5 Questions with George W. Schaeffer
As the Founder of OPI, George W. Schaeffer’s passion for color built the Professional Nail Care Industry. Now, as ‘The Godfather of Color’, he has created Aloxxi, an all-inclusive color program. With color names like Party in Lombard, Peach Bellini, and Va Va Verona, Schaeffer wants to help women identify their ‘color personality’ with names that are memorable, clever and relatable. Instead of being identified by numbers and levels, clients have a relationship with their color so they can easily communicate with hairdressers. Keeping it fun and one-on-one is what Schaeffer is doing as head of this new family.
1. Why haven’t women been curious to know their hair color formulas before?
I think women have always been curious, but like going to a fine restaurant, while they might wonder what the recipe is, they don’t feel they can ask for it and because, if it tastes good, trust the chef. That’s been the experience at the salon. Clients trust their hairdressers because it looks good. Formulas are coveted by the hairdresser and it was taboo to ask. Our color personalities allow women to connect with a color and describe what they want verbally and visually and empower them with the confidence to ask and communicate their desired end results.
2. How will your naming strategy change the relationship between a client and her hairdresser?
30 years ago when a woman walked out of a nail salon she might tell you she's wearing "red". Today, a woman can confidently tell you if she's in OPI Red, Lincoln Park After Dark--you name it! This isn't the case with hair color. Ask most women and they can't tell you the brand name of their salon hair color, let alone the color, they haven't the slightest clue! Be it a Florentine Dream, a Brunette for Casanova or a Blush of Barolo, Aloxxi is empowering women with the knowledge as to what's on their heads. Now, it might take you three actual colors to be a Georgio’s Folly and me three different colors to be a Georgio’s Folly, but that's the power of an amazing colorist and we want to communicate that to the client. But the point is we can both be Blonde Bambinos, embrace trends, and be empowered to know our color and explore from there. It creates an emotional connection that is missing today and gives clients a name to identify their hair with that they haven’t had before.
3. Who was involved in naming the Aloxxi colors?
The whole Aloxxi team participated in the naming process. It was one of the first things we did when I purchased the company and has been one of the most fun. They are all inspired by Italy since that is where the color is from and we worked hard to capture the culture and FUN that is the Italian experience.
4. What three color names are your favorites?
I like each color personality so long as it fits the client, but if I have to pick three they would be Blonde Bambino, Gondola with the Wind, Don’t Prosciutto the Messenger. Each gives me a chuckle. And we have many more color personalities and colors coming in the future that are equally as fun and beautiful.
5. How important are personal relationships in how you do business?
Personal relationships are everything. I believe it to be the key to building a successful business. And you see it in the salon. Clients build personal relationships with their hairdressers and our hope is to help grow those relationships. At Aloxxi we have four “F”’s - - Fashion, Food, FUN and Family. They are all connected, with the first three making up the fourth. For me, Aloxxi is a family first and business second.