BEHIND VOTRE VU SUCCESS
Meet Ann Brodette, who along with Votre Vu CEO, Harold Zimmerman, is a driving force behind the beauty brand that is sweeping the nation by combining high quality French skincare and American entrepreneurship. In her executive role at Votre Vu as Vice President of Sales Development, Ann not only educates American women to take care of their skin, she empowers them to succeed in their private business, staying beautiful of course.
Tell us about your career in the beauty industry.
Before Votre Vu, I was not associated with beauty. I was in direct sales, but I always helped women set up their own businesses. Harold and I decided to focus on beauty because the anti-aging market is enormous and growing continuously. Most beauty companies that did direct sales were in the low-middle market so we thought, why not offer high end products at an affordable price? I remember always wanting to buy expensive luxurious creams but never being able to afford it and I knew many women felt the same. By going directly to the lab we knew this could become possible. We found a great lab just outside of Paris. It used to create products for European high end spas, the retail business was new to them. With our expertise in the sales and our knowledge of the US market, we knew we would be able to create something great together.
Votre Vu Brand Ambassadors are crucial to your success, can you tell us about them?
Our brand ambassadors don’t all have a standard profile. Some women join because they love the product and they can have it at a discounted price in the beginning, and then realize how our products sell very easily just by word of mouth. Some of the ambassadors are stay-at-home moms, others work full time and want the extra income. Some of them become real superstars and are able to really make a great profit.
What about the funny names of your products?
Jean Louise Lilly, Votre Vu Director of Product Development and Marketing, is the person behind the idea. When we started I brought her in. She’s so smart, clever and down to earth. She thought it would be nice to have product names that are not intimidating, it’s a sort of a “Frenglish.” As many of us don’t speak French, we don’t understand what the names of many cosmetic products mean, but Votre Vu names are easy to get and fun.
What are your best sellers?
Les Sorbet Advanced Ice Care pour Le Visage, which has the most potent ingredient, with 40% marine elastin and collagen. The Duette Luxe Lip and Hand Cream, our Face Base Regiment sets, the Specialeyes Specialize Intensive Eye Treatment, anti puff and anti dark circle, and the Portrait Collar Restorative Neck Cream. It’s addictive, especially with side sleepers that wake up with lines in the morning. Another amazing product is our Amour d’Ore, our multivitamin oil, with eleven essential oils and vitamin E, perfect for the body but also safe for hair and face. I wear it every day after the shower.
What about makeup, which was launched about a year ago?
We did not think that we would do color in the beginning, but we saw some clients wear our skincare and then use junkie cosmetics on their skin! We now offer a line of products with natural, high quality ingredients.
What are the new products to look for this fall season?
The new blue shade of eyeliner coming out in November and our fragrances. We just launched Les Naturelles Collections, two natural essential oils for fall, one citrusy and one with white lilly notes, all naturally based and allergy tested. People with allergies that have never wore perfume before are able to wear them! Finally our French Kiss gold lipstick that benefits the St Baldricks Foundation for pediatric cancer research: this week we are doubling the donation from $1 to $2 for each lipstick sold, and $3 to $6 for each set!
Do you have a beauty routine?
Before I worked in beauty, I did not have a good routine. I feel that American women don’t take enough time for themselves, my mother never taught me how to take care of my skin. I always do the four step system, once you start doing it, you get used to it. It takes very little time and keeps my skin healthy. I really need it as I travel so much. I started doing some extra things on Wednesdays and Sundays, in particular an exfoliating mask and a extra serum. I have three kids that are now in college, a boy and two girls, and I make sure to educate them and help them have beautiful skin!