If you go shopping, chances are you'll see Bobbi Brown — well, her name at least. Her eponymous makeup brand, which counted some $30 million in net sales last year, is in beauty stores across the country.
And though Brown recently left the company she built after 25 years, she's still very much a businesswoman. Her next venture, lifestyle and wellness shop justBOBBI, just launched in Lord & Taylor department stores. She also recently published her ninth book, "Beauty From the Inside Out."
After graduating from Emory University, Brown moved to New York to find success, and encountered many of the same challenges of young professionals who head to the city after graduation seeking to make a name for themselves.
In the following excerpted Q&A with CNBC, Brown reveals how she got started and set herself apart:
Q: How did you get your start?
Brown: I just started thinking about what it meant to be a freelance makeup artist … I had no clue. So I opened up the Yellow Pages, I looked up 'makeup,' I looked up 'models,' and I just started making calls and asking a lot of questions.
Q: So the [old-school] version of searching things on Google, essentially?
Brown: Yes, exactly.
I called up the makeup artist union and said, 'Hi, I want to come and sign up.' And the guy replied, 'That's not how it works. You have to either be born in or you have to apprentice for 10 years.
I said, 'OK, I don't want to do that.'
Q: That must have been discouraging.