Karen is a multifaceted designer and creative communicator, with a diverse background in Design, Branding, Communications and Project Management with over 16 years of experience.
A creator at heart, her sense of aesthetic, paired with her collaborative business approach, has been a key factor in curating Karen's personal brand and continued success.

EDUCATION

From an early age, Karen excelled in fine art and design, winning multiple visual arts awards. She completed an education in Architecture, which shaped her work ethic, analytical thinking and project management skills, while refining her creative process. Upon graduating, Karen continued to develop and grow her skill set by specializing in Lighting Design, Ergonomics, Occupational Design, Graphic Design, Branding, Communications and Social Marketing.

EXPERIENCE

Karen has been fortunate to garner a diverse and well rounded career that has allowed her to take on various roles within different industries. Immediately completing her education in Architecture, Karen started a decade-long career with a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary design firm. During her time here, Karen managed a number of Architectural and Interior Design projects, and was involved in other sectors including Urban Design, Landscape Design, Golf Design and Leisure Design (clients included: Great Gulf, Metrus, Maple Leaf Sports and Intrawest). In parallel, she pursued her passion for the graphic arts and launched a graphic design studio with a partner, where they quickly grew their portfolio of independent clients and notoriety (their work has been featured in WEDDING BELLS Magazine and ELLE Canada, and their line of unique stationery products gained key exposure to A-list celebrities clients including Kelly Ripa and Felicity Huffman). Since launching in 2006, their client base had significantly grown, and they diversified their scope to include brand consulting, creative marketing and event design. 

My passion has always been rooted in art, design and being a creator from a very young age. I’m fortunate to have a diverse background and well rounded career that helps shape my views, skill set and business sense.
— interview excerpt

In 2010, Karen was recruited and took on a Graphic Communications role with Romarco Minerals (acquired by Oceana Gold in 2015), a gold mining company with a development based in South Carolina, United States. She created her own niche within the mining industry, creating a fresher, modern approach to marketing collateral within the Investor Relations sector. Karen's work during her time at Romarco was featured in Resource Magazine, Kitco and the Denver Gold/European Gold Forum international publications. Since then, Karen has been recruited as a consultant with other publicly traded companies including GoldQuest, Eco Oro and Argonaut.

Due to her diverse scope of experience in design, branding and communications, Karen was approached by Canadian skincare brand MaskerAide Inc. to assist in developing its' existing brand, and to roll-out its' newest eco-friendly skincare brand. Since 2014, Karen has been involved in all creative and marketing aspects of the company, and is currently the Global Director, Creative + Marketing of MaskerAide Inc., whose brands include MaskerAide and washbeautyco. by MaskerAide. She has been a key team member in the growth of the brand on the international market, retailing in over 10 countries in flagship stockists such as Selfridges, Marks & Spencer, Vita Norway, Liverpool Mexico, ASOS and Rexall Canada. In addition to her full-time endeavours, Karen has also been successful as an entrepreneur, launching a number of small businesses including an e-commerce site, a lifestyle events company and a line of eco-friendly nail lacquers. In 2016, Karen has also taken on a board advisory role with Toronto-based music-tech start-up MusicMelter, acting as the Director of Communications.

CHARITY + CAUSES

Alongside her career, Karen has always been passionate about charitable causes, and continues to support initiatives including women's health, local youth outreach programs, and charities relating to her native heritage. For the past four years, Karen has been an advocate for The Shoebox Project, which is a Canada/US wide charity that collects essential items for women in shelters across the country. In 2013, Karen was an integral part of the HAIYAN TO Charity Gala in Toronto, which raised a significant amount of donations for the Canadian Red Cross towards the Haiyan Typhoon Disaster Relief in the Philippines. During her time working with publicly-traded mining companies, she was also involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, including working with local communities in South Carolina (USA) and western Dominican Republic, in creating sustainable programs for education, sports, health and environmental stewardship.

Her online personality doesn’t stray from who she is in real life - a beautiful, attentive, motivated, go-getter. She’s the type of woman who is genuinely interested in the person she’s talking to. She also has a way of making you feel like you can take on the world — just like she is, although she’s humble about it...
— V. Grillone, writer (interview with Karen V.)