Delco re:View Summer 2019 - 26

www.DelcoBar.org

Advocating the Success of Women
Entrepreneurs & Executives
PNC Exclusive Webcast - May, 2019

Women's Business Advocates
Resources For Female Financial
Decision Makers
PNC Business Banking hosted "A Viewing
Party & Brunch for Women in Business"
at the Delaware County Bar Association...
Featuring "Bobbi Brown: How a Makeup
Artist Built an Empire"
If you missed the webcast or just
want to watch it again...www.pnc.com/
women
Bobbi Brown shares her business
experiences and insights that have made
her a successful serial entrepreneur ...
"I'm an accidental entrepreneur," says
Bobbi Brown, now a titan in the beauty
industry. Brown shares her story of
entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship
(i.e., when an entrepreneur works within
an existing organizational structure).
"I just followed my passion, makeup,
without really knowing what I wanted to
do with it."

at a party with a department store
cosmetics buyer opened the door to her
first wholesale customer.
Before long, Brown's "natural
look" became the trend to watch, and
companies, including Estée Lauder,
were knocking on her door. "Either the
cosmetics industry changed," says Brown,
"or I helped change the industry."
Building a Beauty Empire
The Estée Lauder Companies bought
Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 1995, and
asked Brown to serve as chief creative
officer. Although she had not studied
business, and her first language was
makeup, not spreadsheets, Brown knew an
opportunity when she saw one.

After graduating with a self-designed
degree in theatrical makeup from Emerson
College in Boston, Brown became an
assistant to a freelance makeup artist in
New York in the '80s. She loved the work,
but hated the decade's "garish" makeup
trends so she started doing models'
makeup so they would look natural and
healthy. She believed then as she does
now, that "women want to look and feel
like themselves, only prettier and more
confident."

"I can't tell you how many times I
thought of Melanie Griffith in the '80s
movie 'Working Girl,' walking into
meetings in the expected suit and shoulder
pads, but lacking confidence. It wasn't
until I learned to show up as myself that
I became comfortable in my role as an
[intrapreneur]." Like at most companies,
the decision-makers at Estee Lauder were
predominately male. "Finally, I realized
that I knew more about what women want
from makeup than they did. I learned to
express my opinions nicely."

During a photo shoot at a pharmacy,
Brown met a chemist who collaborated
with her to formulate 10 new, naturallooking lip colors that stood in stark
contrast to the bright hues that were all
the rage. Agreeing to split the revenue of
each $15 lipstick with the chemist, she
introduced the Bobbi Brown Essentials
line of cosmetics, originally as a "side
hustle," which she operated out of her
home, in 1991. Another chance encounter

During 22 years at Estée Lauder,
Brown elevated Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
to a billion-dollar P&L - a healthy
return on the company that started as
a home-based business with $20,000
of capital. She also built her personal
brand by authoring books (nine have
been published to date), making herself
available as a subject-matter expert, and
continuing to practice her makeup artistry
with high-profile clients such as former

26 | Summer 2019

Second Lady Jill Biden. Her tireless
commitment to the cosmetics industry has
made her one of the leading voices in the
style arena today.
From Intrapreneur to Serial
Entrepreneur
Since leaving Estée Lauder in
2016, Brown has focused on building
a new global lifestyle business, Beauty
Evolution. Under the Beauty Evolution
umbrella, she has launched the editorial
and e-commerce lifestyle platform
justBOBBI.com, a podcast called "Long
Story Short" and the Evolution_18 line of
wellness products. She has also become
a partner with her husband, Steven
Plofker, in The George, a boutique luxury
hotel, and 18 Label Studios, a film and
photography studio, both in Montclair,
New Jersey.
How does she juggle so many business
endeavors? "I hire people to do the things
I'm not good at; I like to bring them on
and then see what else they can do so they
can grow with the business," she says.
Brown says her first three hires are
usually a multitalented personal assistant
(she found her current assistant at the
Apple Store Genius Bar), a creative mind
and an operations person who can "get
things done." She also relies on Plofker,
an attorney and real estate developer, as
her business partner and mentor.
"Whatever business venture you
consider, make sure it's something you
truly believe in because there are endless
ups and downs; you will need the courage
of your convictions to navigate them," she
advises. "It's not always easy, but it pays
off in the end." *


http://www.DelcoBar.org http://www.justBOBBI.com

Delco re:View Summer 2019

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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewWinter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewFallWinter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewSummer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewSpring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewWinter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewFall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewSummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewSpring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewWinter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewFall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewSummer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/DelawareCountyBarAssociation/DelcoReViewSpring2017
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