Karen Lossing is an entrepreneur and multi-state franchisee who has now grown her Mathnasium enterprise into a 14-territory, family-owned business. This includes five North Texas locations, three in California, three in Arizona, and three in Colorado – all thriving.
Her journey to success is rooted in a passion for education, sound business acumen, and navigating the opportunity that exists in operating a family-owned business empire.
“I’m a passionate person and by working and partnering with Mathnasium, a franchise that has given me all the proper tools to be successful, I can turn my passions into reality,” said Lossing. “They have allowed me to connect with more kids and to change more lives by showing them math is doable at any stage they are at.”
FROM TEACHER TO ENTREPRENEUR
Prior to pursuing entrepreneurship, Lossing worked as a teacher for many years. She taught 3rd and 5th-grade students, while also having served as an elementary special education teacher. Through her seven years of experience as an educator, it is safe to say she has always been incredibly dedicated to the world of education.
Lossing holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a Master’s degree in Education. The itch of entrepreneurship truly came when she became an empty nester with her two children, Libby and Evan, headed off to college.
By pairing together her backgrounds in business and education, Lossing knew she could make an impact on not only the education space, but also every student she came across – in, of course, her favorite subject Math.
She realized STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education was not emphasized at all schools and was a missed opportunity for so many students. She knew Mathnasium could address this head-on with a proactive solution.
CREATING A 14-UNIT ENTERPRISE
The Lossing family is made up of Karen, who handles the education and curriculum components, her husband, Steve, who manages the finances and expansion plans, Libby who is the marketing specialist, and Evan who oversees human resources – each playing a specific part in managing all 14 territories.
The journey began in 2013 with the opening of their first location in San Diego, where the family had just moved to from Texas. This marked the initial step in a path that would lead them to success.
While Karen felt she was wearing a lot of hats in her first year of business, she knew that she had support from Mathnasium headquarters and her family. Her daughter, Libby, officially joined her three years into the business after graduating from UCLA. She expressed a desire to help expand the family business into Arizona. In a whirlwind six months, three new locations sprouted across the state.
A year later, it was their son Evan’s turn. Fresh out of college, he longed to return to Texas, so with him came new Mathnasium locations in the Lone Star state. Soon after, Karen’s husband Steve retired from the corporate world and brought his C-Suite experience to the family business. With the entire Lossing team learning and growing together, they were able to discover what works best for each of their locations individually, and for their team collectively.
Along with California, Arizona, and Texas, the Lossings have rapidly expanded, with their most recent addition being Colorado which now houses three of their locations.
“We are always revamping and trying out new things to further the success of our team and centers,” said Lossing. “Each center holds practices that are specific to them and what will work best for that group of students and community. We are looking forward to seeing what the future holds, and who we can help next.”
DIVIDING UP FAMILY TIME AND BUSINESS
To run a successful multi-state family-owned operation, there has to be a separation of family time and business time. Through many years of experience, the Lossing family has crafted the perfect routine that works for them.
Setting boundaries on when to talk family and when to talk business was essential. Each member of the Lossing family is integral to the success of their Mathnasium locations, so each time they get together, there is always that desire to talk business. By setting up an allocated time to discuss work, they can enjoy family-time instead.
“My daughter lives in Phoenix, my son is in Dallas, and we call San Diego home. Working together is a great way to stay connected with our kids, even though we’re spread out,” said Lossing. “We’ve established a clear boundary between family and business time. We hold specific meetings that are focused on business discussions, and on other days, we keep work-related matters at bay.”
ADDING UP TO SUCCESS
For decades, the Mathnasium Method™ has transformed how kids learn math — building students’ understanding of math concepts through personalized instruction and a customized learning plan — all while producing tremendous results, and helping students achieve their full potential in math and life.
“Over the past 10 years we have had many proud moments as a family, but what makes us most proud is watching the kids who struggled, start to succeed,” said Lossing. “We had a third grader a few years back who was having such a hard time. He would always come in with his two brothers who didn’t struggle as much, and always feel deterred. But now, he is one of our instructors, taking lessons from his time as a student to help students who felt just like him. It’s the impactful stories like these that make us so proud of the work we do.”
Since 2017, the Lossing family has been in Mathnasium’s top 10 for ownership portfolio by revenue, and their flagship operation is a perennial top-25 nationwide success story. At the 2023 Mathnasium Convention, the family was credited with a top-five ownership portfolio and top-10 award for locations. The family was also the recipient of Mathnasium’s ‘Best Overall Marketing in North America’ award this past year.
The Lossings have set an admirable example across the system, and as they look to refine and grow their portfolio, they are building a legacy their family will certainly be proud of.