Akronite of the Week

Week of Jan. 30: Karen Starr

SP BIO - Karen Starr - photo credit Shane Wynn.jpg

Karen Starr’s favorite thing about Akron is that “the size of this town makes it easy for Serendipity to be my BFF.” She’s taking over this week, so let’s find out a little bit about this Akron All-Starr.

Karen Starr is an interior designer, business owner, visual artist, singer, author, community dreamer and resource connector.

She is co-owner of Akron’s Hazel Tree Interiors, an interior design and picture framing studio, with a showroom featuring home décor furnishings, art, accessories, and lighting made by Northeast Ohio makers. Since 2007, Karen has featured local makers and artists in her designs, weaving their custom work alongside the locally-sourced and eco-smart materials she incorporates into projects.

Karen loves to co-create experiences, events, and networks that celebrate life in Akron and that bring people together around common passions.  She is the co-founder of Akron Craft + Social Club, that creates monthly craft parties with a purpose: To learn new artful skills, have fun, and give back to local charities with money raised at the events. She is also co-founder GAINS, The Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability, a volunteer-based network that holds monthly gatherings to spark community ideas and further best practices in the realm of sustainable products or practices. She is a member of the planning committee for the Summit of Sustainability Awards, a collaboration between Summit County, the City of Akron, the Greater Akron Chamber, and Keep Akron Beautiful to recognize local sustainability efforts in business. In 2011, Karen co-founded Free Outdoor Movie Night in Glendale Cemetery, which later blossomed into Free Akron Outdoor Movies. She co-founded and continues to help organize the Highland Square PorchRokr Festival with Highland Square Neighborhood Association. Currently, she is a member of the 33rd Class of Leadership Akron’s Signature Program.

Karen is a singer with local rock and roll bands, Roxxymoron and The Fourons.  She co-authored the book, ‘A is for Akron, an A to Z list of Akron’s places and things that make us smile’, and her second book, If This Wallpaper Could Talk, is in the works. Karen lives in West Hill with her husband, Jon, daughter, Claire, and two crazy pets.

Follow Summit Peeks on Twitter to get a look at Karen’s Akron this week.