A few times a week, Karen Giberson leaves her home in Media and heads to New York City, where she attends to her responsibilities as president of the Accessories Council, which celebrates its 20th anniversary next year. Under her eight-year tenure, membership in the nonprofit national trade organization has grown to more than 190 companies, including some of the top names in the fashion industry, from Kate Spade and Valentino to Tiffany & Co. and Kenneth Cole. The accessories industry generates more than $30 billion annually in this country—a mind-boggling figure that’s not lost on Giberson. “Our mission is to help our members grow their companies, grow sales and keep them current with trends,” she says.
Prior to her position in New York, Giberson spent 14 years with QVC, holding a number of executive posts. She often calls on her extensive marketing experience with QVC when hosting Accessories Council events—most notably the prestigious ACE Awards gala honoring designers, businesses and entertainers who’ve made an impact on the industry. “We sometimes joke that we’re accessories counselors,” she says. “Every company is different, and what they need from us is different.”