We Put the Founders of Bobbi Brown, Bliss, and Urban Decay in a Room Together — Interview


Brown: I took two days off after I left [Bobbi Brown Cosmetics]. Then I started looking… What’s next?

Zomnir: I was like, “Oh, my God… Do I have to become a YouTuber? Is that my fate?” Because I don’t really enjoy doing that. I enjoy creating things and putting stuff on my face and the whole top to bottom of beauty. I love it. But I couldn’t imagine sitting in front of a camera and doing my makeup and saying, “Hey, I’m 50-plus. Let me show you how to lift your eyes!”

Brown: A friend of mine said open a TikTok account and just be yourself. Myself is not dancing to bad music. It’s giving tips and advice. So I started doing it, and I couldn’t believe it. The first couple got over a million views, and all the women were in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, saying, “Thank God you’re here. I need real advice.”

Zomnir: It’s a bigger group than Gen Z, which everyone wants a piece of. And, look, I want a piece of Gen Z too, but I don’t think we can ignore our own sisters.

Brown: I don’t pay attention to Gen Z. I don’t care.

Kilgore: I don’t know what Gen Z is.

Zomnir: It’s children, your children.

Kilgore: I just think, What will this do for a customer? What might she need?

Zomnir: Okay, now Bobbi’s inspired me to try TikTok. 

Brown holding Cody, the second of her three sons, in an ad for the Bobbi Brown Baby fragrance. (Cody is now the director of e-commerce for Jones Road.)

Jeff Licata

Brown: And by the way, our sales quadrupled. Do it your way. It’s not perfect, not scripted. It’s just what you feel like saying — about entrepreneurship or raising your kids or three things you do when you’re having a [terrible] day.

WITH ZOMNIR READY FOR TIKTOK, WE MOVE ON TO THE BIG QUESTION: WHAT’S CHANGED?

Zomnir: Social media has caused a democratization of the industry. When we launched our first brands, it was about, “How do you get out there?” There wasn’t social media and nobody was paying attention to these little brands. I remember going into a store and asking for my own brand and someone was like, “Let me show you Lancôme.” You couldn’t get past the wall of the giant brands. And now it’s all about the noise, right? There’s a hundred different brands out there. And I think all of us helped break down that barrier for everybody else to have the opportunity to be in the business, which is really cool.



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