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Q&A with Karen Lee Zachry, Owner of The Tiny Finch

How long have you been in business or been in your role and what is the thing that gets you out of bed every day?

I have been in this role for one year as the new owner, but The Tiny Finch is 10 years old. The promise of what each new day holds is what gets me out of bed each morning – and my cats, demanding to be fed.

When you were younger, did you ever see yourself doing what you do now?

Not at all! I’m a retired lawyer, but my children would tell you I’ve been in training to be a professional shopper for years!

What would you tell your younger self if you could spend 1 hour with her?

Be gentle with yourself. Cultivate your friendships. Take more risks. Have more fun!

It can be difficult to pinpoint one single woman who inspired you in your life and career. When you step back and think about the multitude of women in your life, what would you say to those who have supported you and been a sounding board in your career?

It may seem backward, but having a daughter really inspired me to be intentional about modeling the sort of life and opportunities I wanted her to see were possible – that you can have a career, raise children, volunteer in your community, and still have a sense of self-independent of the different roles you may play. She’s one of my biggest cheerleaders – plus, she has a great sense of style, so I’m constantly asking her advice about new pieces for the shop!

Tell us about an ancestor or woman in your family whose story has been passed down to you. 

My grandmother was a strong and determined woman. She taught me that hard work, integrity, and persistence were the foundation of any successful effort. She marveled at the opportunities that I pursued and rooted for me every step of the way. She was also an exceptional cook and inspired my love of cooking.  

What is your personal mission in life and how do you fold that into the work you do? 

I’ve always believed in trying to make my world bigger – to meet new people, to travel to new places, to learn about different times and ways of doing things. I love being able to bring luxury goods from my adventures into our shop and tell the stories of the makers to our clients. In doing so, I believe we help make their worlds a little bigger, too.

What is your superpower? 

My curiosity and passion for learning.

From where do you draw your strength, creativity and stamina to keep going? 

I’ve already had two great acts – one in my career as an attorney and a second as a wife and mother – but feel so exceptionally lucky to have this third act as a shopkeeper. I love the thrill of the hunt for something new, something special, that piece you didn’t know you needed and then couldn’t imagine how you ever lived without it. The pursuit of beautiful things for the shop invigorates me, and the immense joy I feel in curating our special little shop of treasures makes all the work that goes on behind the scenes feel worth it. 

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