Chris Cicchinelli

Chris Cicchinelli

Chris Cicchinelli grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has stayed true to his midwestern roots. Chris is paving the way for thousands to "live life by design." As President and CEO of a $350 million wellness and intimacy product company, it's hard to believe he struggled in school and was told he wouldn't ever amount to much. After more than 20 years, he has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs grow million-dollar-plus businesses. If you need motivation and love a story where persistence and discipline prevail, "the secret is YOU" is it. The book is designed to guide would-be entrepreneurs on their journey to success and financial freedom. Few people possess the extraordinary skills to grow a small, family business in Cincinnati into the world’s largest in-home and virtual party company specializing in relationship enhancement products. 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, 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, overseeing more than 200 corporate employees worldwide. Hard work and strategic risk-taking have been at the core of his success across the two decades since he joined his mother Patty Brisben’s venture in 2000. He believes 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 Naperville, Illinois, Cicchinelli spent his formative years in Milford, a suburb of Cincinnati, as the first of four children raised by a single mother. As the eldest, he often bore responsibility for taking care of his siblings, especially when his mom, then a pediatrician’s assistant, decided to launch a home-based intimacy product venture in 1983. Inspired by her perseverance as she slowly built her business while raising four kids on her own, Cicchinelli was himself motivated by athletics: baseball, basketball, and especially football. 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 and helped lead his Purple Raiders to back-to-back National Championships in 1996 and ‘97. The crucible of college football taught him to be self-disciplined, to perform a specific role on his team, and to 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, but soon became drawn into a new field. Working for the Atlanta-based Maxim Group, the largest publicly traded retail floor covering franchise in North America, he swiftly tacked into management and a senior position as a regional manager. Still in his early 20's, he embraced the learning curve that came with it, working to create 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, Just after he turned 25, Cicchinelli got a call from his mother. She knew his expertise and 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 $24,000. In 2000, determined to remain in the floor covering industry and assuming it would take only a few months away, 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 – including a front-page feature story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on “The New Tupperware of the 2000s” – he engineered explosive growth for Pure Romance, steadily taking the company from $3 million in 2001 to $350 million in revenues today. In 2010, he led its global expansion with the launch of operations in Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, and New Zealand. Until the COVID-19 pandemic grounded the country in 2020, Cicchinelli had logged over 200 days a year on the road giving motivational seminars and personally training and meeting Pure Romance’s independent consultants worldwide. Their ranks now number more than 40,000, 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 lead a safe-space, at-home intimacy product party to the best way to network and market themselves, Cicchinelli helps women develop all the tools needed to become successful entrepreneurs. A natural motivational speaker who also regularly addresses 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. Serving as a board member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in Cincinnati, he has amassed countless honors and awards as a business leader and role model. In 2018, in the wake of his eight-year-old child coming out as transgender, Cicchinelli founded the Living With Change Foundation to help trans youth and their families. The foundation pledged $2 million to establish the Living With Change Center for Gender Health at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, also partnering with dozens of Greater Cincinnati public schools to train principals and teachers and eventually bring education about transgender youth into classrooms. Like his decision to leave the lucrative floor covering business to help his mom, Chris Cicchinelli deeply believes that strong family ties matter, and that none of his success would mean much without the love of his wife Jessica and their children LC, Max, and Macie.
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