Karen grew up in a close, loving family in South Orange, NJ. As long as she can remember Karen changed the layout of her room seemingly every week, made the art for the walls, and read her father's Wall Street Journals. After graduating from college, Karen followed three generations of family onto Wall Street; going to work with Smith Barney on the 103rd floor of One World Trade Center (may they rest in peace)
in New York City; eventually transferring to Washington, DC to continue her career in finance as an Investment Advisor with Prudential-Bache Securities - and then with A.G. Edwards & Sons, now Wachovia Wells Fargo.
Karen fell in love with the DC and soon after moving to the city fell in love with Richard McCooey. Four years after meeting at the Tombs (of course) Karen and Richard were married at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown, still Karen's parish today. A Georgetown University grad, and President of the Student Body his Senior year, Richard founded, owned, and operated the Tombs and 1789 restaurants. F. Scott's is now the 1789 Bar & Lounge. Richard had come to serve Georgetown and did for decades before selling to Clyde's Restaurant Group who in turn sold to the Kathryn Graham Foundation; and who remain ever true to the original vision and mission that Richard created.
Richard invited Karen to join him in his restaurant design firm Persona Studios, in Georgetown, soon after they were married. Needless to say that Richard had the greatest influence on Karen. They were married for 24 years and worked side by side together for 20 years; they were inseparable. Their largest design clients included: Clyde's Restaurant Group, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, and Interstate Hotels and Resorts. Richard passed away in 2014 but Karen is back open for business, doing what she does best, helping people with their design dilemmas and dreams...designing with the finest taste and care .... transforming the way people live.