One of the highlights of my Sunday mornings is tuning into CBS Sunday Morning. Last Sunday, Bobbi Brown, Founder and COO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, was interviewed. After hearing her story, I couldn’t help but be inspired, motivated and of course share her story with my readers.
Bobbi Brown who was born and raised in my hometown Chicago, Illinois would experiment with makeup as a child on whoever or whatever was available. She shared in the interview that she was so obsessed with makeup that when she was a teenager she thought of dropping out of high school. Her mother proposed to her to pretend it was her birthday and if there was anything she wanted to do what would it be. She remembers telling her mother that she would want to go to Marshall Field’s and play with makeup. So her mother suggested that she study makeup in which she did.
Her first big break came when she was hired to do super model Naomi Campbell’s makeup for Vogue Magazine. She did not like what she saw and that’s when she created her own lipstick that would blend with the color of someone’s complexion.
In 1991, Brown changed the look of the cosmetics industry when she debuted a collection of 10 lipsticks for women of all complexions at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC. She hoped to sell 100 in a month, she sold 100 the first day. With absolutely no advertising, word of mouth caught the attention of an industry giant, Leonard Lauder (then the head of Estee Lauder) and he set up a meeting with Bobbi Brown. After four years of selling lipstick, Estee Lauder bought the company for a reported $74.5 million. Today, Bobbi Brown retains control of her brand and has stores in over 60 countries. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is worth a reported $1 billion.
On a personal note, my 9-year-old daughter is obsessed with makeup and hair and I love to watch her do her thing at such a young age. It’s funny because she was just sharing with me on Saturday during our morning walk that she really wants to be a makeup artist. Of course I continually encourage her to do well in school but I also encourage her to go after her dream of becoming a makeup artist and after hearing Bobbi Brown’s story, I know dreams do indeed come true. Until next time…