Cincy Chic: Where were you 15 years ago? How did you transition from that life into the one you live today?
Brisben: I was a married, mother of four, looking for a fun outlet. I was also one of the top five most successful consultants with a company similar to Pure Romance. At the time I found that a lot of women were requesting information and answers regarding female sexual health that this particular company was not providing. That was the beginning of my own personal desire to create an alternative for women. The transition began when that company folded and I had to make a decision regarding what I was going to do. At that time, there werent really any other companies out there of this nature. That was when I decided I was ready to take the leap and launch my own company, providing women with more of what they were looking for, while continuing to offer women with a safe environment to learn about sexuality and intimacy.
Cincy Chic: The legend goes that you were inspired by women talking freely in a discussion about sexuality on The Phil Donahue Show. Why did that inspire you and how have you instilled that freedom in your company?
Brisben: It inspired me because I felt that these women were very empowered, taking control both financially and in their own bedrooms. Back in the 80s, that was virtually unheard of. I felt like they were in on this secret and I wanted to be a part of that sisterhood and camaraderie. Today, we have instilled that freedom by marketing our company in a clean and classy way. Our parties are not only entertaining, but also highly educational. We are committed to providing a safe environment for women to ask questions and feel like they can be open when it comes to learning about intimacy and sexuality.
Cincy Chic: Cincinnati has always been thought to be a conservative city. Did you have any inhibitions about starting such a push the envelope kind of company in Cincy?
Brisben: Cincinnati has never intimidated me. Its been a wonderful place to raise my family and overall, the city has been very supportive of what Im doing. They see the light at the end of the tunnel and realize that we are truly about educating women.
Cincy Chic: Lets talk about business. What kind of response have you received from Cincinnati women since you started your business in 1993?
Brisben: They have totally embraced it! Women in the community have honestly asked why its taken so long for us to have something like this available.
Cincy Chic: What was your greatest challenge in getting your business started?
Brisben: For me, it was finding my niche. I have never been a behind the desk, paperwork type person Ive always needed to be active and would describe myself as a "do-er." It was important at that time to really build a strong team of individuals that could contribute to all aspects of the business.
Cincy Chic: Any business advice you would like to disseminate with other women out there with big dreams of starting their own company?
Brisben: Follow your dream. Stay passionate about what youre doing. When you lose your passion, then youve lost your reason to move forward. I truly believe that every time you fail at something, it makes you stronger to push forward and do a better job next time. Theres always going to be obstacles in business, but you just have to learn lessons from your setbacks and ultimately turn them into positives.
Cincy Chic: Going along with the business advice… you have several family members working for you. Is that a key to success? If so, why?
Brisben: In my case it has been a key to success. Having my family have the same passion for what I do has been really important to me. While growing this business, I was working many hours so I was able to still spend time with them and keep that bond strong. Theyve also brought a lot of great new ideas to the table to help substantially grow this business.
Cincy Chic: Do you feel like you have inspired women to freely discuss their sexuality as the women on Phil did with you? How does that make you feel?
Brisben: I really think we have pioneered a lot of programs that have opened doors for women. I take great pride in that. Women are no longer hiding intimacy issues; we have allowed them to really come out and improve those intimacy issues. Women today are really concerned with their relationships. For example, many married couples are realizing that just having a marriage certificate isnt going to bond you for life in reality, you have to work at your relationships. I truly believe that you have to work on anything worth having in life.
Cincy Chic: Because you started this company from the ground up, this company is really an extension of you. What kinds of things scream Patty Brisben in the way your company functions?
Brisben: You know the old saying treat others as you would want to be treated Ive taken that motto and used it with our company, making every women feel comfortable when she comes through the door. I hadnt even seen a bedroom accessory before starting in this business. As a result, I learned first-hand what made women feel uncomfortable and I didnt want that to ever be the case for the women that were turning to Pure Romance. My experience was a plus because I could really relate to many of our customers who were looking for a comfortable environment where they wouldnt feel awkward or uncomfortable.
Cincy Chic: Tell me a little about the Patty Brisben Foundation?
Brisben: Ive always taken pride in being able to surround myself with great people. As I mentioned before, many women came to me with complex questions. Because I was not a doctor, I felt it necessary to team up with qualified individuals who could provide answers to these questions. Through this experience, I discovered that there is very little research done on female sexual health. Even today, there wasnt any place for women suffering from cancer, pain disorders it is astounding what little information is available. The foundation helps in funding, as well as providing this research, so our childrens children will not be struggling with these same issues down the road.
Cincy Chic: Where do you like to go/do in your spare time?
Brisben: I love visiting Nappa Valley, my second home in Naples, Florida and St. Maarten. I especially love family vacations. Im a very family-oriented person so this is extremely important to me.
Cincy Chic: If theres one thing youd like our readers to know about you, what would it be?
Brisben: That Im a strong believer that one should always practice what they preach. I would also want them to know how very important my family is to me. Theyve been a great support system throughout the years.
Cincy Chic: Whats been your greatest accomplishment thus far?
Brisben: To me, one of my best accomplishments has been winning the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for this region. It really showed me how much Pure Romance has been embraced in our community I take great pride in that.
Cincy Chic: What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
Brisben: I would love to contribute even more information regarding womens sexual health. I strive to always continue offering even more opportunities to women and keeping them financially and personally self-empowered.