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Former CEO, Ella Baché.


Karen Matthews has over 22 years experience in national and international retailing, franchising and strategic brand management. Karen recently resigned after 10 years as CEO of skincare company Ella Baché and is recognized in the business community as an innovative leader with strong operational and strategic skills. A high energy leader, she walks the talk, fights to the death for what she believes in and has a personal mantra to "inspire people to be the best that they can be".

Current work

Karen is a self-professed Crossfit addict and also the proud Mum and fan of her two small children - Isabella (nine) and Harrison (seven) - proof that it can all be done if you want it badly enough. Karen loves what she does, is extremely passionate about the industry and the BHG Vision and would like to think she can inspire anyone to believe in themselves.

Karen regularly consults and speaks on leadership, leading and managing change, branding, the business of beauty, success in small business - your role as owner, franchising and marketing. Her style is down to earth and full of real life stories and tips to take back into your business and personal lives to "implement tomorrow".

Karen is available for conference speaking, keynotes, workshop facilitation or 1:1/small team mentoring and coaching, with tailor-made solutions and presentations to meet any brief.

Previous experience

Ella Bache: Karen's proudest professional achievements include launching Australia's first skincare franchise model with Ella Baché in 2002, as well as steering Ella Baché (a 50 year old family owned business), through a time of significant change and re-engineering from 2002 to 2008. In 2004 she was named NSW Telstra Business Woman of the Year, in 2005 PWC NSW Franchise Woman of the Year and in 2007 PWC Australian Franchise Woman of the Year.

Achievements: At the time Karen resigned from Ella Baché she could tick off a list of achievements - delivering brand recognition, restoration of financial health, market penetration, values based leadership, a flexible yet focused strategic plan and a company and culture, considered by many to be "best practice".

Skills: Karen's experience and respect within the Beauty industry and SME arena is unsurpassed primarily due to the conception and implementation of the Ella Bache franchise model as well as her refreshing and open style of leadership. Karen understands that success in any business will come from masterfully combining a handful of simple financial metrics, focused accountabilities, commitment to ongoing training and education and a respect for people, their technical prowess and their motivators.

Before Ella Bache: Prior to her Ella Baché career, Karen held a GM position with FJ Benjamin Fashions where she "cut her teeth" in licensing, product development and family business. Prior to that, Karen held a number of buying and marketing roles within the Myer Grace Bros group - her introduction to retailing.

Karen was a particularly good choice for this market as she is so down to earth and approachable which allowed the audience to relate to her more than some other 'CEO's'. Her presentation was lively and informative and gave the audience some really good tips - they were all madly scribbling notes, which was a very good sign! Westpac Banking Corporation
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