A force of beauty.  Leslie Blodgett built a billion dollar cosmetics empire, one customer at a time. No, really.


Leslie Blodgett has snacks. 

She always makes sure we have coffee, bubbly water, and an assortment of tasty amusements whenever we meet. That’s just how she rolls. Ask her and she’ll tell you: That care for others’ wellbeing is one of the core foundations of her ridiculous success

Lauded by Women’s Wear Daily as one of “The Big 10 Leaders in Beauty” and Inc. Magazine as one of the “Top Entrepreneurs of the Decade,” Leslie has spent the last 20 years creating and building Bare Escentuals/bareMinerals, transforming a fledgling bath & body retailer into a billion dollar cosmetic empire. 

In 2006, Leslie took the company public in one of the largest cosmetic IPO’s in the last decade. Four years later, Bare Escentuals was acquired by Shiseido for $1.8 billion, making it one of the largest cosmetic mergers in history. All this while building a vibrant company culture and fanatic following in the process. 

Let’s just say she has a few stories to tell. 

The Project 

If memorization and repetition is like classical music, then Leslie’s style is more like jazz. She is a natural storyteller, with an innate sense for how to interact with an audience. Our task was to create a structure that allows her the leeway to improvise, keeping things as fresh for herself as for those listening. 

We started with stacks of ideas, experiences, photos, articles, industry research and customer letters. We listened to stories of success, and stories of failure. We laughed a lot.  We organized this diverse set of content into high-level idea categories, with a flexible collection of key stories, data, and imagery.  The content reflects her voice, her style, and her humor, while the modular approach allows her to think and act freely within a structure. It was a highly collaborative process and we learned and grew as well, just like we like it.

The custom slide deck opened up a whole new avenue of narrative, with Leslie using the imagery as guides and inspiration for stories on the fly. We combined Bare Escentuals assets with old photos from her personal collection and custom photo illustration, to create a presentation that is unique to her personal style while staying faithful to the brand. 

The Result

Leslie herself has this to say:  “The finished product looked great on the screen, sounded just like me and had just the right amount of humor and insight. And, I have to say, the whole experience took the pressure off — making it a pleasure.” 

Leslie’s first appearances presenting her story have been major hits. 

Her featured appearance at the National Association of Women Business Owners’ San Francisco chapter had the highest attendance in the history of the organization. She had audience members laughing and engaged throughout, and was rewarded with a standing ovation. Emails and social-media feedback poured in from audience members on how memorable an evening it was and how much her story and insights resonated with them personally.

Leslie now has a flexible talk she can present for different venues and audiences.

Delicious.

 

Client: Leslie Blodgett

Project: Thought Leader Platform 

Services: Scriptwriting, design

 

“I’ve spent the last 20 years creating and building Bare Escentuals/bareMinerals as CEO and executive chairman and while I have spent a significant amount of time on live TV, I was never comfortable in front of a live audience. Actually, just the idea of speaking live makes me feel ill. It was time to finally get comfortable telling my story in public and I needed a partner to dig deep and to help find me find an approach that suits my style. [Humanitarian photographer] Lisa Kristine recommended I meet Alison and Matt.

I always looked forward to our meetings and downloads. The story collection phase was hours and days of thought provoking inquiries and discussion and each time we met we would get even closer to my true voice. I really couldn’t believe the hours they put in. We practically pulled an all nighter to get the speech just right. The finished product looked great on the screen, sounded just like me and it had the right amount of humor and insight. And, I have to say, the whole experience took the pressure off — making it a pleasure. Ask my husband; he even thanked Alison and Matt! I just wanted to be able to enjoy telling my story and keep the audience engaged without fear. It was a remarkable experience.”

Leslie Blodgett
Creator of bareMinerals

& Executive Chairman, Bare Escentuals