- Edited by Vivian Kelly
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Sunday, September 12, 2010
A Moment With Essie Weingarten, founder and president of Essie Cosmetics, Ltd
TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
I've known Essie since I met her backstage years ago, six years ago, at a Ralph Rucci show. She'd just gotten a gorgeous canary diamond ring, and I'd approached her to admire it [and her perfect manicure]. We got to talking about jewelry, and some of our favorite Essie colors, "Ballet Slippers" and "Pouf Daddy".
ESSIE'S story is one of that shows you that dreams CAN come true.
She began her career by developing 12 innovative chip-resistant nail polish shades in 1981, and went to Las Vegas to sell them. She peddled them to every hotel salon she could. Essie targeted Las Vegas, because she thought that women on vacation were likely to want to try something new than they were when back at home.
She was right; women went home and started talking to their local nail salons and the business grew and grew, by word of mouth.
Post the Michael Angel Show this week, we chatted on the empty runway, and Essie brought me up to speed on her company, She joked, "The baby's 71/2 months pregnant" and patted her flat Ralph Rucci couture clad midriff for emphasis. She may have been referring to the big deal she signed with L'Oreal back in June which has helped catapult her into major league status. Today, the Essie brand extends to 250,000 salons and spas in 95 counties.
Happily Essie is just as marvelously down to earth as she was when we met 6 years ago. We've got a full-on Essie interview in the works late this fall. I can't wait for our sit-down after the shows, to find-out more about what this remarkable woman is up to.