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Entrepreneur and a small business owner

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    In 1994, Leslie Blodgett became CEO of a small bath and body retailer of mineral-based powder makeup, Bare Escentuals, located in a town in California. Although Bare Escentuals was the first company to offer mineral-based products, the colors of the products did not fit well with the skin tones of women. Having worked for Neutrogena and Max Factor, Blodgett set out to formulate beauty products that worked harmoniously together. The new line of makeup was known as BareMinerals and consisted of six blushes, six eye shadows, five powder foundations and brushes. The mineral-based foundation product was unconventional and provided light to maximum coverage for all skin types, which appealed to men and women of all ages. Products did not contain chemical additives, preservatives, oil, fragrances, waxes or binders that could lead to skin irritation. Two years passed and Blodgett was losing hope that the product line was going to be successful. After watching the TV shopping network, QVC, Blodgett devised a plan to go on QVC to sell BareMinerals. The first airing resulted in sales of $45,000 of products. Blodgett had her in and continued to sell on QVC selling $1.4 million of product an hour. She further expanded the business by doing Infomercials, which allowed more time to explain the products and application process. Widening the distribution channel, Blodgett offered events at boutiques and specialty cosmetic stores, and solicited input from customers for product and marketing ideas. Blodgett learned that the business required taking care of customers and hiring people who loved people because the business was about helping women feel good about themselves. Business at Bare Escentuals was booming and the company was growing at a fast pace. In 2006, the company went public. Headquarters was moved to New York. In 2010, after 16 years at the helm, Blodgett sold the company to Shiseido, a Japanese-based cosmetic company, for almost $1.7 billion. To Blodgett, the deal made sense because Shiseido had distribution channels in 87 countries and had the knowledge to expand further into Asia. Blodgett wanted to be more involved in the creative side of the business so she stepped down as CEO and took a position reporting to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Global Business at Shiseido.


    • Differentiate between an entrepreneur and a small business owner.
    • Discuss how Blodgett demonstrated entrepreneurial traits.
    • Discuss the different categories of entrepreneurs and identify which category best fits Blodgett
    • Discuss how Bare Escentuals most likely contributed to the economy in the 1990’s;
    • What factors of production affected the demand for Bare Escentuals products?
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