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Retired Fashion Editor (60)

Family, financials and starting a business after retirement.

Photo of Aurora
4 1

Written by

Participant: Karen More (not real name)

Demographic Information:

Age: 60

Sex: Female

Relationship Status: Divorced

Location: Upper West Side

Ethnicity: USA

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.      

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Although people are in a later stage in life it does not mean they don't wanna take risks and don't have dream they wish to work toward. My interview subject is using her life savings to fund her passion project, what she wants to become her legacy, and is willing to take big financial risks to do so. Other priorities are family, being a mentor and new experiences like traveling.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am currently an Integrated Digital Media grad student at NYU.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Aurora!

Thank you for your post. This is a very insightful look into the life of an over-fifties entrepreneur. What emotional and financial support do you think Karen needs for her business and her life in general?

Photo of Aurora

I think the main thing she needs it advise on how to make her internet business profitable, I also thinks she needs a VC or Kickstarter to get the business up and running.  

Photo of Jesus Vargas

Hi Aurora,

Thanks for this valuable interview. She have business partners? and if not why? also do you think is important the banks will offer special loans or something like that for older entrepreneurs?

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