Karen Nepacena grew up in the Bay Area where she began developing her creative tendencies at a very young age. She trained at the San Francisco Ballet and Boston Ballet, then danced professionally with the Oregon Ballet Theater. She retired from dance to earn her BS in Business Administration (concentration Marketing) with a Minor in Photography at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She studied fashion and photography in Florence, Italy, which led to the launch of Real Exposure Photography and Nepacena Handbags with Co-Founder/husband John Shum.
Karen’s professional career has spanned various roles within Retail Home Furnishings, including management experience with Target Corporation, to inventory and merchandising roles at Restoration Hardware and Z Gallerie. She currently leads Product Management at the YDesign Group, which operates YLighting, YLiving and YBath.com.
In her spare time, she enjoys collecting and refurbishing vintage furniture and accessories. Karen and her husband John live in Walnut Creek, lovingly restoring their 1959 Eichler Home, while raising their two young boys.