with the NWBC this year.