Karen Freese is a long-time entrepreneur, brand marketer, and business consultant with 25 years working collaboratively to bring brands to life for a variety of businesses that span several industries from Fortune 500 companies, to retailers, to start-ups. Some of her recent clients include: PepsiCo, Mars Petcare, Unilever, Nestle, and CVS Pharmacy, where she developed licensed brands in the health & beauty category.
As Principal at Freese Branding & Consultancy, her background naturally aligns with and compliments the marijuana industry. Karen’s broad skill set across branding, marketing strategy, product development, retail, social and digital media, along with grassroots community outreach, customer insights and data analytics knowledge, allows her to pivot easily to help cannabis businesses move operations from start-up to mature markets.
Prior to starting her consultancy eleven years ago, Karen worked in corporate brand marketing roles for Ralston-Purina and Anheuser-Busch Entertainment; and led client account relationships for advertising and promotions agencies BBDO, Draft Worldwide, and Ryan Partnership. In the early 2000’s while she resided in Greece, she started working with botanicals to address anxieties in rescued dogs – which naturally carries over to her pursuits of both CBD and THC active topical, infused, and edibles products today.
Karen earned her MBA from Saint Louis University and currently resides in Chicago.