Participant: Karen More (not real name)
Relationship Status: Divorced
Location: Upper West Side
Main financial services used: Banking, Savings, Credit Cards and Loans.
Karen is retired from the fashion business where she worked as a fashion editor in multiple magazines, including Elle, Women's Health and Fitness, among others. When the publishing industry went through major changes such as going digital and rebranding she was laid off. She now has an agent who gets her odd styling jobs and has started her own business, a digital lifestyle magazine.
Karen always wanted to have her own business and when she retired she finally has time. She works on her business 7 days a week, and has a staff consisting of 10 unpaid interns. “It would be great to be able to hire a full time staff to support the needs of the business. When the new interns are done with training and get to know the company it is almost time for them to leave,” Karen says. She started the business 5 years ago using her savings, and the business does still not make a profit. At this point she has used all her savings and is in debt because she can’t get the business of the ground. She does not want to give up now that she has gotten so far.
Karen has two children by her ex-husband who now lives in France. Her oldest son is 30 years old and works in the hospitality industry. Her daughter is 23 and works in a fashion startup, and still lives at home. They both went to good universities. Karen lives in a penthouse on the Upper West Side. The penthouse has been in her family for years, and when Karen’s grandmother lived there she had got it rent controlled, so Karen pays well under market value. To have an extra income she sublets (illegally) one of the rooms in her appartment.
Karen's main obligations are to her business and children. She believes her children are at a stage in their life where they can take care of themselves and need very little financial support. Her main focus is building a profitable business that adds value to the fashion community. Besides this she loves to travel and would love to have time and money to travel around the world.