Karen Adams bio...

fifty years in the works

I was born in Memphis, TN but before any roots were put down my family moved to Tokyo Japan. We were fortunate to travel around the world and see many wonderful places, people and things. I am thankful to have had a huge diverse world opened up to me at an early age. We moved back to the states and moved from Memphis to Omaha back to Memphis to Cincinnati to Houston. I had a lot of time in new places before school started and had to be creative to entertain myself.

My parents let me choose any college I wanted to go to ( an amazing gesture that I was compelled to pass along to my children ) so I chose and luckily got in to the Rhode Island School of Design, RISD. I loved college. My major was apparel design; in turn, I moved to NYC to work for a few places including KIKIT and J. Crew. New York City in the 80’s was memorable.

Fast forward to suburban life when I had children. I did faux finishes and mural painting because of the flexible schedule. I also volunteered to do invitations for nonprofit organization parties. I wanted to make a big bang first impression on the recipient so went all out on the cards. It was fun, had great feedback so thought this is a business I would like to start. I went to the Stationery Show in 1999, the official start of Karen Adams Designs. It is continuing to change and evolve as we all grow. My daughter Wallis now works with us which is the best thing ever; she is amazing of course. I also have an amazing son, Avery.

I want to be clever, innovative, classic but in a fun way. I want people to smile or laugh and feel good. You know when you are out for a walk and pass someone who smiles and says “hello” and you think “ I love that people smile and say hi, this world is pretty great.” That is how I want what we send out into the world to make people feel.

And what's an "about" page without thanking those you love and admire . . . Thanks Mom & Dad for your adventurous spirit and caring way.

Karen Adams Designs headquarters are located at 2635 Broad Ave in Memphis, Tennessee. The Broad Arts District is a new and upcoming area where there is a focus on the local artists. The building where the company is located used to be an manufacturing warehouse for furniture with exposed brick walls and quite the industrial feel. 


photography & styling

special thanks to Babette Joniele Shaw, Creation Studios, & Paige Miller Photography