A High-End Brand Tries a Different Sales Channel

  By: Eve Pearl

Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times Eve Pearl

By: John Grossman
Last week, we published a case study about Eve Pearl, an Emmy-winning TV makeup artist who founded a cosmetics company by the same name. In June 2011, with online sales and traffic at her three-year-old Manhattan boutique slower than desired, Ms. Pearl, 46, listened hard when ShopNBC, the nation’s third-largest 24-hour home shopping network, invited her to appear live with some of her high-end products.

She weighed the pluses: her experience in front of the cameras on several “Today” show product demos and a potential audience of tens of millions. And she considered the negatives, among them: a possible worsening of cash flow because of the shopping network’s payment terms and the fear of tarnishing her top-drawer brand in the hurly burly of home shopping TV.

Last October, Ms. Pearl stepped in front of the ShopNBC cameras, first at midnight, then again at 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. She returned to the networks’ Minnesota studios the following month and has reappeared every month or so, as recently as last weekend. The exposure has had direct and indirect benefits. Ms. Pearl estimates home shopping sales will reach seven figures this year – and represent about a third of her total revenue. And rather than losing any luster because of this added sales venue, she feels her brand is sparkling even more. “Traffic both in the store and on our Web site spikes every time I’m on air – about 30 percent,” she said.

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