Karla Davis

Senior Director, Integrated Marketing and Media, Ulta Beauty

Karla Davis is a high performing leader whose innovative spirit, influence and partnership is helping to change the face of beauty. Karla leads the Integrated Marketing Communications and Media Team for Ulta Beauty, and in her 5 years tenure, she has built the Integrated Marketing Communications function for the company, overseeing Category Marketing, Equity Communications, Media Strategy, Brand Partnership Development, Grand Openings and Local Marketing.  She helped establish the brand’s positioning, brand identity and brand purpose and launched Ulta Beauty’s first ever national advertising campaign.  

Karla’s love for beauty marketing started early; in fact, she was inspired to pursue a career in the industry after seeing the movie ‘Boomerang’ in the 90’s.  That passion for the diverse and inclusive beauty space has led her to continually advocate for research development, cross functional initiatives, and communications strategies that ensure all beauty lovers can feel seen, heard and valued at Ulta Beauty .  Her efforts helped determine a new value for the organization – Champion Diversity. For her work in Multicultural Strategy, Karla was recognized as a Hispanic Marketing Thought Leader by HispanicAd.com.  

More recently, Karla was named to Essence Magazine’s Pretty Powerful List of Influential Black Beauty Executives and became an inaugural member of 25 Black Women in Beauty. From a broader industry perspective, she has been featured in Adweek’s Innovators Series for Inventive Marketing, on the mainstage for the ANA’s Multicultural Summit, and in AdAge’s Retail Summit.  In response to current events and the drive towards equality for the Black community, Karla participated in the first ever Corporate “Share the Mic” initiative, developed by the I Choose the Ladder Network and The Executive Club of Chicago, which enlisted prominent white female executives to turn over their social networks to amplify the voices of black female executives.    

Prior to Ulta Beauty, Karla has held various roles in marketing at Fortune 100 companies, such as PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson and Kraft Foods. She began her journey in the beauty industry at Fashion Fair Cosmetics.  

In her personal life, Karla is passionate about empowering others spiritually, financially, and professionally.  Through CityPoint Community Church, an innovative, Millennial-focused church she co-founded with her husband over 10 years ago, she leads Women and Couples to spiritual growth and connection.  Additionally, after eliminating over $125K of debt in 2 years, she and her husband began the Young and Debtless platform to educate people on how to change mindsets and behaviors for financial freedom.  That work has led to YD Investments, their real estate business that invests in underserved communities.  Karla also sits on the Advisory Council for the Chicago Chapter of Dress for Success.  

Karla holds a master's degree in Design Strategy from IIT's Institute of Design, and received her bachelor's degree from Hampton University. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Karla is the loving wife of Demetrius, the proud mama of Laila and an avid traveler—having visited 5 of the 7 continents and counting…

Inductee, 2020 Advertising Hall of Achievement

Last Updated: August 2020