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19 Nov

Wella Company Hosts Forum With OPI and Briogeo Founders

For her first event as chief executive officer of Wella Company, Annie Young-Scrivner gathered OPI’s Suzi Weiss-Fischmann and Briogeo’s Nancy Twine for a founders’ forum aimed to encourage.

Young-Scrivner is comparatively latest to beauty. Prior to joining Wella in December of 2020, when the corporate became an independent identity (now under KKR’s ownership), the chief was the CEO of Godiva Chocolatier. And previously, she had a greater than seven-year profession at Starbucks. At Wella, she oversees an almost $3 billion portfolio of skilled and retail hair and nail brands. Together with OPI and Briogeo, there’s Wella Professionals, Ghd, Sebastian Skilled, Clairol and Nioxin.

Held at company headquarters in Calabasas, California on Nov. 10, the 2 founders discussed their brand story and the important thing to success, led by moderator Stephanie Mehta, CEO and chief content officer of Mansueto Ventures.

“We realized that artificial nail extensions have the identical chemistry as making dentures,” Weiss-Fischmann said of she and her business partner, brother-in-law George Schaeffer. That they had began a small dental supply company before pivoting to the nail industry (OPI stood for Odontorium Products Inc.).

“We saw all these nail salons popping up on Ventura Boulevard within the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, doing artificial nail extensions called acrylics,” she went on. “We put three products together, the primer, the powder and liquid, called it ‘the rubber band’ special, and George drove the automotive and I bumped into each salon, dropped it off, and I said, ‘Please try it. I’ll be back.’ That was our focus group. I went back two weeks later, and the nail technicians only asked one query: ‘Where can we buy it?’ And that’s how OPI was born.”

She encouraged entrepreneurs to mix imagination and discipline into their business plans, emphasizing the necessity to act quickly to survive and maintain growth.

No need for “too many executives,” Weiss-Fischmann said. “We had George and I after which we had the management under us able to manage the meetings and things were done.…We had ideas, and we executed. Speed-to-market was one in every of OPI’s great successes. Within the beauty industry, there’s no time to think an excessive amount of because trends come and go.”

For Twine, her start began in finance.

“After I began my profession, it was actually the beginning of the financial crisis back in 2007, 2008,” Twine said. “It was a very, really crazy time. Quite a lot of my friends were getting laid off. And likewise, being a female on Wall Street was really, really tough, especially during that point. And unfortunately, midway through my profession at Goldman Sachs, I lost my mom. And it became this catalyst for me to actually take into consideration what it was I desired to do in life. And I made a decision that I wanted to seek out my passion.”

In the course of the discovery process, she recalled the time she spent together with her mother, a physician and chemist, growing up creating their very own skincare products.

“I made a decision that’s what I desired to do,” she said. “I desired to take that childhood memory and really turn it into something larger. And that was also provoked by the indisputable fact that the industry had really modified. More consumers were in search of out clean and natural products. So, it just made sense for me to concentrate on that a part of the industry.”

It was in 2013 at CosmoProf in Las Vegas that she met buyers from Sephora who felt Briogeo would fill a void within the hair care category. The brand — with “clean” ingredients in mind and using recycled materials in packaging — was made for all hair textures and kinds.

“Once I got the cope with Sephora, I quit my job at Goldman and here I’m now,” she said.

Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Stephanie Mehta, Annie Young-Scrivner and Nancy Twine.

Courtesy of Wella Company

Turning to Young-Scrivner, Mehta said: “You’re in the weird position of kind of re-founding an organization that’s 140 years old, and also you’re about to have a good time your second anniversary as a standalone company.” What’s the latest Wella? she asked.

“We get to concentrate on hair,” Young-Scrivner said. “We get to concentrate on nails. I actually consider within the entrepreneurial spirit and elevating the founders that we’re so fortunate to work with and to proceed to raise their brands.”

The founders discussed being “scrappy” of their early days, having a start-up mentality, a transparent vision and unstoppable determination to succeed.

“After I meet entrepreneurs that don’t find yourself finding the success that they were in search of, it’s not because they didn’t have an ideal product or great service, it’s because they let the challenges stop them too soon,” said Twine. “And so, staying positive and determining creative solutions to resolve problems is admittedly critical.”

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