RR woman creates makeup, events

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Which big-time production would you rather go to? The Grammys or the Oscars?

Micaela Brown Photo By: Gary Herron

Micaela Brown won’t be at either, but her “Blush & Whimsy” products will be.

“It’s a dream come true to be included in Hollywood’s biggest night,” she posted on her Facebook page recently. “Our limited-edition Oscar Blush is selected to be included in the ‘Everyone Wins’ gift bags given to Oscar’s nominees!”

The Oscars are handed out Feb. 24.

She was also chosen to have her new Royal Blush given via gift bags to presenters and performers at this year’s Grammy Awards Show on Feb. 10.

Her products have also been in gift bags at the Cannes Film Festival.

“This formula is mine,” she says of her Blush & Whimsy lipstick, which she termed a mid-range luxury item.

“I wanted to create something people could use every day — a product I could make ‘magical,'” she explained. “Ladies have 20 different ones in their purse; mine are universal and good for you and on you.”

Blush & Whimsy makes five lipsticks — the latest two launched in August — and Brown said she has them made in factories in China, South Korea, Florida and Texas.

A men’s line of products is in the development phase.

Exciting life story

She’s only 38, but it’s been an exciting life story so far. Her autobiography will have to have chapters on her life abroad; meeting a pope; vying in 2003 for a spot on “American Idol,” where she sang a hymn but didn’t advance; and a year-long adventure back-packing with a dog and cat around London, Ireland and Scotland.

“I wanted to be a diplomat,” she said, when asked what her life plan was, although when she was 5, she remembered she wanted to be the president or an opera singer.

She had formal training on the latter.

“I started entrepreneurship four years ago,” she said.

Multiple careers run in her family. Although her mother is a doctor of physical therapy, her father has had five careers, by her count, including the military and FBI.

She has lived in six states — Arizona, Kansas, Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico — and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and communications from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and a master’s in government and politics from St. John’s University in Rome. Plus, by her count, she speaks 3½ languages.

She was formerly an international trade and development consultant in Washington, D.C., with Target Market International LLC; a USAID contractor for Chemonics International and an international trade specialist with the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service’s International Buyer Program. She was a paid intern at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in Rome.

Brown has served on the British American Project USA Executive Committee since 2014.

She spent much of her life in Europe and Panama, and moved back to the U.S. in 2006, winding up six years later in a Rio Rancho home her parents own.

Entering entrepreneurship

She’s let her imagination run wild — and it’s paid off.

“The past couple years have been really exciting,” she said.

She “self-funded” her startup company to the tune of $15,000 — and has grossed a half-million dollars in sales since she began shipping her products in July 2017.

Brown said it all began when, “I took out a credit card and studied social media, how to navigate demographics and get my product in front of people.

“When people don’t think it can be done here (in New Mexico), I just say, ‘Look,'” Brown said. “This is exciting — we have so much here. The opportunities are endless.”

She has had “crazy sales” the past four months, despite a product only available online.

Her success began with her contemplating, “What if I created a business model that lived its values from the customer all the way into the warehouse?”

She came up with “Blush & Whimsy,” and she designed the color-changing lipsticks, which interact with the pH and users’ lip temperatures to be uniquely theirs, and other products. She does the marketing via social media and she’s the face of the product line.

The products are packaged and shipped by disabled veterans and those with mental illness, a demographic close to her heart.

But, wait — Brown has another company, Inspire People Media, which features event production and the marketing of special events, product launches and more. Billed as the founder and chief inspiration officer, her active imagination helps her create unique experiences around art, food, wine and whiskey, fashion and culture.

In 2016, she organized the Whiskey Classic, The Running of the Chihuahuas — “We really did race 150 Chihuahuas,” she said —Diner en Blanc and, after obtaining permission from JK Rowling, “Christmas at Hogwarts” in 2014.

Basically, Brown is an entrepreneur with a social media reach of over 100,000 followers. Her work has been featured by Forbes Travel, The New York Times and more.

She maintains an active presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and says she manages to read a book every night before falling asleep.

“I’m in a real creative place right now,” she says. “I love things that make my brain think about things that are possible.”

One of those things, she confided to the Observer, is finding warehouse space in Rio Rancho.

“I’m kinda quirky,” she admitted.

You can learn more about this Rio Rancho entrepreneur at micaelabrown.com.