meet karen

KAREN BUSSEN is one of America’s most exciting entertaining experts and the author of the popular “Simple Stunning” series of entertaining books (Stewart, Tabori & Chang). Karen creates one-of-a-kind celebrations for luminary hosts and A-listers in the worlds of business, media, and society.

A quintuple-threat expert in food, wine, hospitality, flowers and design, Karen believes
a truly great party is filled with unique, well-chosen details and inimitable personal touches. Her mantra of “less waste, more taste” has struck a chord with brides and home hosts who love to entertain simply and beautifully.

A native of Ohio, Karen was inspired by her mother’s love of décor, art,
and painting and her father’s joie de vivre. Karen got her start in the entertainment world when she left Cincinnati at 17 and became a magician’s assistant on a cruise ship. Karen made her home in New York City, where, under the tutelage of some of Manhattan’s top chefs and restaurateurs, she fine-tuned her knowledge of food, wine and high-end hospitality working for Danny Meyer. The restaurant business was also where she styled flowers and décor for Celebrity Chef Rocco DiSpirito. In 2000 she opened her events company. In addition to producing a handful of select events each year, Karen has been a member of the David’s Bridal Style Council and since 2011, she has partnered with Palladium Hotels and Resorts to launch her line of Simple Stunning Destination wedding packages, offering couples around the world instant access to a Karen Bussen-designed celebration at Palladium Hotels and Resorts in Jamaica, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

In addition to her mission to make the world a more festive and beautiful place, Karen volunteers at the Young Women’s Leadership School of Harlem and donates leftover party décor to schools and art organizations via Materials for the Arts.

Among her numerous national and regional media appearances, Karen has been featured on The Today Show, LX-New York, Bloomberg TV, the CBS Early Show, and Martha Stewart’s Morning Living on Sirius XM Radio.  Karen is currently at work on her first novel.