Bridgette Tatum Goes for the Gloss
Like many professional touring singers, Bridgette Tatum struggled for years with severely chapped lips. In 2009, desperate to find something — anything — that would help, she reached out to Miranda Coggins. Tatum had seen The Lano Company Co-Founder and CEO on a Nashville television show, talking about how in 2006 Coggins started the business with her husband Layne, shortly after the birth of their first child. She began experimenting with lanolin, an ointment used primarily by new mothers who are nursing, and was able to soothe her chronically chapped lips.
For months, Coggins and Tatum talked. Coggins fell in love with Tatum’s music; Tatum’s lips were healed by Lano products. Their connection led to Tatum landing the first-ever celebrity partnership with the Missouri-based company, which has released an exclusive line of lip-healing cosmetics around her glamorous and hard-rocking Country style.
“We related,” says Coggins, who was raised in southern Alabama. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, every girl loves lip gloss. I think Bridgette and her sound, it is unique — and I think it’s going to span way beyond Country.”
Two years — and more than 100 formulations — later, Coggins in mid-2011 released an exclusive Bridgette Tatum lip gloss, colored with a sparkled, rusty hue. Titled “Hillbilly Rockstar,” the gloss uses Tatum’s hard-driving Country song title of the same name.
Carolyn Miller, CEO of Tatum’s label Root 49 Records, a division of MPR Entertainment Group, says the fan reaction was immediately positive. It has been a fast seller online, at the more than 5,000 retail outlets that sell Lano products and at Bridgette Tatum shows.
“Before we were even selling, we were at a writer’s night doing a show, and people were saying ‘I have to have that — it’s so cool!’” Miller said. “We talked to Miranda about selling it online, and we also decided to take it on the road so we could sell with our merch.”
Bridgette paired up with Heidi Newfield on the She’s Country Tour in late 2011. “It was really a female-driven tour and audience, and we matched that product to our audiences,” Miller said.
Onstage, Tatum works stories about the gloss into her routine. She pulls the shiny glass lip gloss tube out of her cowboy boots, clicks the LED-lighted cap and jokes about how it can be used to change a flat tire. It illuminates the room, and Tatum’s mostly female crowds always go wild.
Seeing success already in the partnership, Coggins says The Lano Company is contemplating other colors and styles to pair up with future songs by Tatum.
“Although we sell nationwide, we are still a small, family owned and operated business,” Coggins said. “And with Bridgette being up-and-coming, we really sat down and said, ‘This is something we could grow together.’ That’s where this was really a big fit for both of us.”
By Christian Bottorff