Surviving the Test of Time: Dr. Karen Cooper, DDS ~ 15 Years in Practice

With her deep passion for her practice and her dedication to both staff and clients, anyone who steps foot inside the office of Dr. Karen Cooper has plenty to smile about.

Photo by D. Paul Graham

Looking for the best, most reliable dentist office in town? Look no further. Smile Designs is rooted in the highest quality dental care and lives by the motto “total wellness” for both patients and team members.

Entrepreneurial Inspiration

I cannot think of a time when I ever thought I would not become an entrepreneur. Throughout my childhood, I observed my parents operate two family businesses that they started from nothing. My father instilled in me how to take strategic risk, while my mother influenced my money management skills. They were a great team who also taught me that you need to have common sense and some street sense in addition to education.

If you could change history

My history has made me who I am, so I would not change anything. I have always been true to who I am from the beginning. As my authentic self, I have been able to create a business culture that is balanced and positive.

Career Highlight

I have had so many awesome highlights in my career, and I still expect to have more as this amazing journey continues. If I must identify just one as “the moment,” I will have to say my 15th year anniversary as a sole practitioner, which took place during the pandemic. My team’s execution of our celebration was extremely memorable.

Biggest Challenge

Managing today’s employees is my biggest challenge. Dentistry requires very intimate teamwork, which means we cannot retreat into our offices/cubicles and put our heads down. We must operate like a well-oiled machine. When one person is not in sync with the flow of the team, it affects everyone.

Best advice

The best advice I can give someone who is thinking of starting their own business is to build a team. Don’t try and do everything yourself. A great team can make or break a new business.

Motto to live by

My motto is total wellness for my patients and my team members. I want them to be fulfilled in all areas of their life. As a coach/mentor/manager, my job is to assist in developing my team members and help them attain their full potential. I always express to my team that I want them to be the best person they can become, whether that is dealing with their job performance or their personal life.

Secret to Success

I think my secret to success is being fair and not emotional. While I can make decisions that will only benefit myself, I always focus on being fair to both sides, and establishing the right amount of give and take. A true leader does not have to show their power, it is freely given when there is a level playing field.

Dr. Karen Cooper, DDS
Smile Designs
Savannah, GA.

Year established


Average number of employees


Favorite charities:

Urban Hope, Greenbriar’s Children Home, Park
Place Outreach.

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