Bobbi Brown is a name that is synonymous with the beauty industry. She was the original “how-to” and could be credited with starting a natural looking makeup revolution. Brown began to realize her passion for makeup after a conversation with her mother about wanting to drop out of college.
“My mom said you can’t drop out and I said I don’t know what I want to do. And she said if you could do anything in the world and if it’s your birthday what would you want to do?” Brown reminisced on ABC Radio’s top business podcast “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis”. “I could have said go to Paris, go buy shoes, [but] I said I want to go to Marshall Fields and play with makeup. She said why don’t you be a makeup artist?”
If you couldn’t tell by the Marshall Fields reference, Brown grew up in Chicago. She first came onto the scene in 1991 when she launched her namesake brand out of her home in New Jersey, selling 10 brown-based lipsticks that she personally mailed or hand delivered. It wasn’t long before she caught the attention of The Estee Lauder Companies for her natural looking makeup and four years later, her company was acquired by the cosmetics powerhouse.
“I didn’t realize I was working hard … it’s what I did.” Brown said reflecting on the time. “It was my passion.”
Brown continued at her brand, maintaining complete control over the creative direction until October of 2016 when she made the difficult decision to leave her namesake company.
“Trust me it wasn’t an overnight decision” Brown commented on “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis”. “The last couple of years were really rough … I always thought that I was still an entrepreneur with my own company even though I didn’t own the company, that’s how my mind worked and that’s how I wanted to be and that’s not what it ended up to be … [there were] a lot of people in a room making decisions … and too many men.”