Jami Svay took a chance when she pressed a tube of her organic lip balm into the hand of QVC personality Carolyn Gracie last year.
Sure, it was a long shot, thought the 28-year-old Charlotte, N.C., makeup artist. But Svay had recently launched her Tastee Cosmetics line and was looking for feedback and maybe a mention of her products on air.
Instead, Svay and her Tastee line were scheduled to make their television debut at 9 Wednesday night on QVC, one of the largest multimedia retailers in the world which broadcasts live 24 hours a day, 364 days a year.
Of the more than 1,150 products the network presents each week, almost 300 are new to QVC shoppers, network officials say. They've been shaking off the cheap and cheesy reputation, especially when it comes to beauty products. Superbrands like philosophy and Bare Escentuals are QVC top sellers.
Svay's organic lip balm, which is available in Charlotte at Folicle Salon and Civilian and Lotus boutiques, was to be part of the channel's Earth Day celebration. A Tastee lip balm trio, featuring a reusable pouch and limited-edition lemon flavor, will sell for $21.
"I am completely freaking out," Svay said. "The show is live. I mean, I don't talk, I'm a makeup artist. I just make you look pretty."
Not only will Svay speak during her appearance, she'll be doing makeup demonstrations and sharing the stage with cosmetics icon Trish McEvoy.
The move from small neighborhood boutiques with typical orders of 50 units to QVC with an initial order of 1,800 units is daunting and exhilarating all at once, Svay says.
"My husband keeps telling me, 'Just take a deep breath.'"
Orders can also be placed at www.qvc.com.
(c) 2009, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.). Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.