Do you ever wonder how some of the industry’s biggest power players got their start — in life and in the beauty industry? Are you interested in how their minds work? From theme song to what car they drive, we’re letting our readers peek behind the curtain of some of the nail world’s most powerful players.
JAN ARNOLD, CND
Humble Beginnings: My first job, when 1 was 16, was with my father, a dentist, who taught me and my sister how to be dental assistants. He thought I could be a great dentist until I passed out in the middle of my first surgery assisting him.
Source of Inspiration: My source of inspiration is art, creativity, imagination, and nature. Artists like Michelangelo, who had to suffer agony before experiencing ecstasy. I find his plight inspiring because he had to learn the art form before he could practice the art.
Power Lunch: Colin Powell is a true leader in every respect. MiMi Gueneri is a cardiologist and the founder of the Scripps Institute of Integrative Medicine. And Yohji Yomomoto is my favorite designer.
Theme Song: “Let’s Get This Party Started” by Pink
Power Tool: BlackBerry, cell phone, e-mail... but my real power tool of almost 20 years: my trusted assistant Sheila Wiggins.
Power Car: I like a sleek, small, fast, and reliable sports: my little black Acura NSX.
Revving Your Engine: It doesn’t matter what time I go to bed, I hate mornings. I need two alarms, a double espresso, a pot of French roast, a long shower, and more French roast.
Power Moment: Being creative and making a difference. There is no one particular time that is best, no year that makes the mark, it’s simply the wonderful timeless experience where creativity is inspired, and it works.
TOM BACHIK, ENTITY NAIL COUTURE
Humble Beginnings: At 17, I had a no-holds-barred attitude and a thirst for recognition; there was only one choice for me — pizza delivery boy.
Source of Inspiration: With a child on the way, the livelihood as a starving artist lost its appeal. I was inspired to do nails by my cousin who was attending beauty school who told me. “You could make next to nothing working your butt off hammering nails, or you could sit on your butt and have women pay you to polish nails”
Power Lunch: Robert Cromeans, Stephen Covey, and my late grandpa Pete; Innovation, Balance, and the simplistic wisdom that is: “Well, it’s fixed until it breaks”
Theme Song: “This Is Your Life” by Switchfoot
Power Tool: Laptop strapped to my back and a mobile phone at my side that I sleep with more than my wife, Liz
Power Car: A nicely modified ‘05 pearl white Nissan 350Z.
Revving Your Engine: God, family, and the opportunity to make a difference. I like to start each morning with a 4:30 a.m. run and free- weight workout.
Power Moment: I’ve been blessed with so many highlights throughout my career; from being NAILS Magazine’s #1 competitor and the WINBA world champion to growing with one of the largest nail companies, to my latest and greatest highlight: joining Tom Holcomb and creating Entity Nail Couture.
Marlene Bridge, National Cosmetology Association
Humble Beginnings: I opened a nail salon in downtown Pittsburgh when there was no license required. I had never even polished my nails before and previously worked as an executive secretary and did some statistical typing.
Source of Inspiration: My brother-in-law was a great business person and a go-getter. He kept planting great ideas in my head and steering me in the right direction.
Power Lunch: Oprah, Diane Sawyer, and Katie Couric
Theme Song: I don’t have a theme song but a quote: “Live the life you are in.”
Power Tool: Simple cell phone and my computer for e-mail.
Power Car: A Patriot Blue PT Cruiser with sun roof (the sun roof is my favourite part)
Revving Your Engine: I love mornings. I need just water, vitamins, and a piece of toast with peanut butter.
Power Moment: I got involved in the National Cosmetology Association (NCA), which led to teaching and educating others. What always amazes me is the thanks I get from others for giving them a helping hand. It’s very energizing, and that keeps me going.
LYSA COMFORT, CHARISMA NAIL INNOVATIONS
Humble Beginnings: I started doing nails in my bedroom at age 15 on my friends from school. I had a full clientele by the time I went to nail school.
Source of Inspiration: Bruce Atwood got me involved in going to the shows to sell my French Fill Diamond Bit, and it took off from there. Danny Haile inspired me to do better nails
Power Lunch: Mi Won Kim, John Heffner, and Jim Grant
Theme Song: “Feelin’ Groovy”
Power Tool: Cell phone or e-mail
Power Car: Infiniti G35 sports coupe
Revving Your Engine: I love to take an aerobics class, or I just jump right in with work.
Power Moment: The launch of my own acrylic line — Charisma Nail Innovations.
TONY CUCCIO, STAR NAIL INTERNATIONAL
Humble Beginnings: After working as a waiter and starting my first career as a neonatal respiratory therapist, I got into cosmetics by selling out of the back of my car on Venice Beach.
Source of Inspiration: As with many first-time business owners — making money was my driving force. What continues to fuel my passion is women. From all over the globe, each woman’s individuality and sense of beauty inspires me today.
Power Lunch: Mike Renzulli (Sally Beauty Co.), Gary Winterhalter (Sally), and Larry Gaynor (The Nailco Group)
Theme Song: “Only In America”
Power Tool: Direct or phone contact can’t be replaced by a computer.
Power Car: Bentley Arnage for pleasure and Mercedes ML for work
Revving Your Engine: I go to work every day at 5.00 a.m. California time. I make my east coast and European calls; I can’t wait to get to the factory. Growing the business for over 25 years in a row is a daily rush.
Power Moment: When I brought my mother to one of the large nail shows. Everyone there made such a huge deal about her being Tony Cuccio’s mom. Having her treated so well and seeing how proud she was of me had a lasting effect.
DEBBIE DOERRLAMM, BEAUTYTECH.COM
Humble Beginnings: I worked in my father’s bicycle and lawn mower store. I played around with my own nails from about 16 until 1990 when I decided to go to nail school.
Source of Inspiration: Funny as it may sound, the shampoo girl at the salon where I got my hair cut! She always told me I should go to school, and she would get me customers I did, and she did, and I was off and running.
Power Lunch: Jan Arnold, Tony Cuccio, and Bill Gates
Theme Song: “We’re Off To See the Wizard”
Power Tool: Cell phone, laptop, instant messenger
Power Car: 2003 Honda Accord EX Coupe V6 with XM Radio and GPS
Revving Your Engine: I read my overnight e-mail with my first cup of tea. I plan out the rest of the day while in the shower. It’s always a wish list here, there is usually a crisis du jour to side-track that list.
Power Moment: The day Tony Cuccio called me after reading a request for Star’s sponsorship of the networking I had started. After talking to him for almost 30 minutes, I realized my networking idea was completely feasible, and I should put much more effort into the idea. After that, it was when NAILS called and asked me to write a column.
ZOE FALLEY, REALYS/TROPICAL SHINE
Humble Beginnings: After receiving a merit award at a student beauty competition in New York City, I was offered a job by an executive of Glemby International as a hairstylist.
Source of Inspiration: My mentor and inspiration was my husband Mikey. After opening various beauty-related businesses, including our own salon, his entrepreneurship led me to Realys.
Power Lunch: Alanis Morissette for her ability to turn a negative into a positive, Dr. Phil for his inspirational advice, and Oprah for her selflessness through charity.
Theme Song: “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
Power Tool: Simple cell phone
Power Car: Toyota minivan
Revving Your Engine: I wake up every morning to a wonderful dog licking my face.
Power Moment: The satisfaction to see our manufactured products advertised in the trade magazines.
DEBI FOI, ELIZABETH ARDEN RED DOOR NAIL CARE
Humble Beginnings: I turned 16 and was hired as a holiday temp at a ladies specialty store in Kansas City. I chose to work on commission. As a result I learned how to accommodate a customer and therefore sold much more.
Source of Inspiration: David Stoup, chairman of Weil Lifestyles, is my mentor. He taught me that “If you are always comfortable, you are not learning.”
Power Tool: BlackBerry and cell phone
Power Car: 2002 Jaguar convertible with only 15,000 miles on it
Revving Your Engine: My passion for this business. I want to make a difference and have my team excel. Knowing we can make a difference is a key factor
Power Moment: Creating the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Nail Care line. We had a vision to plan, dream, and create the product. Marketing and training from the start is so rewarding. I work with a great team, and together we are trying to make a difference in the nail industry by providing quality products with exceptional training and marketing.
LARRY GAYNOR, THE NAILCO GROUP
Humble Beginnings: I was 9 years old and worked in my father’s hardware store. I had to use a stool to reach the register I learned very quickly how to make change!
Source of Inspiration: My mentors are my customers, who keep pushing me forward to do what I am still doing today.
Power Lunch: Howard Schultz, Tom Peters, and Jeff Bezos
Theme Song: Our own theme song that we developed years ago, “Go Rebels!”
Power Tool: My communication tool is the people I surround myself with.
Power Car: Porsche Cayenne and 911
Revving Your Engine: I work out for two hours every morning.
Power Moment: I have many but the one that stands out is when we reached $50 million in sales. I bought cars for those employed with us when I made the promise of buying a car when we hit the goal. During the holiday party, invited the winners onstage, presented them with keys, and led them outside the ballroom where their cars were waiting. It was surreal.
JOHN HEFFNER, CREATIVE NAIL DESIGN
Humble Beginnings: My first job out of college was with Procter & Gamble as a sales representative in the beauty care division. P & G was and still is a great company that taught me the fundamentals of sound management.
Source of Inspiration: I had no particular aspiration toward the beauty industry; it just evolved. My primary business mentor is my father, who taught me the value of treating people with kindness and respect as well as holding to high standards.
Power Lunch: Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Richard Branson; or in the industry: the three best nail technicians who can provide insight into today’s needs.
Theme Song: “Best of You” by the Foo Fighters or “Real Life” by Simple Minds
Power Tool: BlackBerry and Apple Power Mac Laptop
Power Car: Lexus GS300
Revving Your Engine: I start with the headlines via the Today Show, followed by helping my wife Kristine get the kids ready for school, and then off to the day’s challenges
Power Moment: There is no one career highlight, rather, a series of benchmarks that lead to new discovery and challenge. The thing I am most proud of is growing a healthy, loving family while dealing with the many issues at my company and within the various groups I’m associated with.
TOM HOLCOMB, ENTITY NAIL COUTURE
Humble Beginnings: My first job was at a chic salon in an old restored downtown mission in Riverside, Calif. I started doing hair and nails there when I was 18.
Source of Inspiration: Julie Baltierra was my mentor. She convinced me to compete for the first time at the beauty school I went to. Two weeks after I met her, I won my first championship as a student
Power Lunch: George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and my father, so I could watch the Bushes try to out-debate my father. I would love to see him in action.
Theme Song: “American Idiot” by Green Day
Power Tool: Cell phone and PC
Power Car: Audi TT ragtop, vintage Mercedes, lifted white Ford F150
Revving Your Engine: Well, I start off with a cup of coffee, turn on my PC, and feed my cat Bella and dog Jack. Then I stare at the walls for an hour to remember where, who, and what I am. I am not a morning person.
Power Moment: My career highlight was when Entity was launched in Long Beach in 2005. I had never been so nervous and proud of my work. Then the top came one year later at Long Beach 2006 when we won the ABBIES award. It was such a great feeling, not to mention a surprise
BEN KING, KING RESEARCH
Humble Beginnings: My first job was on the 10th floor stockroom at the Brooks Brothers store in Manhattan. I was sending shirts and socks down to the selling floors via a dumbwaiter in response to calls from the store’s salesmen.
Source of Inspiration: I joined King Research as its general counsel and secretary, having both a business degree and a law degree. A contact at King Research kept asking me to do legal work for them, and I decided that the company ought to pay me as an employee for the amount of time I was moonlighting for them.
Power Lunch: Warren Buffett, Colin Powell and Donald Trump
Theme Song: “Off We Go, Into the Wild Blue Yonder!”
Power Tool: Treo90 and a Startac cell phone
Power Car: A reliable six-year old Lexus automobile, with trunk space to carry stocks of merchandise.
Revving Your Engine: Each day I envision as the start of new innovation for the company, embarking in new directions, and enhancement of our company’s products and customer services.
Power Moment: The installation of Barbicide to the permanent collection of the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
RUDY LENZKES, CALIFORNIA MANGO
Humble Beginnings: Out of high school, I worked for a private label company, which gave me invaluable experience in manufacturing, sales, and distribution.
Source of Inspiration: My father, Rudy Sr. (Elegant Glass Products) has helped me through the ups and downs during our parallel careers in the beauty industry.
Power Lunch: Donald Trump, John Stossel, and the Pope
Theme Song: “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” by Bachman Turner Overdrive
Power Tool: Samsung SCH-i730 Smart Phone
Power Car: Volkswagen
Revving Your Engine: A 5 a m. workout to organize my thoughts for the upcoming day
Power Moment: All of it. This is truly a great industry
NEWTON LUU, LECHAT
Humble Beginnings: I sold newspapers on the streets of San Francisco when I was in junior high.
Source of Inspiration: When I was in business school, I wrote a business plan on how to open a nail salon. I had a night job working at the bank vault. I saved a little money, and with a $10,000 cash advance from my credit card, I went on to open my first salon with my partner. After one year, I opened another one, then another in the third year. That’s when I invented the powder gel system.
Power Lunch: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Michael Dell
Theme Song: “Have I Told You Lately” by Rod Stewart — my song for my wife Jackie.
Power Tool: My laptop, without it I am lost.
Power Car: Mercedes and Lexus SUV
Revving Your Engine: I can’t wait to go to work. I have so many ideas and new products that I am working on. Jackie always tells me to rest my mind.
Power Moment: My father always reminds me: “When the tiger dies, he leaves the skin (very valuable commodity), when a person dies, he leaves his name for people to remember.” That means be good at what you do and make a mark. My dream is to see a day that when people think about powder gel systems, they think of LeChat and that we created a category for nail enhancement.
MICHAEL MEGNA, BACKSCRATCHERS SALON SYSTEMS
Humble Beginnings: At 14, I worked for my dad’s beauty school. Just like my father, I got my start in the nail industry as the janitor in a beauty school. I swept, dumped garbage cans, unplugged shampoo bowls, fixed lockers and mirrors, and filled vending machines.
Source of Inspiration: My father has been my mentor in business and in life. My Uncle Salvatore has always been an inspiration in engineering and mechanics.
Power Lunch: The late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Sr., for his integrity and for what he did for the sport; Donald Trump, for his resiliency and his “can-win” attitude; and Bill Gates, for his forward thinking and innovative vision.
Theme Song: It’s impossible for me to pick just one — I enjoy such a variety of music that it really depends on the moment!
Power Tool: A cell phone in town and a cell and BlackBerry when I travel.
Power Car: I drive an Audi A8L, but my power car would be a Lamborghini Murcielago or a Ford GT
Revving Your Engine: I just love what I do and the people I work with, and the promise of the opportunities that each day brings always gets me revved. The “art of the deal” is always exciting to me.
Power Moment: Looking back and realizing that a good idea more than 20 years ago has grown into a company that is still making a difference globally in the nail industry.
VICKI PETERS, VICKI PETERS SIGNATURE SERIES/KUPA
Humble Beginnings: Well, it was either dog grooming or manicuring school. I figured the manicuring was cleaner and the conversation better!
Source of Inspiration: Paula Gilmore and Norm Freed Paula is the tech I sat next to for a year in 1985 who inspired me to compete in nail competitions After all these years, she is still my mentor She introduced me to Norm Freed, who to this day is a dear friend and continues to inspire me in all aspects of lite
Power Lunch: Steven Brooks, Geno Stampora, and Robert Oppenheim I have actually lunched with all of them except Robert, I would love to have them all at the table together I would just sit there and absorb everything they said
Theme Song: “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. I don’t want to miss one speck of life.
Power Tool: An electric file. I am totally connected already.
Power Car: A boring white SUV with “NAILWMN” on the license plate
Revving Your Engine: I set the tone every morning at 6 a.m. (morning is my favorite time of day) with Starbucks and a to-do list, so I stay focused. It’s my “quiet time” to think about what I need to accomplish.
Power Moment: To see the “out- of-the-gate” success of my new S-Gel System. It was my first start-from-scratch project at Kupa Career highlight: I have not done it yet.
JEFF PINK, ORLY
Humble Beginnings: I actually began my career in the beauty industry in the early 70s by opening a beauty supply store in Tarzana, Calif. It was the start of Orly International, named after the most important woman in my life, my wife Orly.
Source of Inspiration: My mentor and dearest friend Jack Sperling. I learned the beauty business as his apprentice in his small beauty supply shop more than 35 years ago.
Power Lunch: Michelle Pfeiffer because who wouldn’t want her at a power lunch? Tom Ford is the embodiment of someone successful and creative. My two-year-old grandson Xandi reminds me how important family is in this age of power lunches.
Theme Song: “Golden Slumbers” by the Beatles
Power Tool: Treo, cell phone, laptop. And an old- fashioned, but reliable tool, my brain!
Power Car: I have a Lexus for getting around and an Aston Martin for playing around.
Revving Your Engine: Even after 30 years of being in this business, what gets me going every morning is the thought that I’m going to the Orly headquarters to start another day of innovation. Oh, that and three cups of delicious Turkish coffee!
Power Moment: When I first welcomed my staff to Orly’s beautiful new corporate headquarters, it was truly a highlight for me.
ZVI RYZMAN, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIES
Humble Beginnings: I have never had a job, per se. I have always I been an entrepreneur, creating my own opportunities
Source of Inspiration: There was a man very important to me who taught me how to manage and maintain a business. This man went through the horrors of the Holocaust, survived the concentration camps, and never went to college. His effect on me, and the way 1 conduct my business and my life, is profound. Another mentor was Irving Cohen, who owned a chain of beauty supply stores in Anaheim called Irvco Stores; he inspired and encouraged me in my earlier years.
Power Lunch: I would want to discuss business, and I would like to encourage a lively discussion, so I would invite the president of China, Hu Jintao; Kenneth D. Lewis, president of Bank of America; and the chairman and CEO of General Motors, Rick Wagoner.
Theme Song: “That’s Life” as sung by Frank Sinatra
Power Tool: A cell phone in town and a cell and BlackBerry when I travel.
Power Car: What kind of car? A used car.
Revving Your Engine: I start each day by exercising and studying.
Power Moment: For me, the greatest pleasure and a true highlight is the people I have the privilege to work with every day. Every day, I experience highlights, again and again.
GREG SALO, YOUNG NAILS
Humble Beginnings: I started working at Perry’s Pizza when I was 15 years old I wanted to earn my own money instead of asking my j parents all the time.
Source of Inspiration: My mentor is my mom, Young Salo. She has more courage than anyone I have ever met. That is why I named our product line after her.
Power Lunch: I would invite Dave Chappelle for his humor, Warren Buffett for his business savvy, and my brother Habib because it wouldn’t be fun without him.
Theme Song: I love AC/DC. My theme song is “TNT”
Power Tool: My BlackBerry. I can get my e-mail and get online anywhere, anytime
Power Car: A 2004 Audi S4. 4.2L - V8, 344 horsepower
Revving Your Engine: I love getting to the golf course at 6 a.m. and playing nine holes before work Watching the sun rise while hitting a 300-yard drive is epic
Power Moment: My career highlight was giving my dad a new Mercedes for his birthday. My father worked hard his whole life so that my mom, brother, and I could have everything. So for his 65th birthday, we surprised him with a new S430. Seeing him cry for joy was amazing!
GEORGE SCHAEFFER, OPI PRODUCTS
Humble Beginnings: My very first job was collecting money for my grandparents’ butcher shop in Budapest at the age of six. Then I sold eggs in Bushwick-Stuyvesant off of the back of a truck. Next, I did the payroll for my parents’ sewing shop when I was 13. Then in my early 20s, I drove a taxi in NYC. 1 worked in the garment industry in Manhattan until I moved to LA in ‘81, and started OPI.
Source of Inspiration: My mentor was our first rep, Dave Green. I longed to get back into women’s fashion and into manufacturing after I left the garment industry.
Power Lunch: My father, my mother, and my grandmother. It would be the most fulfilling lunch that I could ever imagine.
Theme Song: “My Way” by Paul Anka/Frank Sinatra
Power Tool: My BlackBerry and my laptop—via the Internet.
Power Car: Mini Cooper S with the “works” is the “funnest” car that I drive most days.
Revving Your Engine: Each day is a new day of challenges, opportunities, and change. I do not think I have ever repeated the same day twice in my life. I love stirring the pot at OPI.
Power Moment: Reaching our 25th year and being recognized as the number-one professional nail lacquer brand in the world!
RICK SLACK, NSI
Humble Beginnings: My first job growing up was helping my father at our dental manufacturing company in the production and shipping departments. Back then we would fill and package our dental products by hand.
Source of Inspiration: My father, a consummate salesperson and product specialist He taught me to be passionate about product and the customer
Power Lunch: Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Larry Gaynor
Theme Song: “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden & Whitehead I’m Philly born and bred
Power Tool: Cell phone and laptop
Power Car: Traded in the Audi for a new VW Passat
Revving Your Engine: Kissing my wife, pushing the cat off the bed, arid wrestling with the dog.
Power Moment: First opening order to West Coast Beauty Supply at $100,0001
MARLENE SORTINO, SNAILS ITALIAN JEWELRY
Humble Beginnings: Actually my first real job was with an interior-design firm in Miami. I have a degree in architectural drafting.
Source of Inspiration: My mother was my mentor. She was always a very aggressive and successful businesswoman.
Power Lunch: Pat Riley, Jack Nicholson, and Shaquille O’Neal
Theme Song: “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson
Power Tool: Cell phone — simple!
Power Car: Turquoise T-Bird
Revving Your Engine: I start every day with the sports page from the newspaper! It’s my bible.
Power Moment: The biggest power moment in my life was the day I had my twins! It just doesn’t get any bigger than that.
MARC SPILO, SPILO WORLDWIDE
Humble Beginnings: Since this was a family business, my first job was in the warehouse, literally sweeping floors. Then I became a packer
Source of Inspiration: My father, who started the Spilo Co and Roz Barton, who was my dad’s right hand and ran the business after he passed away. Both of them taught me that everyone you work with needs to be treated the same way— with a friendliness and cordiality.
Power Lunch: Mike Renzulli, Jerry Rubin, Lee Rizzuto
Theme Song: “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”
Power Tool: BlackBerry. cell phone, and a lot of Outlook Web access!
Power Car: A Ford Explorer Nothing fancy!
Revving Your Engine: A healthy breakfast and a big cup of coffee.
Power Moment: I guess it would have to be when we purchased the Mehaz Company and started Spilo on the track of being a marketer of our own brands, as well as others.
KELVIN ST. PHAM, ST. K SALON & AGENCY
Humble Beginnings: My first job was as a trash boy picking up trash after the football/baseball games outside on the big field.
Source of Inspiration: It would have to be my mother-in-law, Sarah, and my ex-wife. They told me I would be the I % of men that would be in this field. I was inspired! Sarah inspired me to produce quality workmanship.
Power Lunch: Trang Nguyen of ONS, Tom Bachik of Entity, and John Hauk of OPI — the bad boys of the nail biz. It would be interesting to know what inspires them.
Theme Song: The theme of “Sesame Street”
Power Tool: I love technology. I have everything on my mobile phone
Power Car: I don’t have a car I spent all my money on electronic gadgets.
Revving Your Engine: I start my day by asking, “What wonderful experiences will I have the opportunity to enjoy and learn today?” By the end of the day, I always learn a little bit about myself and the world around me.
Power Moment: When I became an educator for IBD, I was so excited. The when I became a Creative Ambassador; 1 was so proud Currently, I’m supporting OPI as a consultant in the Vietnamese market. I am professional nail tech educator, ambassador, a consultant in my field. It feels great to know that I’m making an impact on the future of our industry.
BRIAN TRAN, MISA COSMETICS
Humble Beginnings: I remember being a janitor for a warehouse, a newspaper delivery man, and a furniture delivery guy as well
Source of Inspiration: My source of inspiration came from accidentally passing by a nail salon one afternoon I didn’t know what else to do I had nothing in my hands at the moment
Power Lunch: I don’t know if three people would be enough I would love to have lunch with my competitors. I think we can all be great mentors to each other
Theme Song: “You can do it, put your back into it” means you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Power Tool: My Nextel cell phone that I’ve had since 1996.
Power Car: I just got rid of my Pontiac Transport van with 300,000 miles
Revving Your Engine: I can never start the day without the iced coffee my wife makes for me every morning. It could be -14, and I would still drink iced coffee. But it has to be my wife’s iced coffee. She has a special recipe.
Power Moment: I have power moments every day. Hearing my customers raving about my products gives me the drive to work every day. It truly highlights my day.
JESSICA VARTOUGHIAN, JESSICA COSMETICS
Humble Beginnings: My dream was to become a psychologist, but when I came to America my family had to start over. I didn’t speak English, so I chose nails because it was a short course. I could go to work fairly quickly and help support my family.
Source of Inspiration: My parents are truly the source of my passion and drive. My professional mentor was Alan Kurtzman who was the vice president of marketing with Max Factor, Revlon, and Neutrogena. He helped me develop a strategy and create my own products.
Power Lunch: Oprah, Martha Stewart, and Abe Rosenbaum (founder of Kirker Enterprises) - he taught me all about the polish business when I first started out
Theme Song: Frank Sinatra’s classic “My Way”
Power Tool: My brain I must admit I don’t know how to open a computer.
Power Car: I love my Vanderbilt Jaguar.
Revving Your Engine: I get excited about what each day will bring, but I must start quietly with a cup of Armenian coffee and fruit I can’t start my day without reading the newspaper, so I know what’s going on in the world.
Power Moment: Opening the Jessica Nail Clinic. It was the very first nails-only salon in the world. Many people thought I was crazy to open a salon dedicated only to natural nails and pedicures — and 30 years later we are still going strong. Last fall, I was honored to receive a Special Achievement Award in Japan for my contribution and support in helping to build the nail business and educate the nailists in Japan.
ESSIE WEINGARTEN, ESSIE COSMETICS
Humble Beginnings: After attending FIT, I worked as an assistant buyer for Henri Bendel and then for a private label hosiery company.
Source of Inspiration: My mother showed me and told me that you can do anything you set your mind to. When my father passed away, he left my mother with his business to run and five children to raise, and she took it all in stride. She always encouraged me and stood by me.
Power Lunch: Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Diane Sawyer
Theme Song: “Unforgettable”
Power Tool: My cell phone... and a Filofax!
Power Car: My red Vespa
Revving Your Engine: I get revved up thinking about going to the office and getting creative — whether I am making new shades, coming up with new names, or working with my team on sales, advertising, or PR.
Power Moment: There are two: When I won the CEW Achiever Award — not only was it an honor to be recognized, but I was also the first women in the professional beauty arena to be given the award Second, when I received a request from the Queen of England’s hairdresser asking for Ballet Slippers for the Queen! It was the only thing she would wear!
SUZI WEISS-FISCHMANN, OPI PRODUCTS
Humble Beginnings: My first job was at 16, working after school for a clothing manufacturer owned by George Schaeffer’s family. I’d help out with whatever needed to be done.
Source of Inspiration: I’ve always looked at George as my mentor. I admire his entrepreneurial spirit. He taught me that if you believe in something, you should pursue it. He was my role model for making things happen.
Power Lunch: Oprah Winfrey; she knows how to connect with her audience. Margaret Thatcher; she ran a country. And Carolina Herrera; she is a talented designer.
Theme Song: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
Power Tool: I have a BlackBerry.
Power Car: A Mercedes R-Class
Revving Your Engine: My children definitely get me revved up. I get up at 5:30 a.m. every day to fix their lunches and drive them to school.
Power Moment: Every seasonal nail lacquer collection OPI produces is a highlight for me. I’ve been picking the shades for every collection since 1989. I love the fashion aspect of it — after all, I believe fashion begins with the nails.