A talk with a friend gave her P.R.
What began as one lipstick color grew into a line of 10 shades. Brown told a friend about her new endeavor — that friend also happened to be an editor at Glamour magazine. She asked if Brown if she could write about the lipstick collection.
"I'm like, 'Why would you want to do that?' Now, I know it's called P.R.," recalls Bobbi.
Brown put her home phone number in the Glamour article, and after it ran, she was flooded with orders. Still a working make-up artist, Brown and her husband, who was then in law school, stuffed lipsticks in manila envelopes and sent them off. The lipsticks didn't even have a box.
A walk in the park was her market research
"I actually ask a lot of people their opinion," says Brown.
Early on, she would walk up to strangers in the park and ask them to test her products. "And everyone loved it. I guess now they call that focus groups, but I just asked people's opinion," says Brown. "I would go to the park, and I would see all these different nationality women and I would ask them to try certain things and that's how I knew what worked on different skin colors."
An aversion to awkward elevator silences led to a production facility
"It's weird to be in an elevator and people don't say anything," says Brown. "I always say, 'Hi.'"
One time was particularly serendipitous: "I was in the elevator of my New York apartment and I said to the girl in the elevator, 'Hi, what do you do?' She said, 'I work at a lab in Long Island City.' I'm like, 'Can I have your card?' And that's [the lab] where I made the lipstick."
Even after selling the company, Brown insisted Lauder have the the lipsticks made at the same Queens facility.
A cocktail conversation got her high end distribution
"I was at a party and I introduced myself to the woman that was throwing the party and I said, 'What do you do?' She said, 'I'm a cosmetics buyer at Bergdorfs.' So I said, 'Oh, I've got this line of lipsticks.'
"And that's how I got into Bergdorfs," Brown recalls about landing her line in the upscale department store, Bergdorf Goodman.