Empowered Women Interviews: Karin Mallett
I had the pleasure of meeting Karin recently when I was a guest on her, and co-host Bo Koltnow’s, Saturday Sunrise show. I knew she would be a perfect guest on the Empowered Women Interview series. Enjoy!
Karin Mallett has been with WFMZ TV since 2003 as a features reporter and co-host of the Saturday Sunrise. You can see her every Wednesday on the 5:30pm newscast and on Saturday mornings from 7am to 9am. While with WFMZ, Karin developed two franchises: the Emmy Award-nominated “Crime Alert: Cold Case Files” and her popular travel series “One Tank Trip.” In 2005, Karin was honored with an Associated Press award for her coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with the 5-part series, “Convoy of Hope”.
Other long road trips take Karin to the center of politics during the summers of 2008, 2012 and 2016, filing stories from the floors of the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
Karin began her television news career as a writer and producer for CNBC’s nightly consumer program “Steals & Deals.” She worked as a correspondent for the national cable network’s newsmagazine “Great Stuff.” From there, she joined the ABC affiliate, WPDE, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she anchored “Good Morning Carolinas.” As a reporter, she covered everything from hurricanes to Harley rallies, even jumping out over the ocean at 14,000 feet with the US Army’s parachute team, the Golden Knights. Karin was the first in the state to report the arrival of casino boats on the Carolina coastline and led an investigative series on hotel and restaurant inspections. Karin was born and raised in New Jersey and is a graduate of New York University. She is married with three children.
Tell me a little about your path and who you are… I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a television news anchor. Sometimes in that exact order. Sometimes the roles get switched all around. I’ve always had a passion for listening to and sharing people’s stories and at the same time, I always knew I wanted to have a family.
What’s your biggest life lesson/challenge right now? Just keeping it all together and remembering to enjoy the moment while I’m in it. The time goes so quickly and I don’t want to look back and regret not living in the moment.
What keeps you grounded? My husband. We balance each other really well. Working out is as good for me mentally as it is physically so I incorporate that into my week. My morning chats with my parents are also good for my soul. They are the voice of reason for me and their faith in me is unwavering which is inspiring and makes me feel rooted and that I’m capable of making the best decisions. My sisters. I’m one of four and they are such a strong support system for me. Checking in with my best friends and surrounding myself with strong women. Hanging out with my kids and just spending time with them.
How do you use mindfulness in your life to contribute to your success? I really try to focus on what I am doing at any given moment. As women, we are often pulled in many different directions so I am learning to compartmentalize and take each project/idea/problem as it comes. When I am at work, I try to be fully present. I give 100 %. When I am at home, I try to be fully present. I give 100 %. It’s not the case every day, some days I am better at it than others but just remembering to be mindful is part of the process. I have always had a strong work ethic. I feel empowered when I am successful and I define that success in different ways. Sometimes, it’s a story I’m working on that has helped someone realize they are not alone. Sometimes it’s just getting all my kids out the door and to school on time. Sometimes it’s just focusing on the task at hand like making dinner, even on a busy weeknight. I enjoy cooking and if I stop for a minute, take a sip of wine, and enjoy what I’m doing it often leads to a more successful meal and it becomes relaxing instead of stressful. I try to live with intention. I know I’m here for a reason and I want to make sure my time here is useful and helpful and that I make an impact in some way.
What’s your superpower? I am the finder of lost socks in our house.
Tell me about your relationship with fear. It changed and grew with age and once I had children. I would say I’ve always had an adventurous side and never really thought much about consequences. I think twice about jumping out of airplanes now. That’s not to say I wouldn’t jump, but I definitely put more thought into my actions as an adult and parent. My youngest son’s anaphylactic reaction to a walnut when he was three years old definitely had an impact on my psyche. I realized in that moment how vulnerable we are and I let the fear of losing him really control my life for a little while. I was consistently anxious. There were a lot of mornings I would wake up with a racing heart. I spent a lot of time working on addressing my anxiety and I know I am more than the fear now. It’s ok to feel afraid and once I stopped pushing it away, I was able to let some of the fear go. I realized that if I embrace the fear and live right there with it for a minute, I can overcome it. Fear is not something to be afraid of, it’s a part of life. It’s how we deal with it that makes a difference.
What do you think women are craving (besides chocolate)? Time for themselves. Most of my girlfriends are raising families and working and putting themselves last on the list.
In what way(s) do you empower yourself? Others? I let myself finally be me. I don’t apologize all the time anymore. I see my worth. I like who I am and I don’t make excuses for it. I say no when I need to. Sometimes I say yes and that leads to an incredible opportunity. I strive to empower others through my work. I give them a voice. I am the conduit for them to share their stories.
What is the biggest myth that keeps women stuck? I don’t understand this idea of “having it all”. I think it’s attainable but only if you understand what having it all truly means to you. I think it’s different for everyone. For me, It’s defined as putting my family first and still having a career I love but also knowing that it doesn’t come without sacrifice. There’s no one path to follow. You can create your own journey. We don’t have to do it all, all the time, to feel powerful and successful.
I also think it’s time to get rid of this idea that age is a detriment. If anything, I find age to be an asset. I feel better than I ever have physically and emotionally. I have more now to offer than ever before. I am confident and know who I truly am. I think we need to stop searching for a fountain of youth. I’d rather swim in the fountain of the age I am. I am thrilled to be 46. There’s no big secret to feeling good. I think it’s about being yourself, accepting yourself, loving yourself, surrounding yourself with empowering people who are interested in growing with you, eating whole foods and staying on the move.
What would others be surprised to know about you? I can’t seem to keep houseplants alive. I have a fiddle leaf fig that is currently down to just three sad leaves. I played the glockenspiel in elementary and middle school and I’m really good at Chinese checkers.
Favorite resources? Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey’s FREE 21 day meditations. I have yet to be disciplined enough to do the mediation everyday for the full 21 days but it’s exciting to get to try it all over again every couple of months. I like to read The Skimm every morning. It’s a quick way to stay up to date on what’s happening around us.
What made you laugh today? Pilates class. There’s a move we do called “piriformis stretch” and for the longest time I thought my instructor was saying “the purest form of stretch” which sounded so lovely to me because it’s such a nice, deep stretch and it seemed like an accurate description. One day I realized what she was actually saying while we were in the stretch and I said “oh I get it!” out loud and shared my mistake with everyone in class. This morning when we went into the stretch she said “ok, now the purest form of stretch” and we all had a giggle.
What have you always wanted to try? What’s stopping you? I would love to work on some new creative projects, find some new ways to share stories. There are so many platforms for sharing now online and I would like to get more involved and find a way to work on that. I’ve thought about starting a podcast. I’ve also always wanted to work on a documentary or a film. I think it’s not knowing exactly where to start that’s stopping me. A little fear of the unknown, too, and the idea that maybe it won’t work out. I’ve always wanted to take a photography class. And a take a tap class. I used to love to tap. I think what’s stopping me from trying those things is just that I haven’t made the time for them. Yet.
Karin enjoys hearing about the stories that matter to you, so you can email her at Karin.Mallett@wfmz.com. Thank you, Karin, for sharing your wisdom with us!