Makeup date with destiny
Merle Norman customer-turned-shop-owner offers consultations, full line of products

By Josh Perttunen - Enterprise Staff

April 3, 2014

Before she owned her own Merle Norman location in the Town of Oconomowoc, Beth Frost was a faithful user of the company’s products. She says the town needed to have another location after the previous one closed a few years ago, prompting customers to drive as far as Madison or Brookfield.      
Josh Perttunen/Enterprise Staff

TOWN OF OCONOMOWOC - Beth Frost used to get her makeup from the Merle Norman store in the Town of Oconomowoc. When it closed, though, she found herself driving all the way to Madison or Brookfield for the products she had been using so faithfully.

She knew other loyal customers were doing the same thing.

“I was sick of having to travel so far for my makeup,” said Frost, who had been in outside sales, promoting medical devices. “I have been using this line since high school.”

Her idea was to open a shop in the Town of Oconomowoc, capitalizing and building upon that customer base.

“The first time my husband and I discussed opening a Merle Norman store, he said ‘no,’ but I don’t think men realize the market there is for beauty products,” she said. “The second time we discussed it, he saw the space and was on board.”

The store opened on Black Friday in the space where a dry cleaning business had been, at W359-N5002 Brown St., and very little work was needed.   

There is a full line of beauty products available, including those for makeup and skin care. Frost also has firsthand knowledge of the products and her Merle Norman training to personalize the experience. Customers receive a one-on-one consultation, where they can discuss what effects they are hoping to accomplish.

“There is a lot more to makeup and skin care than even I initially thought,” Frost said of her training. “If people have a concern, we usually have something that addresses it. I can help with anything from oily skin to dry skin. People have a lot of questions and they can try it before they buy it, testing out makeup colors, moisturizers and other products. I believe in this product; I couldn’t sell anything that I don’t believe in.”

Frost also hopes to use her space to display and sell work by artisans with local ties.