Kareen Durbin grew up in Fitzroy, a coastal suburb in the west-coast city of New Plymouth.
On completing high school, she moved to Auckland to study Art and Design majoring in Fashion (at AUT). Her interest in fashion stems from a desire to explore the intersection of business and creativity. Kareen continued to explore fashion and business through post-graduate research, focusing on cross-cultural collaboration, particularly with former refugees.
Alongside this work, Kareen participated in the Maxim Internship (2010/2011) and has worked in various roles including teaching Art & Design for at risk youth, a stint within the Service Design team for NZ Trade & Enterprise, and various voluntary positions both within Auckland and overseas. Currently Kareen is developing Companion (a social business) with her husband Will, in which they co-create furniture and textile items with migrants and former refugees, with the intention of contributing to successful resettlement.
Kareen is now the Events Coordinator role for Venn Foundation where she continues to create.