Owner, Oasis Accents / Board member of Frisco Arts Foundation and North Texas Community Giving Foundation
When Karen White arrived in Frisco 17 years ago, she hadn’t planned on staying long.
“I really just thought it would be a stop on my career journey and that I’d move on to the next opportunity,” recalls White, owner of the art and home décor boutique Oasis Accents, located in The Shops at Starwood.
However, she says, the city “grabbed my attention, and I’m a Frisconian forever now.”
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, to parents from Barbados and Guyana, White says education was key in her family’s household. A graduate of Cornell University, she spent nearly a quarter-century working in Corporate America as a human resources executive.
After the company for which White was working relocated her to Frisco in 2006, she says she took a look around the burgeoning city and thought, “‘If all these companies and people and houses are here, there’s got to be a need for home décor.’ … I was like, ‘This is an opportunity to create something unique and different and fulfill my passion of being a small busines owner,’” which prompted her to open Oasis Accents in 2017. The business recently became part of the 2023 FC Dallas HomeGrown Partners Program.
With a history of volunteerism in the cities in which she had previously worked and resided, White says, “I knew I had to get to know fellow (local) business owners. I knew I wanted to understand and live and breathe the Frisco community.”
For two years, White served on the board of directors of the Frisco Family YMCA. She resigned from that role upon being elected more than a year ago to the Frisco Arts Foundation’s board of directors, on which she currently serves.
“It made a natural sense that since my business is in the arts field that I also get more involved with Frisco Arts Foundation,” she says, adding that she believes local residents and others are “transitioning more and more to embracing original art in Frisco.”
“As more people move here, (bringing) more and more diversity, I think you’re going to find more and more art collectors. … I think over time you’ll see more and more people coming over to art and collecting art.” (Oasis Accent’s gallery features locally produced artworks.)
White also currently serves on the board of the North Texas Community Giving Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofit organizations and hosts the annual Texas Big Star Half Marathon & 5K fundraiser.
She is also active on the local political scene and publicly supports Frisco ISD and Frisco city government candidates who “I know really well … and I know the sacrifice that they make for themselves as well as their families. I want (the city) to stay the course and continue to do the great things that we’re doing.”
White says she is truly passionate about her efforts to help “elevate the arts within Frisco to the same extent that we’ve elevated Frisco to Sports City USA.
“It’s really about how do we continue to grow arts and culture within Frisco and really scale it to the level that we can impact not just Frisco residents but to all of the visitors that come to Frisco to truly demonstrate the fabric of our city, which is all about the various cultures that we have. Art is visual — it’s acting, it’s spoken word, it’s singing. It’s really (about) appreciating all art and elevating it to a much broader scale within the city.”