2014 Women of Vision: Dalal Moussa
CEO, Obliphica Professional
Dalal Moussa has spent her entire career bringing luxury into women’s lives. Since the early 90s, she has expanded the demographics of luxury brands to include groups of consumers not previously targeted. With women working harder than ever, Moussa offers them products that feel like a splurge, without breaking their banks. In 2013, she acquired Obliphica Professional, a portfolio of professional hair care products that provide instant rejuvenation and transformative results, thanks to the powers of the miraculous Seaberry. To accomplish that task, Moussa has assembled a team of industry leaders to rebrand and reposition the brand as a luxurious, results-oriented collection that’s accessible to any hairdresser, beauty store or consumer who wants a little luxury in her life.
How are you a visionary?
Moussa: During the past year, we have completely re-imagined and rebranded Obliphica Professional. That took having a strong faith that I was charting the right course and that the final result would be as great as I imagined when it was complete. And yes, it is.
Since you started your own business, how have your motivations changed?
Moussa: I purchased Obliphica Professional in mid-2013 after my hair was severely damaged by a hair color service gone wrong. Obliphica products were the only care that brought life back to my hair. My motivation was to bring those transformative results to other women. As I’ve learned more about the industry, my motivation has grown to wanting to help women—especially earn more money and live better lives—as a result of working with us.
What do you do on a daily basis to help you grow as an entrepreneur?
Moussa: I have great advisers and mentors, and I listen to them.
Who or what inspires you?
Moussa: I’m very proud of how we’ve transformed our brand in just one year. When I hear positive feedback, it inspires me to push harder toward excellence. Plus, we have a very small, but powerful team. How each has dedicated his or her talents to this also truly inspires me. Finally, the new relationships I’ve made over the past year both inspire and challenge me to up the ante.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from running your own business that you would share with other women?
Moussa: To always listen to your gut. Instinct is everything. Many successful women attribute their success to luck, when they truly achieved the results through their own skill and hard work.
As you grew your company/brand, what “Ah-Ha” moments of clarity helped you shape its future course?
Moussa: Learning that caring for the scalp is the foundation to having beautiful, healthy hair.
In developing your company, what is the biggest roadblock you’ve faced, and how did you conquer it?
Moussa: I bought Obliphica Professional because of the quality of the product in the bottle; however, the company’s image didn’t match that quality. We have worked tirelessly over the past year to create an image that’s as luxurious as what’s inside our formulas, so our distributors and salons can be very proud to represent us.
How would you describe your management style? What do you think makes you a good leader, and in what areas would you want to improve?
Moussa: I deflect the attention away from myself and encourage my team to voice their opinions. I want them to think independently, which ensures that we find the best solutions to our challenges together. I need to not take things personally.
Throughout your professional history, what’s the best lesson you’ve learned after making a mistake?
Moussa: Don’t make the same mistake twice, forgive yourself and move on.
What is the number-one quality you look for when hiring employees, and how do you evaluate if they possess that trait?
Moussa: The most important quality I look for is high energy. People with high energy ask a lot of questions, especially, “Why?” That curiosity is a sign of interest, which equates to energy.
Share something personal that very few people at your work would know about you.
Moussa: That I’m super sensitive.
What’s the best thing an employee/colleague ever said about you?
Moussa: When one of my assistants left for a career in the medical profession, she told me how impressed her new employer was with her multi-tasking skills, ability to handle important projects and overall preparedness—which she attributed to my mentoring. She would never have been able to do this job without the business and life lessons she learned from me.
If you were training another woman to take over your job, what’s the most important advice you would offer her?
Moussa: The most important advice is to learn what you don’t know, produce on a daily basis and hold people accountable for not doing so. Beyond that, choose quality over quantity and people over dollars.
If you were to look at a scrapbook of your professional career, what would be your favorite page? Which page would you like to remove?
Moussa: My favorite page is the day my first distributor—Anne and Geppe Enfiomusi of Piermarco Group—said, “Yes, we have a deal.” They have been my friends, mentors and biggest supporters from day one. The worst was when I missed my daughter’s dance recital for a business trip. She was in five numbers.
If someone were to write a book about your life, what would be an appropriate title?
Moussa: Behind Every Good Woman are Many Great Women
If you weren’t in the beauty industry, what would you be doing?
Moussa: I’d be running a company in the jewelry or fashion industries.
What is your vision for the future of your company? What is your vision for the future of the industry?
Moussa: My vision is to lead a global brand that makes a difference in women’s lives and no matter how large it grows, to remain humble and close to our customers. I want to provide opportunities for women that they’ve never had before. For the industry, I want to see it treated more seriously, because how we all look depends on us! I also want to see women celebrated and elevated by other women, so that we receive the recognition and financial rewards we deserve for our accomplishments.