In this interview with founders of Billion Dollar Brows I try to understand better what moves cosmetics innovators to developp products and offers that goes beyond what you’d ever dreamed of. Hence a whole product line solely dedicated to eyebrows … That’s such a one of a kind business idea ! A few months back I had this very long chat with the two founders of Glam Glow Mud, yet in this search for answers on the subject. I am not (and will never be) a beauty blogger but I am truly interested in the ways and means of the cosmetic industry and particularly in the birth of new brands and concepts. Here are the answers of Natalie and Bob Plain, respectively CEO and COO of their ‘husband and wife run company’ :
Business Madame : What is the story that encouraged you to create Billion Dollars Brows?
Natalie Plain : Beautiful brows for all is our mission as the co-founders and visionaries behind Billion Dollar Brows. I was inspired to create the company after seeing the damage so many women did by over plucking. I also have very fond memories of childhood trips to the salon in Beverly Hills with my mother; I learned that beautiful brows were a potentially life-changing yet completely affordable luxury. I made it my personal mission to teach women (and men) the secrets to beautiful brows by sharing my styling knowledge and offering fabulous products.
Bob Plain: I was inspired by my wife’s enthusiastic pursuit of beautiful brows for all people. I may have been her first convert! Basically, we saw a need and we set out to fulfill it.
“As a husband-and-wife-run company, separating family and work can be challenging, but we learned to make it flow smoothly and work perfectly for us and our employees. We are very dedicated to making all of our key decisions together.” Natalie Plain
BM : What was the turning point that made you feel for sure that the strategy was right?
Bob: We started very small; our first office was the living room of our Los Angeles apartment, but we were inspired and we had a good idea for a product–a treatment to restore thin, sparse brows. We called our product Brow Boost and it was an immediate success. We received positive attention on television and in magazines. We weren’t lucky, we simply offered a product that worked and that people had been seeking.
Natalie: Not long after Brow Boost’s release, we added a complete range of cosmetic products dedicated exclusively to eyebrows.
Bob: We take pride in offering our customers pencils, gels, powders, and tools made with the best ingredients and materials, all at a great value.
BM : How do you manage the company? What is the role of each cofounder?
Natalie: As a husband-and-wife-run company, separating family and work can be challenging, but we learned to make it flow smoothly and work perfectly for us and our employees. We are very dedicated to making all of our key decisions together.
Bob: As COO, I handle most of the marketing and day-to-day aspects of running the business while as CEO, Natalie has her finger on the pulse of fashion and beauty industry trends. She is also the public face of our company. She is a fantastic speaker and handles many of our appearances.
BM : Do you consider Billion Dollars Brows as a niche brand? What is the potential of the brand, on which other product segment ?
Bob: We prefer to not think of Billion Dollar Brows as a “niche” brand. Yes, we are intensely focused on one aspect of the beauty industry, but our audience and appeal are broad. It is our sincere belief that all people, male and female, can benefit from basic brow-grooming knowledge. We offer a variety of beauty implements for men as well as women, but clearly women are our core demographic. That being said, with women comprising 51% of the world population, they are hardly a niche!
Natalie: Billion Dollar Brows has excellent potential for growth. In just the past year, we have expanded our global reach exponentially. Right now, we are focused on bringing our message and our core products to new audiences as opposed to developing new products. We offer simple beauty and that is a message people the world over have been waiting to hear.
BM : What makes your offer so unique ?
Natalie: What we offer is simple, but it is a concept that has been neglected in recent decades. Our approach is very personalized, taking into account the unique facial symmetry of each customer. Typically, eyebrow trends have focused on brows alone instead of an individual’s face. Often, women will try to copy the brows of a famous celebrity or style icon with disastrous results. What looks good on one person may not look good on another.
Bob: We want people to understand that their best look is determined by what looks good on their face, not what looks good on another person. We teach them to take their own features into account.
BM : How do you adress the fact that european women are less keen on spending on details such as brows?
Bob: This trend seems to be changing for us. The European market has been one of our biggest areas of growth recently. I think European women have realized the huge impact brows can have on overall appearance despite seeming such a simple detail.
Natalie: It’s is not about looking high maintenance or overly made-up; details as simple as flawed facial symmetry can be corrected with tiny changes to eyebrows. It is a myth that beautiful brows are expensive to achieve and maintain. The truth is, all you need are a few tools and a little know-how. We offer both!
BM : Define the Billion Dollars Brows perfect ‘afficionada’ ? her job, her style, her vacation habits, etc. Who is your customer?
Natalie: We can’t emphasize enough that our products are not exclusive. It is our sincere belief that beautiful brows are the right of every person. Yes, some people opt to take their brow experiences a step further and we welcome that! But it is our core belief that knowledge of your own facial symmetry and basic grooming techniques should be universal.
Bob: We are finding that the “typical” Billion Dollar Brows “aficionada” is evolving. Brows used to be an afterthought of the cosmetics industry but that is all changing. While brows used to be considered a luxury enjoyed by wealthy, fashion-focused jet setters and fashion and beauty industry professionals, there has been an evolution in the past decade. Now, our customers come from every walk of life and every segment of the population. Sure, media attention has driven the evolution, but some of it certainly stems from people’s growing understanding that a well-groomed brow is essential.