By  on June 15, 2007

With the opening of The Studio, makeup artist Bobbi Brown has not only created her freestanding store, but also a beauty laboratory and a school for her artists.

"Our mantra is to invest more in the education of artists," said Maureen Case, president of Bobbi Brown, the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned brand. "The space gives us the ability to offer regional training and extend Bobbi's reach to allow our teams from around the world to work directly with her. The store also works as an incentive for [beauty advisers at] counters around the U.S. to help reinforce our brand philosophy."

The Studio opened May 31 in Montclair, N.J. More than 400 people crowded the opening event, as 10-minute makeup touch-ups were offered by Brown's makeup artists. The 4,400-square-foot store, located at 8 Lackawanna Plaza in Montclair, features retail in the front and a "lab" for workshops and sales meetings in the loft space.

According to Case, The Studio is a possible precursor to the opening of more freestanding stores. Brown said she wants to open similar stores in New York and Los Angeles, followed by the U.K., China and Tokyo.

The idea for creating the new store came to Brown after a fire left her company on Broadway in SoHo without office space for a temporary period last year.

"Even though we found a temporary space in a classic office building, it was difficult for me since it wasn't a place where I could find my creativity since I was used to having a big open space," said Brown, founder and chief executive officer of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

The Studio will offer services like makeup parties, such as Teen Makeup, Women Over 40, Mother-Daughter, Bridal and Brow Grooming. Makeup artists will also teach consumers how to specialize a skin care and makeup routine and offer beauty techniques in a series of "Beauty 101" lessons. In addition, a one-hour $250 appointment fee will have a $150 redeemable coupon for Bobbi Brown products.

According to Brown, her store feels more like an apothecary than a traditional department store. The unique atmosphere allows Brown to showcase an eclectic array of nonmakeup items that serve as inspirations for her color palettes, such as vintage jewelry, perfumes, eyeglasses and pottery.Industry sources estimate that The Studio has already generated $75,000 in retail sales during the first three weeks. First-year sales for The Studio are projected to hit $500,000.

Brown already has her eye on natural business extensions such as jewelry. She plans to partner with some of her favorite jewelry designers and retail jewelry pieces under the Bobbi Brown brand in her freestanding and online stores.

"There are certain colors that bring out the pink in cheeks or blue in eyes or work well with dark hair and pale skin," said Brown. "This allows me to think outside the makeup box and do things I wouldn't traditionally be able to do in department stores."

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