Barrie Bergman’s story and philosophy
Veteran empire-builder Barrie Bergman has never played by the rules. “Ready, Fire, Aim,” he likes to say. His maverick approach may be unconventional, but Barrie has built multi-million dollar empires in two diverse businesses: in the Entertainment Industry and in the Cosmetic Industry. Now a popular speaker and advisor to fellow visionaries, Barrie calls the game on the current “license to kill” mentality and outlines a style that gets results and lets you sleep at night.
Music was always a passion for Barrie. As a 12 year old, he would hang around his uncle’s record store listening to music, reading Billboard magazine, and dreaming of a life in the record business. In 1963 after his father bought the Record Bar from Barrie’s uncle, Barrie and his wife, Arlene, opened the second store in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Through Barrie’s charismatic leadership, Record Bar grew to a national chain of 180 stores in 30 states and was involved in the early careers of celebrities such as Lyle Lovett, Larry Gatlin, Jimmy Buffett, and Harry Chapin. At the age of 47, Barrie and his partners sold Record Bar for $92 million.
Shortly after selling Record Bar, Barrie and partner, John Hansen, purchased bankrupt Bare Escentuals, a 4-store skin care company. The decision was made to close two of the stores and build the company from there. The focus from body lotions changed to mineral makeup. Twenty-four stores later and a constant presence on QVC, Bare Escentuals was recapitalized for over $200 million, just 14 years after its rescue from financial ruin.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for Barrie. As in any situation there are going to be bumps in the road. While defining what works and what doesn’t work in business, he found that it takes great character strength to keep ones integrity intact when the pressure is on. He believes that you can still kick ass while taking the high road.