TODAY   |  March 28, 2013

Empowering women: Tips for female entrepreneurs

In honor of Women’s History Month, TODAY beauty editor Bobbi Brown wanted to help some aspiring entrepreneurs, based on her own experience of running a cosmetics brand. She shares some suggestions on how to be successful in the beauty industry.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in honor of women's history month, beauty editor bobbie brown wants to inspire entrepreneurs to make history of their own. she offers real world advice based on her own experience running a power house brand. she started her own company with ten shades of lipstick. that was 22 years ago and the rest is history. today she's happy to share her own recipe for success, especially to women with a passion of their own, brown recently sat down with three hopeful entrepreneurs. first up, an aspiring fashion designer whose corporate temp job recently ended.

>> i have these ideas in my head that if i just had a sewing machine i would do this.

>> a retiree who intends to coach families on improved health and wellness for her second act.

>> i've always been into healthy eating. and i've always shared the information with other people.

>> and finally, a personal assistant/operations manager who spends her nights and weekends planning dates for busy couples.

>> and that's what i'm here to do. try to keep people together.

>> i've put together a collection of ten colors and had no idea how i was going to sell it. and went out to lunch with a friend of mine who was a beauty editor at a magazine. she said can i write about this? and that's how i started. and a lot of things i learned was based on common sense and guts.

>> in 2008 , i got a sewing machine and that's when i started designing, making 12 garments so i can create a look to actually market and sell to buyers.

>> have you ever thought about doing custom designing for women?

>> that's what i actually am doing right now. is i'm looking into doing sewing.

>> i did as many things as i could to get experience. so keep doing that.

>> after i was separated from the payroll, i said what am i going to do? what do i love? why not just go into nutrition?

>> no one's paid you yet?

>> exactly.

>> but eventually you'll be comfortable enough to start asking -- that's when you start slow and then i don't think it's as scary.

>> you know it's scary.

>> if we didn't try things we didn't know about, we would never get anywhere.

>> exactly.

>> i have a wonderful boss who really guided me.

>> to restaurant reservations.

>> i haven't been paid.

>> it sounds like a concierge service , which you might consider.

>> my biggest challenge right now is try to break away.

>> it's important to be able to support yourself. all of you guys. expand your, you know, your client base. and then you've got to get word out what you do. could be social media , career fairs, meet people.

>> your passion leads to other people's passion.

>> it does.

>> don't be afraid of anything. be confident of who you are and what you know.

>> bobbi is here with us now. good to see you.

>> you too.

>> one of the ladies wrote in to you're on the board, they help women with independence and following their dreams. are these ladies on the right track?

>> they are, they are. they're definitely just starting out and my advice to them was if you believe in it, just do it and don't by afraid.

>> absolutely. and you talked about learning a lot from your grandfather who ran the largest cadillac dealership in chicago. what lessons did you learn?

>> to be nice to everyone and work really, really hard and don't take no for an answer.

>> don't take no for an answer.

>> you can't. you can't.

>> a lot of women, do you feel there's a fear to be persistent because you don't want to be perceived as mean or too pushy.

>> i think so. there's a lot of ways to get what you want with a smile.

>> and that's the part you say understand that you need a good idea, take baby steps and reevaluate your plan. always be nice is the third thing.

>> always be nice. there's no reason not to. you can get whatever you want being nice.

>> and never give up as you mention. in the early days, you didn't take no for an answer.

>> everybody said it couldn't be done.

>> and you proved them wrong.

>> i somehow did it.

>> hopefully those ladies will follow in your footsteps.

>> thank you.