Founder and Director
Based In: London, lives in Somerset
(when I’m not working away)
Kids: My big, tall wonderful boy Richard, 24, 2 stepchildren Guy and Laura, and 3, soon to be 4 step grandchildren (we make Modern Family look simple!)
Noted for: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro without a hair dryer and her love for Annie, a rescued Abyssinian cat who never leaves her side when she is at home.
Karen founded Women in Retail in 2005 after spending 24 years in the retail industry and has grown it into the warm, vibrant and thriving community of accomplished and emerging leaders it is today.
She believes that finding happiness and success in life depends not just on what you do, but how you do it. She is proud of the way Women in Retail has redefined the concept of networking for women across all functions and disciplines within the sector and is committed to providing an environment where warmth and connectivity sit hand in hand with learning and progression.
In January 2015 Karen set up her own business with the vision of helping leaders and their teams to be the best they can be. Karen specialises in emotional intelligence and works as a coach and mentor for board, senior executives and emerging leaders across a number of sectors as diverse as Retail to Premiership Football. Recently Karen co-founded the first community in Oman (and the ME) dedicated to women in Banking for a private bank.
Based In: London/Cape Town
Kids: My gorgeous Emily and Lewis,in London, and my lovely stepchildren, Antonia and Hugo in Cape Town.
Noted for: Living out of two carrier bags for 10 days while touring South Africa on the back of a motorbike.
Fiona found her inner entrepreneur and set up her own business, The Brand Inspiration Co, in 2013. This was after over 20 years in Board roles in a diverse range of retail businesses including several brand transformations and a business turnaround. Fiona is also the author of ‘A Profitable Love Affair, how to build and sustain a strong brand’.
She was delighted that this transition enabled her to become more involved with Women in Retail and to help Karen and the community to shape the next exciting chapter in the Women in Retail story that is well underway today.
Fiona helps customer facing businesses grow by ‘(re)discovering the mojo’ and ‘walking in the customers’ shoes’ while asking the deceptively simple questions ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ to do so. Fiona and Karen applied many of these principles to their plans for Women in Retail.
Fiona is proud to play her part in building the Women in Retail proposition, growing the community of both Accomplished and Emerging leaders and its network of supporters. She has also raised the profile of Women in Retail and the topics that matter to members and their businesses through content and thought leadership. She is a passionate advocate for gender balance on boards.
“I am proud to contribute to the Women in Retail community and work towards seeing more women achieving leadership and board roles to the benefit of customers, businesses and the women themselves”.