Friday, January 30, 2009

(Such a) Interview with Patty Brisben

I was fortunate enough to be hired by Cincy Chic to interview Patty Brisben, CEO of Pure Romance. Below is the interview...enjoy!

Making Sex Sell

Love is in the air, and no one knows the business of love better than Patty Brisben, CEO of Pure Romance. See what's new with her booming business and get Patty's tips for celebrating Valentine's Day with your sweetheart.

Cincy Chic: To start, what do you consider the highlight of your career?

Patty Brisben: The highlight of my career has been the ability to empower women and give them permission to comfortably explore their bodies, intimacy and sexual health. Women should demand better relationships in and out of the bedroom, and I'm so excited that I have been able to contribute to this movement.
Cincy Chic: How has Pure Romance grown? Any plans to expand internationally?

Brisben: Pure Romance is not officially international, though we do have consultants who are working overseas in countries throughout the world. We also have plans to expand internationally in the next five years, but for now we are focusing on reinforcing and expanding the markets we have built within the states. Pure Romance is projecting to do over $80 million in retail sales in 2009.
Cincy Chic: We'd love to hear about your fun and interesting experiences developing and naming new products! Care to share?

Brisben: I work with an amazing team of mostly women when developing and naming our products. This works out well because this primarily reflects our target market. We make sure our products are always tested before they ever hit the warehouse shelves, and we do this by presenting potential items to our 200-plus board members (who are the top consultants in the company).

Naming the products is really so much fun, and we are lucky to have a creative staff. We include everyone in the process from executive staff to packers and pullers in operations.

Cincy Chic: With Valentine's Day right around the corner, tell us how Pure Romance celebrates the "love" holiday.

Brisben: Back in the late '80s, early '90s when I was a consultant, I had so many requests for parties around Valentine's Day I just couldn't fulfill all of them. I didn't want to play favorites either, so I decided to do an "Open House" in a local conference room so that everyone could attend and purchase products there. It was so popular it became a tradition every year and typically would take place the weekend before Valentine's Day.

To this day, the tradition continues with Pure Romance's Valentine's Day Warehouse Sale. It's the only time of the year we open our doors to the public, and both men and women are able to shop straight from the warehouse shelves as well as ask questions to consultants monitoring the floor. Couples love this since men only shop at and our parties are for women only. This year the sale runs Feb. 6 to Feb. 14 from noon to 8 p.m. every day except Valentine's Day, which is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cincy Chic: It's Valentine's Day: Where do you go, what do you do? Any local recommendations for a date?

Brisben: Instead of following the crowd and making reservations at the local restaurant, I would suggest picking out a new recipe the couple has never tried and tell them to cook it together on Valentine's Day. Cooking can be sexy and fun, and if you've ever seen the film "9 1/2 Weeks" you'll find there are some very creative ways to come up with dessert!
Cincy Chic: What are some of your tips for longevity as a couple?

Brisben: One of my best pieces of advice is to always communicate. If a couple decides to start a family, I always remind them to dedicate as much time and energy toward their children as one another. Too often couples become consumed with the day-to-day responsibilities of raising kids and forget to nurture their own relationship. One of the best gifts you can give your children is setting a positive example and showing them their parents love and care about each another.
Cincy Chic: What's the best advice for a couple to resolve an argument?

Brisben: Couples should set the grounds for an argument before they even have their first fight. Conflict is inevitable in relationships, so it's important that couples agree they will always respect one another, never hit "below the belt" and fight fair.
Cincy Chic: Finally, can we get a list of your favorite Pure Romance products?

1. Pure Romance Between the Sheets is my first book. I took the 25 years of experience I've had as a Consultant and CEO/founder of Pure Romance. It's truly a comprehensive look at intimacy, including everything from sexual health issues to communication in and out of the bedroom.

2. We're at the height of the cold, and one of the best ways to boost the immune system is through massage. Couple the Pure Romance's soy-based Burning Desire candle with the Hot Heart Massager to simulate a hot stone massage in the comfort of your home. Massage has also been noted to have therapeutic qualities and helps to open the doors of communication between couples.

3. I developed Ex-T-Cee more than 16 years ago when I first started Pure Romance, and it's still one of our top sellers to this day! We're definitely living in a world of low libido, and this topical arousal cream is a wonderful way to enhance foreplay and intimacy for women in the bedroom.

4. The Jelly Tool Belt is a wonderful couples toy that"'levels the playing field" between men and women. Men are like microwaves and women are like crock-pots. Let's face it: Women often need a little more time to get in the mood! You should always pair c-rings with a creamy lubricant like Lickity Stiff.

5. Sometimes it can be arousing to put all of your focus on your partner. A great product for this is the Super Stretch. It's a very versatile product that can be used alone or incorporated into lovemaking. Many women actually will pack it in their boyfriend's/husband's suitcase when he will be away on a business trip. Just be sure to always pair with a creamy lubricant like Whipped.

6. 7th Heaven is an amazing bedroom toy for women that can be used alone or with a partner! It's a great product for women who are exploring their own pleasure points, and it helps them to better communicate those hot spots to their partner. With seven different speeds/pulsations it offers a unique pleasurable experience every time!

7. I like to think of Bling Bling as a bedroom toy that is literally a piece of art in the bedroom! Encrusted with rhinestones, it lives up to its name and is sure to deliver a lot more pleasure than your every day piece of jewelry! All of our toys should be used with lubricants, and in this case I would recommend Pure Romance's Sweet Seduction.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Such a gem...

Reposted from my article which ran in this week's Cincy Chic issue:

Written by RedKat, 12-01-2009 15:15

Glendale’s Gem
From designer selections to a wide range of sizes, this local boutique has the birthday party dress you’ve been looking for.


Tucked away in historic Glendale, Bella Donna specializes in helping budding and seasoned socialites, mothers of the bride and more find beautiful dresses for any “dress up” occasion. Owner Donna Wesselman channels her lifelong passion for fashion into a shop that bursts with eveningwear in an array of colorful fabrics, elaborate ruffles and swirls and stunning beading.

Bella Donna, which celebrates 10 years of business in February, sets itself apart from other Cincinnati boutiques by carrying exclusive eveningwear designers such as Marisa Baratelli, Siri and Nicole Miller. Pretty and feminine dresses are displayed through the two-story house that the shop calls home.

Another unique aspect of Bella Donna is the range of sizes available on-hand in the shop. Dresses can be tried on and purchased in sizes 2 to 16, with special order sizes available (just be sure to allow 8 to 12 weeks for delivery). “Women are pleased to know that they can come in to try things on, and I have their size,” Wesselman says.

For fashionistas with packed social calendars — maybe you’re off to a wedding, to Zoofari or even to a Presidential inauguration — Bella Donna has eveningwear that trends from dressy casual to belle of the ball. “We even sold five or six gowns for Bush’s inauguration!” Wesselman says.

No matter the occasion, Bella Donna’s customer service is the key to finding THE perfect dress. Once she’s established the date of the event, followed by any specific requests for colors or style issues. Wesselman, or another one of her five fabulous associates, will walk with you through the store, explaining each line as to their look and feel — long or short, soft, flowy, structured, ruffles — every line has unique detailing that appeals.

Once a few standouts are selected it’s time to try things on — or “Let’s go play dress-up” as Wesselman playfully says. “Every woman is different,” Wesselman says. “As I see things on, I can assess the fitting and help her determine what looks best on her.” In many cases, dresses can be ordered in alternate colors, and in some, details such as beads or trim can be either added or omitted.

In 2009, formalwear trends will not vary wildly from ‘08; however, you can count on seeing plenty of strong dark colors season-round on the racks at Bella Donna. In addition, prints will make a comeback with florals, paisleys and ikat on long gowns, a la last year’s maxi dress. The empire waist (pronounced om-peer) is still prominent in many lines, as is the sheath dress. Wesselman carefully combs the fashion markets for designs and styles that work for her shop while still embracing a classic contemporary feel.

To get a better idea of what next year’s lines will hold, consider checking out a trunk show at Bella Donna: Feb. 5 to 7 (Marissa Baratelli) and March 5 to 7 (Daymor and Damianou). (A trunk show is a preview event featuring a designer’s entire upcoming line. It’s strictly to view and to special order the day of the show). Jan. 8-10 Siri, Feb. 5-7th – Marissa Baratelli, Mar.5-7th – Daymor and Damianou.)

Next time you’re seeking a dress for an upcoming black tie/social event, visit Bella Donna and find a gorgeous dress that will definitely cause heads to turn!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Such a...25 things about me list!

My friend Kate tagged me on Facebook with a "25 things about me" list. I've posted mine there, but in the spirit of the New Year, I thought I'd post my list here too. Enjoy!

1. My natural hair color is blonde, although I haven't been a blonde in years. I've been red, brown, pink (specifically Manic Panic Rubine) and dark purple.
2. I am afraid of unsecured heights which made visiting the Grand Canyon very scary.
3. I wasn't allowed to go to the very first Lollapalooza b/c Mom said I was too young. And because of that, I never got to see my faves Siouxsie and The Banshees perform live.
4. I got caught skipping school once, but my mom covered for me so that I didn't get in trouble.
5. My cat Gabe has multiple nicknames depending on the nationality of his mood - Chubb, Chubberific Chubberino, the Great Chublinsky, get the idea.
6. Growing up we had a dog named Feedo...which was my mom's way of saying Fido. She's from Finland and thought that's how it was pronounced.
7. I am guilty of over-committing. I am such a joiner that even if I have no spare time, I always volunteer to help.
8. I'm pretty fanatical about my fingernails. I keep them painted at all times, even if I have to do touch-ups at work, in the car or while I'm having breakfast.
9. I love to garden. I'm a trial and error gardener but I still love seeing the results.
10. I wanted to be writer when I grew up, got a degree in Communication instead, and just recently circled back to start freelance writing, as well as writing for my blog.
11. I don't believe it's possible to have too many friends.
12. When I'm driving and I get road rage, I yell at other drivers...with my windows rolled up so that they can't hear me.
13. I have issues with the texture of certain foods -- applesauce is icky!
14. Speaking of food, I love Thai and Indian. Yum-o.
15. I am terrible at cutting vegetables, so I'm guilty of buying the pre-cut stuff off the salad bar at the grocery store.
16. Every room in my house is a different color - orange, red, blue, green and yellow...
17. Someday I do want to have kids.
18. I love to shop. Seriously. I have to be careful to not becomng a spend-a-holic.
19. I want to travel to all the continents some day. So far, I've hit North America and Europe.
20. My favorite color is red, although up until recently I thought is was green.
21. If I had to pick a favorite drink it would be a toss-up between coffee and vodka/cran.
22. Recently I learned of the phenomenon "ghost ride your whip" and it had me giggling for days.
23. One day I want to own my own business.
24. I can't fathom cruelty to animals. ASPCA commercials make me cry.
25. Halloween is my favorite holiday, followed by St. Patrick's Day.

Tag! You're it. Leave your list in the comments if you want to share.
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