But she also knew her industry. A model and celebrity makeup artist,
Webb had been mixing her own makeup for years. And when she used her
stuff on clients, they asked where they could buy it.
She opened a
store in Wyoming four years ago and launched E'LON Cosmetics with
products manufactured to her specifications by a company in Los
Angeles. Before long, she made contact with Federated Department Stores.
initial "trunk show" test-run at the Tri-County Mall Macy's drew
hundreds of women with virtually no marketing. Still, Macy's was
skeptical, and Webb offered to "do it again."
A second show last June drew twice as many customers, Webb said. Macy's was sold.
Chip Enterprises CEO Ross Love, a mentor of Webb's, suggested she
contact the Minority Business Accelerator. MBA Director Calvin Buford
put Webb in touch with Xavier University's Ali Malekzadeh, dean of the
Williams College of Business. Her business soon became a class project
for Sherrie Human, Castellini chair in entrepreneurial studies.
class helped me recreate my business plan," Webb said. "I went from
small-scale manufacturing to, literally overnight, large-scale
manufacturing for a department store."
Webb launched two Macy's
cosmetics counters in August -- at Tri-County Mall and the Fountain
Place store downtown, where E'LON recently moved to a counter
surrounded by industry giants Estee Lauder and Lancome.
"We've been invited to have a real seat at the table," Webb said.
far, Federated has been pleased, said Gail Nutt, senior vice president
of community affairs and diversity management for Macy's South and
Federated's corporate director for supplier diversity retail