SARAH VAN AKEN

CONSULTANT – BRAND & BUSINESS STRATEGY

Sarah brings 15 years of entrepreneurial, brand and business strategy experience. Sarah believes in possibility. She helps transform organizations. She inspires them to see the vision of what is possible and create a thoughtful road map that enables them to reach those possibilities. Sarah meets the team where they are and enrolls them in using a balance of vision and strategy to reach their goals. Sarah has driven authentic business growth while engaging and inspiring stakeholders. She’s part architect, part guru.

Currently, Sarah is consultant and executive coach, supporting organizations in enrolling individuals and teams to reach their highest individual and collective potential. (Human potential is your greatest asset).

Sarah most recently was President & COO of Kathy Davis Studios (Kathy Davis®) Kathy Davis® is a top social expression brand driving over $150 million in retail sales annually through 20 Licensees including American Greetings. Sarah curated the brand vision and growth strategy through a proprietary method of brand and organizational development. She envisioned and orchestrated comprehensive business strategy that supported the Founder’s long-term goals, core business demands and long-term opportunities while enhancing the internal culture of the organization. Seasonally, she defined a cohesive strategic creative direction of art and editorial content, product design, retail solutions and marketing from the brand position. The transformation and growth of the organization enabled Sarah to architect and orchestrate a successful exit event for the founder. The company was sold to American Greetings in 2019.

Prior to KDS, Sarah was President & CEO of S.V.A. Holdings Corporation (SVA), a vertical, socially responsible apparel business she founded in Philadelphia. SVA was comprised of three award winning brands Van Aken Custom Shirts, V.A. Signature custom hospitality uniforms and SA VA a women’s ready-to-wear brand.  Through the experience of creating three fashion brands, Sarah built her brand methodology. The business designed; manufactured; retailed and wholesaled its products nationwide through independent retail stores and hospitality chains.  Sarah is known globally as an innovator in socially driven business for pioneering a vertical apparel business model that is being simulated throughout the industry by small upstarts and established brands.  Sarah’s work in sustainable fashion and local living economies through workforce development and supply chain has defined her as a top expert in this arena. Her success raising capital through various forms of community and private capital have made her a trailblazer for women entrepreneurs.

Sarah’s early career experience includes, apparel sourcing, founding a residential real estate brokerage firm and operating a chain of 10 restaurants in Philadelphia.

In her spare time, Sarah is a Vinyasa Yoga teacher, loves to run, garden and spend time with family and friends.

White Paper on Organizational Transformation

White Paper on Entrepreneurial Innovation

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AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Brand Strategy & Business Leadership

Organizational Transformation & Entrepreneurial Innovation

Stakeholder Engagement

Strategic Planning & Execution

Business & Organization Design

Exit Planning & Implementation

Consumer-Centered Technology Design

Partnership Cultivation & Management

Training Program Development & Leadership

D2C Brand & Marketing

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts – University of Deleware

Certificate – T12N – Coaching Mastery

RYT399 Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation – Blue Banyon Yoga