How do you set goals for yourself? For example, do you prefer more small accomplishable goals or fewer large goals? How do you hold yourself accountable?
I always set myself goals—selling for OPI is not difficult. Sell through is the key. Even after this many years, I still worry. I tell the sales team, we sell each new collection like we’ve never sold one before. I look at a new red like it’s the first one I’ve ever seen.
Throughout your professional history, what’s the best lesson you’ve learned after making a mistake?
Everybody makes mistakes—move on. We’ll do better the next time.
From whom or what do you draw your strength, courage, vision?
My mom—she’s 90 years old—and my two children. They inspire me.
As you grew your company, what, if anything, has held you back?
What is the number-one quality you look for when hiring employees, and how do you evaluate if they possess that trait?
Being creative and passionate in what they do. I really look for someone who loves what they do. If you hate it, it shows in the quality of your work. I love to listen to people and ideas. You get a gut feeling about people, but there are no guarantees.
What’s the best thing an employee/colleague ever said about you?
That I have a lot of integrity, am honest and funny.
If you were training another woman to takeover your job, what’s the most important advice you would offer her?
Never lose sight of this incredible jewel of a brand and what it stands for. It stands for quality and really makes a personal connection to the consumer. That personal connection is key. We’ve spent the past 30 years building that.
If you were to look at scrapbook of your professional career, what would be your favorite page? Which page would you like to remove?
The first 30 shades of nail color I created—OPI Red, Cajun Shrimp, Dutch Tulip to name a few would be my favorite. My least favorite would be letting go of the company (OPI is currently owned by Coty)—but that’s ok. It was decision we all made. I say thank you every day and have been very lucky.
If someone were to write a book about your life, what would be an appropriate title?
What a Ride it Has Been
If you weren’t in the beauty industry, what would you be doing?
I love home décor—maybe designing fabrics.
What are you working on now? What’s your next professional step?
I do more and more speaking at business schools like Wharton about branding and marketing. I also speak to women’s groups. It has been very successful. like to speak to young people and inspire them to be passionate.
How would you like to spend your retirement?
I love to travel. I love art history. Maybe I’d do more gardening and really learn how to cook—those kinds of things.