Thank you for the decades of business.

Karen Hartley has retired and is no longer accepting new projects.

Retirement Letter

It is with a joyful heart that I share with you my plans for retirement. My life in the interior decorating and design business has been a wonderful adventure of learning, growing, making so many good friends, serving so many. It truly is a beautiful business! For the past 28 years I have shared that joy of creating beautiful spaces with so many of you and I already miss seeing you and helping you create your own dreams in your home.

The recession didn’t affect my business until sometime in late 2009. When business began to slow down, I began to get busier with volunteer projects. As an active member of Carrollton Presbyterian and the Carrollton Civic Woman’s Club, there were always things that needed doing and all it meant was saying yes and sharing my gifts. Slowly I began to realize that I was spending more time in volunteer work than in business! I have come to believe that God cleared my work calendar so that I could do His work! Joyfully today I am very active in projects at church, in the woman’s club, and with Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy. They fill my time and my heart!

I am blessed with a loving husband and his faithful planning so that I no longer need to depend on the income of business. Landmarks have happened this year – that “retirement” birthday (“old” is a moving target and I’m not really there yet!), beginning Social Security and Medicare (why is that not optional?), and even beginning to receive a pension from those years long ago in the business world with BellSouth! In our 30’s and 40’s when we talked of retirement, we talked of retiring “early” in our fifties. Well, when you love what you do, that simply doesn’t happen! Now we don’t talk of retiring, we talk of being able to do the things we want to do! Brad retired from AT&T and then went back to work and loves what he does. For me it is being ready to share my skills with others in important work that needs to be done.

Just in case you wonder, here’s a taste of what I am doing. At my church, I serve as an Elder on our Session, as Clerk of Session, as web-master, and on the Stewardship and Finance Committee. I also have opportunities to use my decorating skills with occasional consults on needs and selections at the church. In Carrollton Civic Woman’s Club, I currently co-chair a project to place 12 “My Book Spot” Libraries across Carroll County in areas to serve children who typically don’t have easy access to books. These little houses hold 50-75 children’s books on a “take a book, return a book” system. Yes, we plan to restock them regularly! With the help of local schools we have already collected over 6000 books for recycling! This project began in February and has taken on a life of its own! We know it was meant to be! Finally, Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy serves over 3000 children under the age of five in Carroll County. Serving on that Community Action Team for ten years now, we raise funds and register children so we can mail books monthly to young children and provide tools to parents to encourage them to read with their children. We are part of a state-wide program that is truly making a difference in the lives of families in Georgia and preparing children for life-long learning!

If you want to know more about any of these projects, contact me or look online at the websites below. Maybe it will trigger a love in you as it has for me. Best wishes to all of you!

Karen Hartley

I actively support the following organizations:

What do you support? Feel free to ask me about any of the above organizations.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

For large interior design projects, contact Nandina Home & Design in Atlanta at (404) 521-9303.

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