$200M+ Annually – Chris Cicchinelli, Pure Romance

$200M+ Annually – Chris Cicchinelli, Pure Romance

September 9, 2019

Joining Beyond 8 Figures hosts is Chris Cicchinelli who will shares his story of building an empire Pure Romance that generates a staggering $200M+ annually. Learn the insights, challenges, and strategies that have propelled Chris and his company to remarkable success.

About Chris Cicchinelli:

Few people possess the extraordinary skills to grow a small, family business in Cincinnati into the world’s largest in-home party company specializing in relationship enhancement products. As CEO and President of Pure Romance, Chris Cicchinelli has achieved just that. Not only as the strategist and engine behind one of the most successful woman-to-woman, direct-sales brands, but as an educator and motivator of its independent consultants around the globe. He is also known to be a passionate advocate for aspiring female entrepreneurs everywhere.

Cicchinelli leads business development, operations, sales and marketing for Pure Romance, as well as product development and distribution. He oversees more than 200 corporate employees worldwide. Hard work and strategic risk-taking have been the core of his success since he joined his mom’s venture in 2000. He says that anyone who wants to become a Pure Romance consultant needs to know how to tell a story. Cicchinelli’s own has been a rugged switchback journey…

Born in Illinois, Chris Cicchinelli grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, the first of four children raised by a single mother. As the oldest, he often bore responsibility for taking care of his siblings, especially when his mother, Patty Brisben, then a pediatrician’s assistant, decided to launch a home-based intimacy product venture in 1983. Inspired by his mother’s perseverance as she slowly built her business while raising four children on her own.

While studying business at Mount Union College, Cicchinelli found his critical thinking and leadership skills honed not in the classroom, but on the gridiron. An All-American defensive back, he played NCAA football for four years. He led his Purple Raiders to two back-to-back national titles in ‘96 and ‘97. The crucible of college football taught him to be disciplined, perform a specific role, and study and conquer an opponent.

Driven to teach these essential life skills as a high school football coach, Cicchinelli took a job in merchandizing after college to pay the bills. However, he became drawn into a new field. Working for the Atlanta-based Maxim Group, the largest retail floor covering franchise in North America, he swiftly tacked into management and a senior position as a regional manager. Still in his early 20s, embracing the learning curve, he built trust with his team as a young manager. He ran a $29 million region for Carpetland USA, then took his skills to an early web commerce site, EverythingDecor.com.

At age 24 Cicchinelli got a call from his mother. She needed him to help catalyze her company to the next level, developing longer-term brand marketing and business development strategies. Cicchinelli was earning well over $100,000 a year – his mom said she could pay him $22,000. In 2000, he joined Pure Romance.

Given the intimate nature of the business, Cicchinelli developed a person-to-person model built on discreet, women-only home parties. Through well-taken risks, long hours, and serendipity – a front-page feature story in the St. Louis Dispatch on “The New Tupperwares of the 2000s” – he engineered explosive growth for Pure Romance. He steadily take the company from $3 million in 2001 to more than $200 million in revenues today. In 2010, he led its global expansion, launching operations in Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Cicchinelli spends over 200 days a year on the road giving seminars, trainings and meeting Pure Romance’s independent consultants worldwide. Today, the number of independent consultants are more than 26,000, including those in every U.S. state and abroad. The New York Times wrote that “the company message of empowerment resounds” among its consultants. From how to network and market themselves, Cicchinelli helps women develop all the tools needed to become successful entrepreneurs.

A natural motivational speaker who also regularly speaks to corporate leaders and nonprofits, Cicchinelli has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Inc. 5000 and Smart Business, and has been interviewed by Bloomberg, MSNBC and many other national outlets. As Young Presidents Organization (YPO) board member, he amassed countless honors and awards as a business leader and role model.

In 2018, in the wake of their eight-year-old coming out as transgender, Cicchinelli founded the Living with Change Foundation to help trans youth and their families. The Foundation pledged $2 million to create a Center of Excellence for LGBTQ Health at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He also partnered with Greater Cincinnati public schools to bring education about transgender youth into classrooms.

Cicchinelli deeply believes that strong family ties matter. And none of his success would mean much without the love of his wife Jessica and their three children: LC, Max, and Macie.

Best Advice I Ever Received: Be the last person at the table.

Best Advice I’d Give To Someone Who Wants To Build A $10m+ Business: Sleep when you are dead and to commit to the process and detach from the outcome.

In this episode, Steve, Mary, Richard, and Chris discuss:

  • The history of Pure Romance, how they judge success, and, the need for women to ask questions privately about relationships
  • Product offerings in 2000 and margins
  • The value of media and what works
  • The culture inside: “Grace, class and respect”


Key Takeaways:

  • Taking that pay cut and career change was the best decision in the long term
  • The consultants add value to the product
  • Model what is already successful
  • The key to starting a conversation is to make it organic


“I don’t think the most successful business owners know, they take chances and they take risk. “ — Chris Cicchinelli


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