Anastasia "Ana" Steele is a 21-year-old college senior attending Washington State University in Vancouver, Washington. Her best friend is Katherine "Kate" Kavanagh, who writes for the college newspaper. Due to an illness, Kate is unable to interview 27-year-old Christian Grey, a successful and wealthy Seattle entrepreneur, and asks Ana to take her place. Ana finds Christian attractive as well as intimidating. As a result, she stumbles through the interview and leaves Christian's office believing it went poorly. Ana does not expect to meet Christian again, but he appears at the hardware store where she works. While he purchases various items including cable ties, masking tape, and rope, Ana informs Christian that Kate would like some photographs to illustrate her article about him. Christian gives Ana his phone number. Later, Kate urges Ana to call Christian and arrange a photo shoot with their photographer friend, José Rodriguez.