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I Co-founded and Chaired the Business Technology Forum for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, a forum that put on presentations helping business owners learn how to apply technology in their businesses.  I also co-founded the eCommerce Special Interest Group for the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, putting on monthly education events.  As part of my involvement in the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, I reviewed business plans, coached entrepreneurs, conducted interviews and selected finalists for the Springboard event, where entrepreneurs make pitches in front of Venture Capitalists to secure funding.

I also served on the Board of the Financial Women's Association of San Francisco for 3 years, and was on the Board of Girlsource, a non-profit organization in the Mission District that helps young women from at-risk communities learn technology skills.

In addition to these community leadership roles, my mission at hip & zen was to bring eco-friendly and fair-trade products to the world, and in doing so I worked with many women's cooperatives in the developing world.


I am an explorer who thrives on learning about new and different ways of living and doing business.  My career path has reflected my many interests and desire to learn about myself and the world.  I wish to work with entrepreneurs again, and to share my very broad knowledge, creativity and excitement with them.  Due to my extensive technology background, mixed with my business know-how, I am very excited about working with entrepreneurs to apply new technology trends to help them connect with their customers in authentic ways.

One of my key strengths in today's market is that I constantly read about new trends and innovative ideas and technologies that help businesses stand out from the crowd.


Richard Waxman

“Karen is a highly knowledgable and ethical business person. Any small business owner looking to increase top line, control costs, and increase bottom line would do well to consider her consulting advice."

Mike Van Horn

“Karen launched and led our business owners' group in San Francisco. She's an excellent consultant/coach for small business owners. She knows small business, and she's very good at helping owners tackle their own problems and work through to resolution. Also, from her business broker background, she helped several of our members prepare their businesses for sale.”

Fred Wood

“Karen is such an innovative, hip and stylishly intelligent entrepreneur, we were excited to have her on our side when we launched greenlight. She is delightfully free with advice from her well-earned position of business saavy professional.”

Victoria Klein

“Karen's online company, hip & zen, is a wonderful resource for environmentally-aware goods. She has done a fantastic job at bringing attention to these companies, as well as spreading the eco-message.”

Kirill Novitchenko

“The company thrived under Karen's leadership and I was very fortunate to be part of the web development team.”

Press and website


To share my broad business skills and insights, mixed in with my fascination with trends, innovation and creativity with entrepreneurs.  I want to share my excitement and sense of fun in business with others.


  • Working with energetic entrepreneurs
  • Making the world a better place
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Finding your true voice
  • Trends
  • Technology
  • Branding
  • Viral marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Design
  • Balance
  • Eco-sourcing

Work experience

Mar 2005Mar 2009


hip & zen

To satisfy my passion for design as well as sustainability, I founded and ran hip & zen, an eCommerce site that sold eco-friendly and fair-trade clothing and accessories that showcased cutting edge designs. I conceived of  the concept, sourced all the products, oversaw the design of website and launched it within 3 months.  After that, I did all the buying, inventory management, website management, accounting, budgeting, online and offline marketing and operations. I did eventually hire an assistant who helped with the operations.

On a shoe-string budget, hip & zen was an immediate hit in the press.  For a small startup, we got attention that was the envy of much bigger sites.  Press sightings included the New York Times, People Magazine, In Style Magazine, America Online, Lucky Magazine. People in the know who know how hard it is to get good press always ask me how we got such great press.  I attribute it to coming up with a concept that resonated with people.  The thing I kept hearing over and over is that people loved the look of the site, the sense of style and the name. I think that really helped us stand out.

Ultimately, I decided that I did not want to run an ecommerce site, and that I would rather work with entrepreneurs where I can be part of that creative spirit when something is coming to life.



Synergy Business Solutions

I worked on multiple projects over the years.  I designed  database and Accounts Receivable system for Laborer's Trust Fund of Northern California to administer the Trust Funds for the Laborer's.  The Subsystems included Accounts Receivable, Health and Welfare (Medical Claims), Pension, Annuity, Vacation, and Training. Ran Joint Application Development sessions with up to 20 users to determine requirements.

More recently I worked on a Business Analysis project for the City of San Francisco.  This involved meeting with groups of users to learn their business, and model system requirements from that.



Redbridge Financial

I researched the feasibility of a new Line of Business featuring offshore insurance projects, and  was sent to the Cook Islands to interview potential partners. I was chosen for this project because of my business-savvy, my research skills,  my ability to see the big picture and to synthesize large amounts of information in a short amount of time .



Business Group

I formed and ran the San Francisco Business Group, a peer advisory entrepreneur roundtable.  This involved organizing and moderating monthly meetings where entrepreneurs assist eachother in problem solving, as well as one-on-one coaching with each entrepreneur in the group.


Business Broker

Business Team

Assisted people in buying and selling businesses under $10 million range.  Included doing sales calls, business valuations and business consulting on how to prepare your business for a sale.  Assisted prospective buyers in obtaining SBA financing for business acquisitions.  In rookie year, brought in largest listing in company of 90 brokers.


CEO & Founder


 I founded and ran NetQuest, a professional services software company for 5 years.  NetQuest designed and developed custom Internet applications.  The company was profitable within 6 months, and went on to make mutliple millions of dollars every year after that.  I performed all Management tasks, including Sales and Marketing functions bringing in projects to support 10 employees.  I was also involved in Project Management of projects and Account Management during this time.  Clients included Wells Fargo, Boeing, Yahoo! and Honeywell. 

During this time I was a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, a prestigious organization of Entrepreneurs under 40 whose businesses have a revenue of over $1 million dollars annually. 

I also presented seminars for 70+ people and was a speaker at local conferences, had articles published in trade publications, and taught Electronic Commerce Classes at UCSC.


Systems Engineer, Systems Analyst, Project Manager

SPL WorldGroup

SPL Worldgroup Consulting is an international IT consulting firm, specializing in large mainframe projects.  I designed and managed a number of large IT projects.   All projects were completed on time and on budget.  At Arkla Gas, I was given additional responsibility by client of  training all new developers (200+) in the Code Generator tool, due to my technical proficiency and excellent people skills.



Bachelor of Commerce

University of South Africa/Universiteit van Suid-Afrika