Among the 20,000 Pure Romance consultants around the globe, one consultant in particular probably looks very familiar to all of the women in Slippery Rock who have attended a Pure Romance party.
Pure Romance was launched in 2001 and is a $130 million dollar industry pioneered by Patty Brisben and operated by her son, Chris Cicchinelli. Selling a variety of products, from bedroom toys and lubricants to bath and body products and lingerie, Pure Romance party invitations are infiltrating SRU women’s Facebook accounts.
Senior public relations major, Jessica Horgos, 22 was recently awarded first place for retail sales in her level at Pure Romance’s Empowerment Summit in Norfolk, Va. this past January.
Starting her job as a consultant for Pure Romance two years ago, Horgos holds eight Pure Romance parties a month. Her average party consists of ten girls, but she has had groups as big as 29.
Aside from being the consultant for the majority of Pure Romance parties at SRU, Horgos also commutes to University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University and Thiel College. Her typical customers are 19-20 year-old sorority sisters.
“It can be awkward if the groups aren’t talkative,” she said. “But most of the time people get comfortable after a few icebreakers.”
She said 60 percent of the products she sells are bath and body products, and 40 percent of her sales are from toys and lubricants.
Five-time partygoer Carrie Hanrahan said that
there’s a common misconception from men who are not allowed into the women-only parties.
“Guys say to me all the time, ‘are you going to the [bedroom toy] party,’” she said. “But most of the women who go buy perfumes and lotions.”
The typical party is located in the host’s home and lasts one and a half hours. Women also have the opportunity to buy products at the end. Purchasing takes place in an area that is set aside from the party so that women have anonymity when placing orders. Horgos then takes a day to deliver products once the orders are filled.
Hanrahan said that Horgos’ parties start out with products that are tamer, like bath and body products, so that people can get comfortable, and then she moves into more intimate products.
“Jess explains what’s coming and prepares everyone so that they aren’t surprised,” she said. “She also is very considerate with privacy, and encloses the link for online ordering if women are still uncomfortable ordering in front of their friends.”
Horgos’ most profitable party was $1,200, and she keeps 45 percent of all the profit she makes. She said that taxes also take a cut from her sales, but that Pure Romance is the most profitable of her three jobs.
“When I decided to buy my kit, it was the best $500 investment that I ever made,” she said. “Since then, I have never looked back.”
She also works in admissions at the university, and is a cashier at Wal-Mart, but said that Pure Romance makes it easy for her to balance the three.
“Being a Pure Romance Consultant is great because I am my own boss,” she said. “I set my hours and schedule parties when I’m able to, so I don’t ever feel overwhelmed.”
In a recent poll distributed online by The Rocket, of those who responded that they went to a Pure Romance party, 66 percent purchased something.
Horgos said that the product she sells the most of is shaving cream, which the company promises will reduce razor burn, as well as diminish growth and appearance of hair over time.
Frequent Pure Romance partygoer, Hanrahan said that the product does exactly that.
“The great thing about Jess is that she knows about the products beyond the label, and uses them, so she has tips and tricks for using them that no one else has,” Hanrahan said. “During one party, she was demonstrating shaving cream, and said that it also worked as a leave-in conditioner for your hair. When I tried it, I couldn’t believe how well it worked, and I wouldn’t have used it like that if it weren’t for Jess.”
Pure Romance’s reach does not end there. Its founder, Patty Brisben also has started the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health in 2006, and has raised over $2 million since then. Pure Romance also has partnered with Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion.