Karen Behnke has enjoyed a long and successful entrepreneurial career in the Health & Wellness Industry. Her consistent goal is to equally marry her passion for helping people enjoy healthier lifestyles with her skill at building financially successful businesses that are mission driven. Juice Beauty (as noted by Forbes, Cosmo, ELLE, etc.) is the “OG” – original green – beauty brand and leading the way in the clean beauty industry. The Company philosophy centers around strong commitments to vegan, cruelty-free, sustainability, certified organic ingredients, wellness and their unique Farm to Beauty approach.
A lifelong environmentalist, Karen developed a keen interest in personal care with her first pregnancy at the age of 40. She was astounded to learn that, although the skin can absorb what is placed on it, there were very few available healthy personal care products that worked. Karen subsequently bought the name “Juice Beauty” and launched the Company from scratch. Juice Beauty specializes in antioxidant rich skincare and plant-based makeup and has been cleaning up the beauty space since 2005.
Prior to Juice Beauty, from 1996-2003, Karen led the Healthy Lifestyle investment strategy for two private equity firms, including a firm that was the majority shareholder of a major fitness chain., where she was a Board of Director and an Operating Executive during a seven-year growth period, from $75 mm to over $1 billion in revenue.
From 1983-1996, Karen founded PacifiCare Wellness Company (formerly known as Execu-Fit Health Programs) in San Francisco, one of the first corporate wellness companies in the country. The company delivered worksite medical fitness screenings, health risk appraisals, and fitness programs, for major corporations. The wellness company grew to provide services to over 2 million members in six states. Karen sold the Company to PacifiCare Health Systems (now United Healthcare) in 1991 becoming the parent company’s 2nd female executive during a 5-year growth phase from $1 to $5 billion in revenue.
Karen graduated from Western Michigan University and completed Harvard/MIT’s multi-year Executive Business Summer School “Giants” program. She has received many awards throughout her career including Goldman Sachs 100 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs (2019 & 2018); Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (2011); the “Top Eco-Leader” named by Glamour Magazine (2009); San Francisco Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (1987); the San Francisco Examiner’s Top 39 Movers and Shakers; and the WMU Distinguished Alumni Award.
She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Cardiologist Howard Luria and their Labradoodle. For relaxation and fun, Karen & Howard participate in triathlons and spend time managing the Juice Beauty organic Farm in Sonoma County, California. Healthy and organic living is a part of every aspect of her Marin County home, Juice Beauty’s sustainable headquarters, and the Juice Beauty Sonoma Farm, all outfitted with organic food, organic linens, organic furniture, organic mattresses, no VOC paints, recycled wood, blue jean insulation and more. The Juice Beauty farm, the HQ, and all three family cars are also solar powered. Karen leads the Company with the solid commitment to organic ingredients and sustainable living to protect humans, animals and the planet.
Juice Beauty’s skincare and makeup products retail at ULTA Beauty’s 1200 stores, Sephora International, Credo, Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, Pharmaca, Mecca Australia and Douglas Europe.