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Seven years ago, longtime Lovettsville resident and realtor Karen Cooper found herself searching for a support system among her network of female realtor friends.

“We are surrounded by people every day, but many, if not most, offices are steeped in competition between the agents, which makes for a less-than-welcoming environment,” Cooper told the Times-Mirror.

“Even in the best places it can feel impossible to share your struggles…and there are so many struggles,” she said.