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  • 5 Dec 2022 4:25 PM | Anonymous

    Finally free from a corporate owner and a two-decade non-compete clause, Brown is reveling in the ability to speak directly with her most ardent fans. “I don't hire focus groups,” she says. “I have the internet.”

    Written by Maggie McGrath

    InMay, makeup mogul Bobbi Brown had a decision to make: should she clap back at the TikTok influencers who were misusing her newest product, a moisturizer-like foundation, or should she keep her mouth shut and avoid feeding the outrage cycle?

    Brown split the difference. She recorded educational videos about how to properly use the foundation (sparingly, not in fistfuls, as some wayward TikTokers had done) and one joke reel that poked fun at the gobs of product the influencers were using. Naturally, the joke reel went viral, drawing north of 4 million views.

    “I was like, ‘Uh oh, am I gonna get canceled?’” Brown said five months later. She mentioned the incident during a makeup master class for her new brand, Jones Road Beauty, in front of a live audience of some three dozen—wait for it—social media beauty influencers. She got laughs in response, because of course Brown was not canceled. “Foundation-gate,” as her son Cody Plofker refers to it, has only endeared Brown more to the social-media masses.

    “She’s a 65-year-old TikTok sensation,” Plofker said. He’s come to Jones Road’s Montclair, New Jersey, event space not just as supportive offspring. He serves as Jones Road’s chief marketing officer, and together with serial entrepreneur and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk, Plofker was responsible for nudging Brown onto TikTok earlier this year.

    “She’s a bigger-than-life personality,” Vaynerchuk told Forbes, “and that’s always going to work.”

    It’s a new chapter for Brown who, two years ago this month, launched Jones Road, a direct-to-consumer beauty line in Brown’s signature minimalist, “no-makeup makeup” style. Jones Road is the first cosmetics company Brown has been allowed to create since selling her first brand, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, to Estee Lauder for a reported $74.5 million in 1995. Then 38 years old, Brown signed a 25-year non-compete clause, figuring she’d be happy turning Bobbi Brown Cosmetics into a billion-dollar brand under the umbrella of a bigger company until it was time to retire in her 60s.

    While Brown maintains that she doesn’t regret signing the 25-year non-compete—“I don’t believe in mistakes,” she said. “I believe in an opportunity to shift and fix things”—she nonetheless got an itch to leave Estee Lauder before the contract was up. She announced her departure at the end of 2016, and bought herself a necklace charm with the date when she’d be legally allowed to operate in the beauty space again: 1020, for October 2020.

    “I knew I had four-and-a-half years, which is a long time for an impatient person,” she told Forbes.

    At first, Brown satisfied her entrepreneurial itch by opening a boutique hotel, The George, in her Montclair hometown with her husband in 2018. That same year, she also launched a lifestyle website, justbobbi.com. But following her departure from Estee Lauder, Brown found herself without the stock to perpetuate a longtime tradition: handing out makeup samples to the teens (and some parents) on Montclair's Halloween trick-or-treating route.

    “I didn’t have anything to give away, so I made a lipstick,” Brown saidPeople loved it, so she quietly started experimenting with other products, including an accidental blush-like product that she coined “miracle balm.” Her contract said she wasn’t allowed to sell any of it—she ignored phone calls from folks who’d heard through the grapevine about her tinkering—until October 26, 2020. That day, the very date the non-compete expired, Brown officially launched Jones Road Beauty. Ironically, now that she has the inventory, Halloween 2022 trick-or-treaters won’t get any of it: Brown and her husband moved and aren’t telling the public where they are now.

    Jones Road, which Brown and her husband self-funded with $2 million and to this day has no debt and no outside venture funding, was profitable within a few months and notched a reported $20 million in sales for 2021. It’s on track to triple that this year, and chief operating officer Steve Levine—who Brown hired away this past summer from KDC/One, a private-label personal care manufacturer—says that projections for 2023 are “double” the 2022 figures.

    “Besides her makeup artistry, experience and excellence, she really has a knack for business,” Levine said of Brown. “She knows what sells. And she has a real good feel for her consumers.”

    That feel comes largely from decades as a makeup artist. Brown got her start in the 80s doing work for fashion magazines and celebrities. “You hear what the consumer likes right away because they tell you,” Brown said.

    Of course, when you’re a makeup artist, you can only hear from as many customers as you have time to fit into your schedule on any given day. Since getting involved with TikTok in earnest at the beginning of 2022, Brown has amassed a following of 416,000, many of whom are not afraid to tell her how they feel. Foundation-gate aside, Brown is reveling in the ability to hear directly from what she refers to as “her people” and then position her 40 employees, many of whom have little traditional beauty industry experience, to act in close to real time.

    “I don’t hire focus groups,” she said. “I have the internet.” Now, with Jones Road’s direct-to-consumer model, “I could literally pull something out and get it on the market in two seconds. If it doesn't work out, I could find something else to do without having to worry, ‘Oh my God, how do I fix this?’ It’s really much more fun.”

    This isn’t to say everything is going smoothly. Plofker and Brown both told Forbes that Brown’s earliest TikTok videos started doing 1 million views in 24 hours, and a sales surge—a tripling of daily sales, in fact—quickly followed. The demand put pressure on an already tight supply chain, and Brown found certain products running out in three weeks whose stock she’d expected to last six months. It’s not an awful problem to have, but backlogs make customers unhappy.

    It’s during times like these that Brown has appreciated how far she’s come. She said a younger version of herself might have panicked over the shortfall. Now, however, she’s feeling more confident in how she can solve problems. For instance, when it came to the product whose stock ran up in three weeks, Brown got a call from her manufacturing plant. They’d found 2,500 units, but had no boxes to package the makeup. “They said, ‘We’re going to order boxes, and it’ll only be a month,’” Brown said. “I said, ‘No you’re not. You’re going to Kings and you're getting a white sandwich bag and find neon pink tape. And we’re going to send them out like that with the ingredients on a little card.’” All 2,500 units were gone in a day.

    COO Levine described Brown as someone who knows what she wants and who often gets just that. But there’s one wish Brown has recently found herself wanting to retract. In 2021, Brown told the Financial Times that she didn’t want to be part of a billion-dollar brand again. A year later, she told Forbes, she might need to clarify that statement.

    “It’s heading in that direction,” she said. But even if Jones Road’s numbers reach the same level as her old company, Brown’s approach will not. “I don't want to do what I did. I want to do everything I’m doing differently.”

  • 5 Dec 2022 7:36 AM | Anonymous


    The stock market fell Monday as investors debated whether the bear market rally that pulled major indexes up as much as 20% from October lows has finally come to an end, with some predicting the Federal Reserve's ongoing interest rate hikes will only make matters worse for already struggling firms—and particularly those in technology.

    Economy Crash

    "This is typically how bear markets end," explains one Morgan Stanley predicting a new stock market ... [+]



    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 470 points, or 1.4%, to 33,960 on Monday, while the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 1.9% and 2.2%, respectively.

    The sell-off picked up steam after morning data showed the U.S. service sector unexpectedly picked up last month thanks to an uptick in business activity and employment, according to the Institute for Supply Management—suggesting the Fed has room to cool the economy with additional rate hikes in order to tame inflation.

    "This report could suggest wage pressures will remain strong," Oanda analyst Edward Moya said in emailed comments, noting "good economic news is bad news for stocks" because it heightens the risk that Fed rate hikes will persist into next year—stocks also fell Friday after a strong jobs report further fueled the uncertainty.

    In a morning note to clients, Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Wilson, who correctly called for the start of a bear market rally six weeks ago, warned rising interest rates still pose a risk to corporate earnings in the coming quarters—especially for technology and consumer-oriented businesses that are historically most vulnerable to weaker consumer demand.

    Despite the overall bearishness, Wilson outlined one "net positive that cannot be ignored”: Though former tech darlings will be hard hit, Wilson believes the average stock "likely will not" hit a new low next year, as evidenced by more than 60% of stocks in the S&P trading above their average price over the last 200 days.


    The Fed's next interest rate announcement is slated for December 14. Goldman Sachs economists forecast a half-point hike next month, followed by three quarter-point hikes next year. That would push the top borrowing rate to 5.25%—the highest level since 2007; however, incoming economic data could lower—or raise—these forecasts.


    "This is typically how bear markets end—with the darlings of the last bull [market] finally underperforming to the degree that is commensurate with their outperformance during the prior bull market," says Wilson of tech's expected underperformance next year.


    Stocks have rallied since October but are still facing steep double-digit percentage losses. The S&P is down 17% this year, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has plunged 29%. In a Thursday note, JPMorgan analysts led by Dubravko Lakos-Bujas issued a similar forecast to Morgan Stanley, predicting the S&P will “retest this year’s lows” in the first half of 2023 with another 14% decline. The bank cited a “proverbial snowball” of high borrowing costs, a deterioration in consumer savings and a rise in unemployment will contribute to the market’s poor performance.

  • 1 Dec 2022 8:33 AM | Anonymous


    It's a busy time of year for many small business owners. You're looking to make your company more efficient, grow your customer base and keep everyone happy. That can be tough, but thankfully there's an app for that! The following are six tools I've found useful for running our own businesses:

    You can grow your business with these seven apps.

    If your business is stuck in the mud, these six apps will help you get moving again. Each of them can be used for a variety of business functions and features, so take note of which ones would best suit what you're trying to achieve.

    • Quickbooks

    • ClickUp

    • Canva

    • Google Analytics

    • Flowdesk

    • G Suite

    • Dubsado

    QuickBooks is one of the most popular accounting services on the market, and can be used for a variety of business functions. The software allows you to manage your finances, pay bills, track expenses and more. ClickUp is a cloud-based task management app that allows users to create projects and tasks that can be assigned to team members.

    The app allows users to create a task list, add comments and assign tasks to team members for completion. Canva is a web-based graphic design tool that allows users to build their own designs from scratch or use ready-made templates. The app has millions of free images, fonts and layouts available for use in creating professional-looking graphics quickly and easily. Google Analytics is a free website analytics tool that allows you to track visitor traffic

    and gain insights into how your website is performing. The app allows you to see what content on your site is most popular and where visitors are coming from. Flowdesk is a cloud-based project management software that allows users to create projects, assign tasks to team members and track the progress of each task completed throughout the entire process. Dubsado is a CRM tool that can be used for managing contacts, leads, opportunities and more in one place.

    QuickBooks Online

    QuickBooks Online is an accounting software that helps you manage your finances, payroll, invoicing and other tasks. With the free version of Quickbooks Online you can:

    • Track your expenses by category or payee.

    • Create estimates and invoices in minutes.

    • Import bank transactions to help make sure they're accurate.

    With a paid plan, you'll have access to more features such as payroll service (extra fee) along with time tracking and more advanced tools for accountants or small businesses looking for assistance with their finances.


    ClickUp is a project management software that provides the tools you need to manage your team and projects. It can be used for time tracking, task management, creating an interactive calendar and project dashboard. ClickUp also has integrations with Slack so you can communicate with your team in one place.

    You can use ClickUp for free or pay for an upgraded account (starting at $9 per month).


    Canva is a graphic design tool that lets you create images, logos and more. You can choose from their selection of templates or upload your own image to get started. If you need help finding the right layout or text format, Canva has an easy-to-use guide on their website.

    Canva also has an iOS app and desktop version (Windows/macOS) as well as a mobile app in the App Store and Google Play Store that allows users to access their projects where they work.

    Google Analytics

    Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you track your website traffic. It will tell you how many people are visiting your site and where they are coming from, as well as what they are doing when they get there. You can use this information to make strategic decisions about how to optimize your site for conversions. You can also set up goals in Google Analytics so that it tracks specific actions on your website - for example, if someone signs up for an email newsletter or downloads something from your store.


    Flowdesk is a customer service software that helps you manage your customer service in an organized way. It's a cloud-based tool, so it's easy to use and offers plenty of features for managing your customers' messages. In addition to the basics like threaded conversations and ticketing systems, Flowdesk also has an integrated knowledge base that lets you create articles for FAQs or other information about your business. And if you want to keep track of inventory or items on sale, there are integrations available for that as well!

    G Suite

    G Suite is a suite of cloud-based collaboration apps for work and education. It includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts and more. G Suite can be used by individuals as well as businesses and organizations.

    G Suite is an alternative to Microsoft Office. The service offers access to the same basic productivity tools at no cost and adds some useful business extras like security features (two-step authentication), advanced admin controls for IT departments and additional storage space for photos or videos that don't make it into your regular email attachments.


    Dubsado is a cloud-based CRM platform that helps you manage your customer relationships. With Dubsado, you can create custom forms, collect leads and organize sales pipelines. You can also use its contact management feature to track important information about each customer and their interactions with you.

    If you want to increase collaboration between your team members, Dubsado offers features like calendar sharing, internal messaging and file sharing. It also allows for easier reporting through its analytics dashboard so you can make informed decisions about how best to grow your business.


    We hope that we have helped you to discover some great tools for your business. Even though the world of technology is constantly changing, there are some apps that will always be useful and relevant. The most important thing is to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your industry, so that you can make sure all of your employees are using the latest tools available for their jobs.

  • 11 Mar 2015 6:37 AM | Anonymous

    This is another sample blog entry. Depending on your readers' access permissions, they can comment on your posts, and reply to comments.

    You can learn more about setting up blog pages on our Blog help page.

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