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October 4, 2023 33 mins

Bobbi Brown revolutionized the makeup world with her neutral lipsticks—but that was just her start. From there, Bobbi has taken the beauty industry by storm, and has even branched out into hospitality, media, and wellness. On this episode of She Pivots, recorded live in The Church in Sag Harbor, Bobbi talks with Emily about her decision to stay on with her brand for decades—and her decision to walk away—her foray into the hotel business, and the values she holds onto as she’s building something new. 

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hi, sheep Pivots listeners.

Speaker 2 (00:02):
I'm so excited to share with you that we've been
nominated for the second year in a row for Signal
Awards Listener's choice for Most Inspirational Episode for this season's
episode with Ukrainian refugee Tetiana Podle. But in order to win,
we need your vote. To vote for our episode, visit
the link in our Instagram bio at sheep Pivots the Podcast,

or search for sheep Pivots when you go to vote
dot Signal Award dot com. Tetiana story is truly incredible.
As a Ukrainian refugee, she's dedicated herself to volunteering in
the war, and her story starts long before she was
even born as she recalls the experiences of her grandparents
in a post Soviet Ukraine. She carries us through an

emotional retelling of how she went back to her home
country just weeks after the war, started to care for
her family and eventually leading a grassroots effort to transport
supplies to her father's U unit on the front lines.
It is truly an amazing episode, so please vote and
share it with your friends. Welcome to she Pivots the Podcast.

Where we talk with women who dared to pivot out
of one career and into something new and explore how
their personal lives impacted these decisions.

Speaker 1 (01:30):
I'm your host, Emily Tish Sussman.

Speaker 3 (01:36):

Speaker 2 (01:36):
I'm thrilled to be sharing our live she Pivots recording.
We did this summer with the phenomenal Bobby Brown. You
know that Bobby Brown in full transparency. Bobby has been
a long time dream guest of mine. Okay, I know
I say that a lot, but her pivots always fascinated me.
From building a massive beauty empire to recently founding Joe

Road Beauty, I wanted to know if the pivot into
something smaller felt more fulfilling.

Speaker 1 (02:06):
So a quick refresh before we hop into the episode.

Speaker 2 (02:10):
Bobby founded and built the now household beauty brand Bobby
Brown in the nineties and sold it to Estey Lauter
shortly after and signed the infamous non compete clause that
prevented her from starting another beauty brand for twenty five years.
So she stayed on with the company for over twenty
years and built it into a billion dollar brand. Then,

almost twenty five years to the day after she signed
her non compete. She launched her own brand again, Jones
Road Beauty. She also started a handful of other ventures
over the years, like Just Bobby dot com, a digital
editorial content site, The George, a thirty one room boutique
hotel in Montclair, and two podcasts, The Important Things and

Beyond the Beauty. I want to take a moment to
say thank you to the Church, our local center for
the arts, creativitying community, for hosting us. This was truly
the perfect backdrop for a She Pivots live recording.

Speaker 1 (03:07):
Let's jump right in. My name is Sherry Pasparella.

Speaker 4 (03:12):
I am the executive director of the Church, on behalf
of myself and our lovely board and all of our
team would like to welcome you warmly here today. I
was thinking a lot about the ways in which she
Pivots and the idea of empowered and empowering women connects
with the spirit of creativity, which is what we do here.

And I think Emily and Bobby embody the notion of
a contemporary creative woman as somebody who's able to define
on their own terms how their voice and vision can
exist in the world. I'm very pleased to introduce you
guys all to the lovely and awesome Emily Tish Assessman.

Speaker 2 (04:00):
So thank you so much for joining this live podcast
of she Pivots. I was just chatting with Bobby in
the back before. We've only done a handful of them.
So we've done. We've interviewed live on stage Stacy London
from What Not to Where, Robin Arzon from Pelotony launched
her book, and Vice President Kamala Harris and today Bobby Brown.

So I spent about fifteen years as a political strategist
working in Washington on federal policy, and then I had
three kids in three and a half years and went
into a global pandemic.

Speaker 1 (04:32):
And you know what you can't do.

Speaker 2 (04:33):
With three kids in three and a half years in
a global pandemic anything at all, And you definitely can't
work on an upcoming presidential campaign which will determine basically
the next wave of your political future. So I saw
my career falling apart before me, and it.

Speaker 1 (04:47):
Was out of my control.

Speaker 2 (04:49):
So when Cherry and I were chatting about we could
potentially do together, she's so generous and said, well, who
were your dream guests?

Speaker 1 (04:55):
Maybe we can try to get them.

Speaker 2 (04:57):
The next thing I said is that I've actually always
wanted to of you, Bobby Brown, because she exemplifies for
me this idea that you can have a vision of success,
of what looks like success having a big business, and
I'm going to assume a little bit here, but maybe
finding a different kind of happiness potentially more in changing
your version of success with the business that she has

now in so many other ventures. So the church as
a cultural center is the perfect place to have this conversation.
I'm a full time resident here. Bobby is also a
part time resident here. This is the first place that
we have found community. This is the place that we
have chosen to raise our family. So it also feels
a lot of pressure that we're actually in our own
community here.

Speaker 1 (05:36):
We were just chatting that before.

Speaker 2 (05:38):
But so I'm so excited to bring up the incredible
Bobby Brown. Bobby, your resume is long, extensive. We'll get
to some great highlights. Why don't we just start every interview?

Speaker 1 (05:55):
What is your name and what do you do?

Speaker 3 (05:57):
My name is Bobby Brown. It's always a weird thing.
I'm a makeup artist. That's what I think of myself.
I'm a makeup artist. I'm a serial entrepreneur, I'm a wife,
I am a mother, and I am a grandmother.

Speaker 2 (06:11):
So let's go back. Let's start from the beginning. We're
going to do a little chronological here. Then we're going
to get more interesting. But I want to start back
to when you were a teenager and you decided to
go well, you didn't know that you were going into.

Speaker 1 (06:21):
Makeup, but you loved it. What was it about makeup
that drew you in?

Speaker 2 (06:25):
You know?

Speaker 4 (06:26):
I was.

Speaker 3 (06:27):
I had gone to two colleges, didn't like either of them.
Told my mom I wanted to drop out. I thought
it was really boring. It was really boring, it wasn't interesting.
And she said, you can't. You have to go to school.
And I said, but I don't know what I want
to do. She said, forget what you want to do
for a living. If today's your birthday, you could do anything.
What would you want to do. I could have said
go to Paris. I could have said, you know, eat brownies.

I said, I want to go to Marshall Fields and
play with makeup. She said, why don't you be a
makeup artist? And I said, all right, I'll find a
college that will allow me to do makeup. And I
found em they didn't have makeup, but they had a
degree called an interdisciplinary degree where you could make your
own major. I still don't know what inter interdisciplinary means,

but I made up my major and I figured I
learned how to be an entrepreneur.

Speaker 2 (07:14):
Well, you have said that when you were when you
were younger, when you were a teenager, that you thought
you would always be.

Speaker 1 (07:19):
A teacher and a mother.

Speaker 2 (07:21):
Do you feel like you continuously kept coming back to
that throughout your career or do you feel like you
went on different paths.

Speaker 3 (07:29):
I have been a teacher and a mother, and so
I have accomplished that, and you know, and I also
have accomplished way more than I ever dreamed or thought possible.
I mean, never in a million years would I have
thought that I have experienced and accomplished what I have.
And if there was a crystal ball that said this
is going to be your life, I would have said, no,

thank you seriously. Yeah, it's a lot. I love it,
but you know, my what really defines me is not
work and success, even though it's amazing what I've been
able to accomplish, but it's being a wife, a mother,
and a friend. Like my dear friends are here and like, honestly,
like that makes me choke up, because that's what matters.

Speaker 2 (08:12):
What did you think your life was going to look like?
You say, you know, you weren't really sure, But what
did you think it was going to look like?

Speaker 3 (08:16):
I mean, I thought I would live in the suburbs
and marry a Jewish guy. I did both of those things,
you know, I thought I would I don't know, work
in a I don't know, a department store. I don't know.
I never thought. I don't think about things before I
do it. I know that sounds really weird. I'm just like, oh,
that sounds interesting, that looks interesting, and I just dive.

Speaker 1 (08:38):
In and dive in.

Speaker 3 (08:40):
She did.

Speaker 2 (08:41):
It was the nineties and Bobby saw a gap in
the makeup industry and decided to fill it by going
against the mainstream trends and releasing a makeup brand with
neutral tones. It took off and became the household name
for accessible and natural makeup. What did success look like
to you at that point? Like, what were you trying

to get to?

Speaker 3 (09:03):
Well, I was trying to be able to pay my
four hundred dollars rent. That was by far the number
one thing, seriously, and you know, my father for a
graduation from college, gave me my rent for a year,
and I'll never forget. I called him up and he
gave me a credit card. He said, you have two
hundred and fifty dollars to spend on this credit card.
And I said okay, and I could never ever do it.

And then I kept getting like I kept owing money,
and so the interest built up, and I called my dad.
I said, Dad, I cannot figure out how to like
figure out how to save money, how to pay this off.
He said, stop, just go find a way to make
more money. I said okay, and I hung up the
phone and I put an ad in the village voice.
Someone called me to do makeup. It was a guy.

It's another story I'll say for another time. Remind me later.
It was quite something.

Speaker 2 (09:50):
You did an interview on one of your podcasts with
Mickey Drexler from the fashion industry, and you talked in
that interview a lot about work ethic and asking where
you thought his came from. So I'm going to flip
that question to you. What do you think your work
ethic looks like and where do you think it came from?

Speaker 3 (10:08):
Well being from Chicago yay. Everybody like we're you know,
we're Midwestern people, like we're solid people. I watched my grandparents' work.
I watched my parents' work. Everybody worked hard to get
where they were, and I watched Papa Sam build all
his businesses, not realizing I was learning. Honestly, most of
the things I learned about now I know it's called

marketing and pr I learned from watching Papa Sam. How
he treated people, what were their businesses. I mean, his
last business was a car salesman. He was known as
Cadillac Sam in Chicago, and he was on the side
of buildings, and you know, he had a lot of
famous people. He was five two I think. I don't
think he was five to five, Papa Sam. And you

know he sold cars to al Capone and Meyer Lansky
and you know, and the best story Papa Sam ever
told me is one day he was in his car
dealership and some guy walked in with an overcoat and
two bags. He looked like he was a homeless guy.
No one would go wait on this guy. So Papa
went over and said, hey, doc, how you doing. And
the guy said, I want to buy a car. And

Papa said, all right, let me show you. The guy
had bags of cash and bought a car just like that.
And so you never know what someone you know, what
their background is until you really, you know, give someone
the time. I mean, honestly, some of the most successful
people you would never know they were that successful. And
you know, look, i was the one that would walk

around Barney's with a backpack and I'd be followed and
I'm like, Okay, I'm wearing sneakers or clogs or whatever,
and it's like, yeah, I'm not going to steal anything, guys.

Speaker 1 (11:41):
So and now that look would be very chic.

Speaker 3 (11:43):
Now it's finally back. Yes, fanny packs and backpacks and clogs.
You know, I'm happy you led the way. I'm telling
him you definitely did.

Speaker 2 (11:52):
So. You started Bobby Brown Cosmetics because you were mixing
your own on set. You found a partner at the
beginning of that partnership. How even you started with the partner,
How did you decide to launch the line under your name?

Speaker 3 (12:04):
Well, I didn't really decide to launch the line under
my name. So I met a chemist and I asked
him what he did, and it was at Keel's Pharmacy
and he told me he makes lipsticks on the side.
I said, I've always wanted to make a lipstick that
wasn't dry, wasn't grease. He didn't smell, it just looked
like lips. He's like, I could do it for you.

So he did and I after sending it back a
couple times with changes, we had a deal that we
would sell it and he would get seven fifty. I
would get seven fifty. I would have to sell it,
you know. He would give it to me, and I
thought it was the greatest thing. I thought, everyone's going
to love this lipstick. Then I realize everyone has different
color lips number one and some people like red, some

like pink, so I thought of ten colors. He said, okay, great.
He would send me makeup, you know, the lipsticks. I
would sell it. My husband would run it to the
store to mail it. And then it got really popular.
We had to get my sister in to do the
books because I don't know how to do that stuff.
And then we had a business, and then it got

serious and we got into Bergdorf. Not because I pitched Burgdorf,
because we were invited to a party at someone's house
and I asked her what she did and she was
a cosmetics buyer at Bergdorf and that's how we launched
Bergdorf Goodman and then we had to get a real lab.
The seven fifty seven fifty in business didn't really work.
It didn't really work out anymore.

Speaker 2 (13:28):
So at that point, did you decide this is my business,
I'm going out with it and he didn't fit into
it anymore. I am very interested in the idea in
kind of coming back to this question about putting yourself
on the brand, because right now people defining themselves as
brands is the name of the game, Like that's the.

Speaker 3 (13:43):
I didn't know what a brand was.

Speaker 4 (13:44):
To me.

Speaker 3 (13:44):
A brand was Kleenex. Okay, I mean it's like that's
a brand, Like all of a sudden, I'm a brand.
But no, I mean I remember at the time learning
that you can't this is not a normal business model.
And this guy couldn't really understand that. So one day
in an elevator, I smiled someone and I said what
do you do? And she said, oh, I work at
a cosmetics lab. I said, oh, I need someone to

have a card and man a cosmetics in Long Island
City and they made all the lipsticks. And that is
the truth. Met him in an elevator.

Speaker 2 (14:14):
So the fact that you did launch it under your
own lim and you said, now this is my business.
How did your version of success? What was your version
of success? At that point?

Speaker 3 (14:21):
I paid the rent, you know, my husband, and I like, look,
I started this business not by myself. I couldn't have
done it without him. He's sitting here and I don't
want to embarrass him, but I'm really smart. And this
is why I'm smart. I make sure I have someone
around me that knows what I don't, and so, you know, besides,

you know, he's just the smartest guy I know. He's
also he always encouraged me and supported me and would
tell me things like, don't worry, we can do this.
Don't worry, we got this. You know where I come
home and be like, she's doing this. Okay, calm down.
We're not going to talk about this at ten o'clock
at night. Okay, calm down, you'll be better in the morning.
It's always important to have a partner. So we really

we did it. We've done everything together.

Speaker 2 (15:06):
I think a key piece, whether someone's launching a business,
making a change, even staying the course, is really who
their personal kitchen cabinet is has yours stayed the same
or has it changed?

Speaker 3 (15:19):
Oh? It's completely changed, completely changed. I mean, I you know,
in this new brand, I don't have anyone from the
old country.

Speaker 1 (15:30):
But so you sold pretty quickly.

Speaker 3 (15:32):
We sold I guess four and a half years after
we launched. Yeah, yeah, wow, was right. We were thirty
two years old. Thirty four years old. Again, I'm not
good with numbers. I guess thirty four. But we had
two kids only at the time, and yeah, we sold.

Speaker 2 (15:48):
Now, I feel like there's so much like a big
decision to go from founder to collaborator to of what
kind of investors you bring in?

Speaker 1 (15:56):
What was the decision for you?

Speaker 3 (15:58):
Well, there wasn't those words back then. The decision was
Leonard Lotter called. And anyone that knows Leonard in this room,
he's the most wonderful human being. And when he called
and said, you're beating us in the stores, because we
were beating ste Latter in the department stores, he said,
we can't beat you anymore, so we want to buy you.

And you know, there was some issues with partners that
we had that we were not getting along with. That was,
you know, a little rough and my husband and I
you know, it was more money than we could have imagined.
And we said, yes, you know, And honestly, when Leonard said,
I know, I know that you know you're so amazing

at what you do, but I know you don't want
to spend your life doing the things you don't want
to do. What if I promised you that you could
do what you love and what you're good at, and
I trusted him.

Speaker 2 (16:49):
I want to hop in here to provide a little
context at this point. It was nineteen ninety five and
the language around business acquisition and non.

Speaker 1 (16:56):
Compete clauses was new to Bobby.

Speaker 2 (16:59):
And quite honestly not part of the mainstream conversation as
it is today.

Speaker 1 (17:03):
So did that.

Speaker 2 (17:04):
Feel like your version of success at that point that
you could focus on the part you liked and not
the part you.

Speaker 3 (17:08):
Didn't absolutely yes, yes, oh yes, And you know, and
to be able to do things that you could not
have imagined, you know, I mean, we sent our nieces
and nephews to college and a few other people, so
you got to do things that you know, that matter.

Speaker 2 (17:24):
What was the core piece of the business that you
really wanted to maintain for yourself and what areas were
you able to grow in because of this partnership.

Speaker 3 (17:33):
Well, I certainly am happy to never do hr, to
never do finance, to never do operations, and you know,
getting one thing to another place and where it goes.
I don't care. I just I just like everything else.
I like the product, I like the marketing, I like
the messaging and the creative part of it. I care
about those other things and I want to know about them,

but I want someone else to deal with them.

Speaker 2 (17:58):
When you were entering that partnership, you end up staying
with the company.

Speaker 3 (18:01):
Twenty two years.

Speaker 1 (18:03):
That is really unheard of.

Speaker 3 (18:06):
Yeah, when I hear that's what I hear, it's a
long time.

Speaker 2 (18:10):
At the time, when you entered into the partnership, did
you think that you would just say, Okay, great, this
is it. I'll just stay with this forever or did
you think what did you think?

Speaker 3 (18:17):
No, I don't remember how long our first contract was
how many years, but four three, three years? So and
we kept signing three years, two years, and I just
I didn't know. And you know, Steve would always ask me,
are you ready? And honestly, I went to work every
day thinking I own the company, and I realized at

the very end. I didn't because things changed for them too.

Speaker 2 (18:43):
Yeah, I think that are better known parts of your story.

Speaker 1 (18:47):
And this was the non compete? Right and how long
it was?

Speaker 3 (18:50):
Yes? We my husband, I'll never forget he called and
he said, all right, we have a deal. He said,
there's only one thing. They want you to sign, a
twenty five year non compete. Okay. I counted on my
fingers at the time because I was I thought I
was thirty two. I looked thirty two, but I was
thirty five. I said, I'm not going to want to
work on them in my sixties. Who cares? Let them
have it? So we signed and I didn't think I

would want to work in my sixties. And I launched
this new brand at sixty two? Was that the right
age you could do?

Speaker 2 (19:20):
The math Jones Road launched the month her non compete ended.
One had to wonder if she had been waiting for
this moment. Was there something specific that where you said, Okay,
I'm done, because I do think this is, you know,
like your big pivot, Like was there something that said
that I'm done here?

Speaker 1 (19:39):
Or it seemed like maybe it coincided at the end
of the of the non compete.

Speaker 3 (19:42):
No no. When I left, I hit four and a
half years left on the non compete, which I bought
a charm with an ampersand on it with the date
ten dot twenty when my non compete would It was
a really long four and a half years, let me
tell you. But I you know, that's kind of kept
me going. So so, you know, I just I don't know.
I just I stayed because I cared and it was

time to leave, probably for four years before I left.
And I didn't leave because I'm someone that thinks I
could make things better, I could fix things. I know
exactly what to do. But I guess I wasn't really
able to do what I thought I would do. So
it really took my aunt Alice, who I believe was
ninety at the time, maybe eighty eight. She's ninety one now,

and she said, stop. All I do is hear you
complain about things that are broken. I think you can't
fix it. I'm like, Aunt Alice, you're right. So it
took her to kind of say it's time. I was
fifty nine point something years old when I left the
brand and my kids were out of the house. You know,
I think it's when Duke went to you know, college.

But that's what I remember, like we had foreign exchange students,
we had nephews, we had and all of a sudden
everyone was gone and I wasn't working. Oh my god,
can you imagine what that was like? Where you wake
up at the morning and you're like and I wasn't
at Liberty to really talk about things until we had
a you know, an exit agreement. So it was a
couple tough months. And if it wasn't for my friends

who are sitting here that came over with tequila, you know,
the first couple days it was. It was an interesting time.

Speaker 2 (21:17):
You define yourself at the beginning as an entrepreneur. This
is not your only venture, not by a long shot.

Speaker 3 (21:24):
And I think when I lived in corporate America, I
became an entrepreneur because I you know, I started a blog.
I went to work at Yahoo to start a magazine.
I just I need things to keep busy. And you know,
you know, when you're on Instagram and you get to
write like what you're feeling, sometimes I say I'm bored.
Now I'm so busy, but I get bored. I'm just bored.

Speaker 2 (21:45):
So is that how you thought of all these different
ventures like does it come quickly and then you run
after it?

Speaker 1 (21:50):
Did you plan ahead? Like how did you think it?

Speaker 3 (21:52):
I just things happened. Well, you know when I called
Stephen and said I just you know, I'm just I
left the company, he said, why don't we a hotel?
I'm like, out of left field, Okay, I'm like, sounds
like a good idea.

Speaker 2 (22:05):
Okay, And so the George Hotel was born, a fun
and unique adventure that allowed Bobby to explore her husband,
Stephen Plofker's world of real estate development.

Speaker 3 (22:16):
It was a project, and it was the first real
development project that Stephen and I got to do together.
We had no plan, we had no budget, we had
no anything. It was you know, driving to home goods
to see what they had, going like I'm like going
on wayfair like figuring it out, going on restoration hardware outlet.
And we furnished this hotel like really throwing stuff in

the back of a truck that Steven's guys would pick
up and we'd figure out where it goes. And it
was a really fun project.

Speaker 1 (22:43):
It has built up so much in Montclair.

Speaker 2 (22:46):
You are a pillar in that community in so many ways,
and the hotel has become a community. I mean sort
of like the church, like a place where people can build,
a place that is a part of a part of
the community. How much has that been a factor in
your thinking about your time, your bandwidth, and your identity.

Speaker 3 (23:02):
Well, I mean Montclair is we moved to Montclair before
we had kids. I love Montclair. It's the closest, you know,
cool place to live outside of New York City. We
also have a photo, TV and events studio called eighteen Label,
and Steven's got a soccer bubble there. So we have
a pretty big footprint in Montclair. And we're you know,

some a bunch of our Montclair friends are here. A
couple people left, but you know, we're still Montclair family.
It's just, you know, it's a wonderful community. And I'm
so it's like it's like being from Chicago. Seriously, right,
It's just really nice, down to earth, interesting, eclectic, mixed community.

Speaker 1 (23:43):
You even moved your business there.

Speaker 3 (23:45):
Yes, Jones Road is there. Why would I want to
commute to New York City? But you know, I started
working Mondays and Fridays from home when I was part
of that big corporation. I didn't ask permission, it just
made sense for me. And then I get to do
things like drop my kids off at school, pick them
up from school, go to the grocery store. I was
the woman in the grocery store with a kid in

my arms, on the phone with an editor talking about
how fabulous you know, the new whatever it is, and
you know, buying groceries at the same time. Like I
was gonna say, micro tasking, multitasking, there's nothing micro tasking
about me.

Speaker 2 (24:21):
Well, I feel like you were thinking and executing on
the way that people think about work now, but you
were doing it fifteen and twenty years ago.

Speaker 3 (24:30):
I'm telling yes, and it just makes sense because I
would always make sure that I exercised because it made
me a better person. It gave me more energy, you know. So,
And honestly, even like I've always been someone that really
kind of underdresses for events, I'm kind of known as
you know, like I wore jeans to the White House
with the blazer and nice jewelry. No one knew I

was wearing jeans, and you know, once Obama did say
to me, nice kicks.

Speaker 2 (24:56):
You know, when I think about going through new ventures
and talking with women as are thinking about them, I
think the biggest value that I keep coming back to
if it's a value, But evaluation is what do I
want to keep?

Speaker 1 (25:11):
Like, what am I driving towards? And what can I
get rid of? As you've gone.

Speaker 2 (25:16):
Through all these chapters, especially as you came through you're
out of corporate, you're going through your four and a
half years of your non compete thinking about your new business.
What were those values that you were driving towards. What
do I want to keep and what do I want
to get rid of?

Speaker 3 (25:28):
Well, it's easy to say what I got rid of.
I got rid of corporate meetings that you prepare six
or eight months and hire a lot of people to
come in and give you their opinion, and then after
the meeting you realize it was a waste of time.
I don't do that, you know. I got rid of
fancy parties, you know, clicking our heels together, spending a
lot of money, and just started sending product to editors

asking if they wanted it. So, you know, things change,
things shifted. It's so much easier, and I get to
do all the fun stuff, you know. So it's not
all fun stuff. There's plenty of aggravation and plenty of
growing pains and you know, but it's like it's like
night and day. But I'm so glad I had the

first experience. It's like going to you know, grad school
and makeup. Like I really got my master's in business
at s D.

Speaker 2 (26:19):
Latter when you were thinking about what your next chapter
was going to be, was it always beauty?

Speaker 1 (26:25):
Like? Did it have to be beauty? Do you always
come back to that.

Speaker 3 (26:28):
I did not think I was going to launch another
makeup company when I left. I really had no idea.
So I did the hotel, I worked on eighteen label,
doing the marketing and social and then I had an
opportunity to open just Bobby Department at Lord and Taylor
because I called my dear friend Richard, he owned Lord

and Taylor. He said, we need traffic in the store.
Do you want to do this? I said, all right.
So I called my neighbor Lynette, who came and helped me.
Now you know, we still work together. She does all
my pr and we built a team, a creative team,
and it was really fun. Did it for a year
and then we brought it in house digitally, then just
started adding and then I really didn't think I was

going to go back to beauty. But I kind of
discovered this little teeny thing called miracle bomb and during
the pandemic I would call my girlfriends and I would
give them a little bit and then a week or
two later they'd say, I need more, Please, can I
have more? So it kind of started Jones Road.

Speaker 1 (27:30):
It's like in Harry Potter, the one shows you.

Speaker 3 (27:33):
Yeah exactly, you know, I'm like, wow, that worked, okay,
and then you did the next one. I'm like, okay,
that worked. But you know, the interesting thing about Jones
Road is nothing is what you would think it should be.
It just it's different. I mean our CMO, who honestly,
when he joined us, we quadrupled our business. He is

our second son and he used to be a strength
and conditioning coach and just learned all this masterful marketing
and he has done a great job. And his wife
is now our head of brand. She was our head
of social. Really interesting, that's for another podcast working with family,
but amazing.

Speaker 2 (28:16):
It could be there because you've had three podcasts so far.
But one of the things that I loved listening to
your episodes in a rows you have three different shows,
three different podcasts, and I loved listening to the way
you defined yourself at the beginning of each of them.
In the first show, you said, I'm a makeup artist
and I'm so many other things, Like you.

Speaker 1 (28:35):
Were saying, like, don't define me that way. Your second
show is about beauty, You're like, all right, I'm a
makeup artist.

Speaker 2 (28:40):
And then you're a third show, You're like, Okay, I'm
a makeup artist, but what are.

Speaker 1 (28:44):
The important things?

Speaker 3 (28:45):

Speaker 2 (28:46):
I kind of loved seeing your evolution over the last
five years.

Speaker 1 (28:49):
What do you think you've gotten out of them?

Speaker 3 (28:51):
I don't like to do the same thing once I've
done it, I want to do something differently. But I
love people's stories because everyone is a story. Like not
everyone you meet someone and you think, oh, that's what
they are. Everybody comes from something, and everyone's got a story,
and I find it really interesting. And the more you
get to share these stories, the more other women and
other people get to learn and say, ah, I never

thought of that. Wow, I bet I could do that too.

Speaker 1 (29:14):
How are you defining success now with Jones Road? Like?
Is it world domination?

Speaker 2 (29:18):
I had to find for you before this thing that
I wanted to interview you because you had world domination
in beauty and now have a different brand.

Speaker 1 (29:28):
Do you see it that way?

Speaker 3 (29:29):
I don't need to even think about it that way.
Been there, done that. I've gotten some of the most
incredible awards, you know, it's amazing, and I keep thinking
there's nothing else, and something comes up. So I mean,
what is success for me? Honestly, success is happiness, you know.
And yes, I'm happy. I love what I'm doing. It's
what I choose to do. I don't golf, I don't

play tennis, I don't garden. I find work in business
really interesting, especially if you could do it, you know,
in your way. And by the way, I don't work
like eight to seven, like I don't. I have a life,
you know. I meet my friends, I have lunch with
my family. I you know, I call people, So I'm

not I'm able to squish a lot of things in
and have a life. Yeah, and that's what happened to me,
that success.

Speaker 1 (30:18):
So this has been so wonderful.

Speaker 2 (30:20):
I could ask you one hundred more questions, but unfortunately
for me, we do have to end. So I have
one final question for you, which is what is something
that along the way, at the time you thought it
was such a negative alow. You thought, I'm never going
to get myself out of this, and now in retrospect,
you look back and you realize that it really launched you.

Speaker 3 (30:40):
I mean honestly, when I stopped working for S. D.
Lauter and Bobby Brown, I mean, that was a it
was a tough time. It was it was a loss,
and it was you know, I had a mourn this
company that I built, and you know it was hard.
You know, I didn't I couldn't speak to anyone for
a couple months, and that was really hard. And I

had to deal with myself, right. I was so busy
with things and you know, I had things on my
calendar for years and all of a sudden I had nothing,
and guess what, I had to deal with myself. So
it was a hard time, and you know, there was sadness.
And if I didn't have my doctor Jeff chiropractor that

helps get He helps get negative energy out of the body,
like I didn't go to a shrink because I didn't
want to talk about my mother, you know, but doctor
Jeff really helped. So yeah, But honestly, if that didn't happen,
could you imagine if I was still driving into the
city to go into meetings.

Speaker 1 (31:42):
No, no, well do you think you'll pivot again?

Speaker 3 (31:46):
I would surely think so. I mean, I don't know.
I mean I'm sixty six and I don't know what
I'm going to be doing when I'm eighty six or
ninety six. But I plan on always doing something interest,
something interesting. Whether I could do it and make money. Yeah, yeah, Bobby, Thank.

Speaker 1 (32:05):
You so thank you for joining us.

Speaker 3 (32:07):
Thank you to the church for hosting us. Thank thank
you so much.

Speaker 2 (32:12):
Bobby still lives in Montclair, New Jersey, where Jones Road
is headquartered. She doesn't seem to have any plans of
slowing down, and in fact opened another Jones Road brick
and mortar store in the Hamptons this summer. To learn
more about Bobby and Jones Road Beauty, you can find
her on Instagram at just Bobby Brown dot com and
on TikTok at just Bobby Brown. Thanks for listening. Thanks

for listening to this episode of She Pivots, where I
talk with women about how their experiences and significant personal
events led to their pivot and eventually their success. Be
sure to follow us on Instagram at she Pivots the
podcast and leave a rating in comment if you enjoyed
this episode to help others learn about it. A special

thank you to our partner Marie Claire and the team
that this episode possible.

Speaker 1 (33:02):
Talk to you next week.

Speaker 2 (33:07):
She Pivots is hosted by me Emily Tish Sussman, produced
by Emily eda Veloshik, with sound editing and mixing from
Nina Pollock and research and planning from Christine Dickinson and
Hannah Cousins.

Speaker 3 (33:21):
I endorse Che Pivots.
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