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Karen Hahn
Karen Hahn is an artist and designer, most famous for the creation of many collections of figurines and giftware, produced and distributed by Enesco.

She was born Karen Jean Bornholt on January 24, 1959, to Carl Salsbury Bornholt and Jean McKee (Innis) Bornholt, in DuPage County, Illinois. As a child, growing up in Carol Stream, IL, Karen always showed an interest in artistic pursuits, as well as a love of animals. She briefly considered a career with animals before opting for a more artistic path. She received formal training in Graphic Arts at the College of DuPage, training in Computer Design at what is now the Illinois Institute of Art, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration was received from Northern Illinois University.

Karen's first commercial art was produced under the brand name, Grande Copenhagen. She created a series of artwork depicting Hans Christian Andersen's Ugly Duckling story. It was reproduced on a series of 6 porcelain plates and distributed by the Bradford Exchange (owners of the Grande Copenhagen brand) in the mid-1980s. She is credited on the plates under her full maiden name, Karen Jean Bornholt.

In February of 1985, Karen joined Enesco as a freelance Illustrator. This was the beginning of a long and successful partnership, where Karen has become one of Enesco's most treasured artists.

The collection that first showcased Karen's talents at Enesco was Laura's Attic. Karen and wrestling coach husband, Mark, were celebrating the birth of their first child, Laura, and the 1990 collection was named in her honor. This was the first collection that Enesco manufactured in resin and it was hugely successful. It won Karen an Achievement Award in 1991 from Stanhome, the parent company of Enesco.

Since then, Karen has been involved with and the inspiration behind many Enesco collections, including the following:

  • Amigos Del Sol
  • Barbie
  • Blooming Wild
  • Disney's Hunchback
  • Foundations
  • Friends of the Feather
  • Small World of Music
  • Take Heart
  • The Heart of Christmas
  • Treasury Masterpiece Editions
There is so much to potentially say about each of these collections, which vary so much in theme and style, yet all retain an appealing charm. One collection that deserves special mention is the Foundations Collection. This is a collection of angels featuring inspirational messages. It was introduced in 2002, in the still painful aftermath of Sept 11. Karen and her team hoped to bring comfort to a nation reeling in shock, with faith-based insights, reconnecting people to the foundations of life. The Foundations Collection was presented the Inspirational Line of the Year award in 1995 by NALED (the National Association of Limited Edition Dealers).

As well as figurine designs, Karen has also worked with Levels of Discovery, LLC, as a designer for a high-concept children's furniture line. Levels of Discovery was founded by former Enesco CEO, Jeff Hutsell, in 2001.

Karen continues to live in West Chicago, Illinois, where she has a home studio for work, overlooking the pasture where her horses roam. She lives a quiet life with her close-knit family and plethora of pets. She considers herself blessed to be doing what she loves and to share in the love of her husband and 2 daughters, Laura and Emily.

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