Pure Romance

PURE ROMANCE presentation and from that point, you do one to two hours in a private shopping room; you’re one-on-one with your customer so that you cre- ate the experience for them that they’re looking for in their relationship.And then once you create that, your job is to give them that product so that they can take it home that night.” When it comes to telling a good story, Cicchi- nelli has quite a good one to tell, himself. It’s all about how he and his mother, Patty Brisben, Pure Romance’s Founder and Chairwoman, came to create the family-owned business in the first place: “Mymom got into this industry 1983,”Cicchi- nelli begins.“She saw an ad about women who had the type of business that would go into homes and educate people about their bodies, educate them about relationships, and also sell relationship enhancement products.We lived in a suburb of Cincinnati, called Milford,Ohio. She decided that she was going to be a representa- tive for that company that she saw on the Phil Donahue Show. “Fast forward to 1993, and that’s kind of when the whole thing really started.Mymomwas in the top five in that company for a long period of time, but it went out of business that year; they had mismanaged some of the money and inventory, and Patty decided that she was going to go off on her own. She was reluctant to do it, because she never had any background in running a business. But she took her last $5,000, and that’s when she opened up the doors of what was called Pure Romance. “She grew the business from 1993 till 2000. She went from having 55 people to 300 peo- ple under her, doing about a million dollars in revenue.The thing that she figured out was that there were a lot of people who were having com- munication gaps in their relationships; she saw the divorce rate creeping above 50 percent. People were looking at how they could keep their relationship creative and fun,but she also understood that there were a lot of womenwhowere looking tomake some part-timemoney. “By this time,I had graduated high school and left for college,and I’mworking down inAtlanta,Georgia for a publicly traded company in the floor covering industry.I started inmerchandising andworkedmy way intomarketing.I moved up in the companypretty rapidly,and in 2000,mymomcomes tome and says, ‘I think I have something here and I’d love for you to come backandworkwithme.You understandmarket- ing and I want to scale this thing and get more people this opportunity.’I finally said that I would do it; I came back to Cincinnati,reluctantly.I knewnothing about the direct sales industry; all I knewwas froma book I picked up in the library: TheMaryKayWay. “I had no idea of what I was going to do and one day, I was sitting inmycar and heard an ad come on the radio.It said,‘Come to theHoliday Inn on Route 42,and you can be the next Guess Jeansmodel.The photog- rapher of the stars in is town for one day,and one day only,and for $99 you can see your way toHollywood!’ And I thought,‘Would anybody reallypay$99 to go for a chance to be the next Guess Jeansmodel?’I’mon the highway,I turnmycar around,and I pull into the Holiday Inn,and it is packed! “The next day,I sat down inmymom’s office and said,‘Here’s the drill: “Comemeet PattyBrisben,and take your first steps to making your dreams come true.Own and operate your own Pure Romance