Meeting Bobbi Brown

Monday, July 6th 2015 0

The best morning ever...

I don't think I will ever forget how excited I was to open the e-mail that invited me to breakfast with actual Bobbi Brown.

As part of a completely jam packed week in the UK, Bobbi had invited a group of beauty bloggers for breakfast at the Ham Yard Hotel and I was one of them. She had so much to share with us – collections to show us, a new eyewear range to launch with Liberty – but, most importantly, she simply wanted to tell us her story.

Bobbi Loves London 5

While we all sat on cosy sofas and chairs with healthy breakfast nibbles, Bobbi entered the room and made her way to her own cosy chair at the front. She was absolutely tiny, in sneakers and jeans, and casually strolled through us as one of the girls here to relax for the morning.

Bobbi Loves London 2

Sharing her story with a powerpoint, I was really taken by how personal Bobbi had made her presentation. I don’t know why but I was expecting marketing stories and product based anecdotes, but instead this was literally about her through and through. She showed us everything from high school photos when she wanted to look like Cher and Jackie O, the time she cropped her hair because she loved her mom and she had told her to, and old photos from her first ever shoots. She really wanted to take us on her journey and told us every last detail about her life. What I loved about her was how vocal she was that her success didn’t come overnight. She really reinforced that with time, hard work and drive, you can achieve whatever you wish to.

Bobbi Loves London 4

Initially, she said that her mom had asked her to imagine an ideal world in which she could do whatever she wanted. Without worrying about the how or when, Bobbi said that she would work in make-up. So that was it. Her mother encouraged her to follow her truest dream and so her journey began. She advertised herself in the yellow pages because there was no social media or internet or anything of the sort, and with time she was travelling the world as a make-up artist to some of the biggest artists in the world.

Bobbi Loves London 3

One of her most valuble experiences was making over Jerry Hall in her very early days as a make-up artist. Jerry, she said, was a total lady and very courteous, but simply re-did lots of her make-up afterwards. Bobbi said that she examined what it was that Jerry needed to change and learned from her amendments.

Bobbi Brown Beauty Emergency Kit

Explaining how the brand began, she told us that Bobbi Brown cosmetics stemmed from a lack of neutral lipsticks for all skin tones. She wanted women of every skin tone to have their perfect nude and so she tried her samples on models and friends until she was convinced she had done so.

Bobbi Brown Christmas Palette


She began selling them simply to people around her, until one night that she bumped into a buyer from Bergdorf Goodman at a party. It was decided: Bergdorf Goodman would take the range. Saks then expressed an interest in Bobbi’s line, but she was exclusive to Bergdorf’s and had to tell them no. In the eleventh hour, Bergdorf’s decided that they wouldn’t be stocking her line. “That’s ok”, she told them, “Saks wanted it anyway.” Half an hour later they called her back, and begged her to launch with them as before.

Bobbi Loves London 1

A turning point for Bobbi was when Estee Lauder companies decided to buy her brand. She says that this is what gave her so much time back to spend with her family, her husband and her children.

Something that really struck me during the breakfast was how passionate Bobbi’s team were. Everyone was just so excited to be with her and part of the brand, both her New York team and the London team. She told us about her working space where all foods were healthy (now the breakfast made sense) and clean eating was something that she felt was important for looking after her team. (She did, however, let us into the secret that if you ever needed something sweet you needed simply to raid the cupboard of her PR team!) They use the space in her office to exercise together, to take time out and really look after themselves despite the fast pace of working for such an enormous brand.

A grounded, articulate woman, it was refreshing to hear that someone with such a huge amount of success had simply worked for it. There was no luck, no magic formula, just good old fashioned hard work. I left feeling inspired and totally amazed that I had just been cuddled for a photo with the woman who created a good fifth of my make-up collection.

Bobbi Brown and Me

What an amazing morning and an amazing woman, I love the brand now more than ever!

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