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in the cards

May 7, 2015


Tennessee paper goods designer Karen Adams is known for her fresh and feminine designs.
The company: Karen Adams Designs was founded in 1999 in the guest house of Karen’s 1920’s home in Memphis. The company later moved into an old furniture factory building on Broad Avenue in the Memphis arts district.

The founder: Memphis native Karen Adams attended the Rhode Island School of Design and majored in fashion design and worked in New York City at J. Crew. When she started a family, Adams started doing faux finishes and murals for interior designers. When her family moved back to Memphis, Karen became involved with some non-profit organizations and started designing invitations. She created a buzz for these events – then a company for herself.

The main goods: Paper goods, including stationery, greeting and place cards, gift tags and journals, with original illustrations and often with a touch of glitter or gold foil.

What’s popular: The Limited Edition calendar ($175) for ultra-special gal pals or paper lovers and desktop calendar ($59).

Other favorites: Seaside note cards (eight for $29.50); Mousie Mousepad ($16); Good Word pencils ($6); Hi Note cards (10 for $18); Hello Sunshine note cards (10 for $25); and Flowers invitation (10 for $21.50).

Fun requests: Asked by a customer to add 36 large crystals to each of their personalized Christmas cards. Also asked to add extra glitter and ribbon. “Liberace would have been proud,” said Adams.

Claim to fame: Designed the Brittany Spears 21st birthday party invitation – and sworn to secrecy.

What’s new: Coloring book ($28) for your inner child and colored pencils ($16), pictured below.

Where to buy: In the Atlanta area, check various shops, including The Merchant at Howell Mill, 993 Marietta St. , ( and Paces Papers, 110 E. Andrews Drive., (




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