Hollis Hill Queens, Blackley, Johnny Carson discussed on From Scratch

From Scratch


Two thousand ten se is from hollis hill queens. Welcome it's my pleasure to be here jessica. Before we get started noticing that you are wearing some red nail polish. Can i see your hands for a second. What do you call that color. she's pampered. When did that color come out. Probably about ten years ago. But it's so apropos. Now since i'm not working and i'm enjoying life and i feel very pampered. When did you get them done yesterday. As a matter of fact how did you come up with a name she's pampered. It was from a collection where it was all about opulence and this was one of six colors and it always about the theme. so she's pampered. Just looked right to me it was like a rosy red and it looked like any woman could wear it when she's feeling really special. People who know the brand se used the nail polish. They know you for your names as well as other attributes names range from wicked too fancy pants tomboy no more rockstar skinny and i feel like these neither just on the right side of nadi. Can you talk to us about your thinking surrounding the names. Well i always wanted to have a personality so if the names had a personality women would remember them if it's numbers it's so impersonal and it's like what number is it. If they don't remember the whole name they remember something about the name and this is a very funny story. A woman met me as she said to me. Oh my god you're essay. I was in a salon and this woman ashford dancing shoes. And i said that's not one of my colors. She said no no. No i know it's one of your callers. I said. I don't have anything dancing shoes to make a long story short talk about ballet slippers and i said oh got it okay ballet slippers when we went through the whole thing which you know. Everyone talks about ballet slippers when they're talking about it delicious pink color and to me. It was my days of misleading at ballet school and everyone else wore blackley leotards and i wore pink leotard so it was always that childhood memory of me being feminine and special and when the queen of england wanted the se ballet slippers received a letter with the royal crest and it was hr age and it was the hairdresser of the queen of england and basically he asked if i would sell them the polish. I said of course he wanted to know if i could ship it immediately and i said i'll hand deliver it. I mean i was. I thought i you know arrived at the moon so queen elizabeth wears ballet slippers. Wouldn't it be funny. If she warlike bikini so teeny. I would love it. I think we'd be social on her toes. Speaking of queen elizabeth there was another woman In the early days who really kind of a helped you become. I'm thinking of joan rivers. jelly. Yes joan was very special. She was on johnny carson. She was basically. I think she was side. Kick that night and johnny asked her what she was wearing and she said on the tonight show. I'm wearing jelly apple by se. And i did get to thank her before she died in person and i mean that was very special day in my life. Where were you. Were you watching the show coincidental. Yes i was. I was at johnny carson fanatic. So i didn't miss a show if i was home. I saw it and this is in. Nineteen eighty-three it was probably eighty one or two. So you didn't know this was coming to you. Can you describe the moment or you you by yourself. Sitting on your couch or i was in bed yet. Listening to joan rivers. Johnny and all of a sudden it was like did i hear right and you pinch self. They're talking about my baby. Did you get phone calls that night. Deary member yes. I did as a matter of fact lots of calls and by the next morning was like everyone was talking about it and by the way this is before a social media and this is before you're able to watch the show again and again on youtube you're lucky to have seen it otherwise you would have just heard about it absolutely. Yes how the world is strange. So i wanna go back to nineteen eighty-one when you decided to launch essay with ten thousand dollars how did you muster the ten thousand dollars. Where did that come from. I was working. I worked at henri bendel for a couple of years I was going to fit in the evening. And then after bengals. I went to work for ladies hosiery company that was owned by two brothers and they did private label pantyhose. Do you remember like the moment when you went in and you told your boss what i'm doing this company. I'm off my own. yeah i do. I said i was leaving in. He was not happy and basically said. We're not going to give you the ten year pin. And i are have to live without it and i moved on when you are ready to go. You gotta go. I love that you didn't. You didn't get your ten year pin. No i'm jessica harris. You're listening to from scratch. My guest is essie weingarten founder of esi nail polish company with more than three hundred colors. The company was bought in two thousand. Ten by l'oreal what other ideas did you have for starting a business other than nail polish. Did you have a maniacal focus. I was pretty focused that there was no-one doing colors that were great a formula. That would be looking wet for a whole week. And if i found the chemists to do it and all major chemical companies and cosmetic companies looking at the big picture they were looking at foundations with the money is nails. The money wasn't in nails. I mean in one thousand nine hundred eighty one. They were only two big companies doing nail polish. And i just thought that you know. It made me feel special. If women started getting their nails done. Because in nineteen eighty-one women who had been elst. Were very wealthy. It wasn't a luxury that we have today where everyone can have announced on the affordable luxury. So i went looking for a chemist and that was it was a whole year of really getting ready when i found the right chemist and he gave me a few formulas and i tested them out and i found the formula that i loved than i had to give him colors. I was saving ribbons pincushions and from all my travels. I save colors. That really spoke to me. Incredible colors that was shopping and clean and clean was very important. I didn't at that particular point that we're no muddy colors in my life and He had to match the colors. And i know you're gonna laugh. But i started with twelve colors. I mean you try to start align today with twelve colors people would just turn their back on you but it was such a different world and i was a pioneer. I changed the way women. Think of nail color. It became a fashion accessory that if you nelson not polished. You're not dressed right and as you're talking to me i'm i'm curling my nails into my shirt so you don't see that i'm not wearing nail polish. You're half-dressed say. You found this chemist who. Really you know helped helped you get everything off the ground. Where who what was his or her name. And where was he was. A new jersey and his name was stanley. He's no longer with us. Unfortunately but he was a very big pot of my success. I mean i've always had an amazing team around me. He just listened so you. You launched with these twelve colors and went to the names range from well. Some of them are still in the line bordeaux which is like a very good bottle of red wine it's a deep delicious burgundy color and blunk and babies breath block. Is that true chalk. White and baby's breath was a softer white for french tip of a french manicure which was a very big part of our beginning very popular in the early eighties. So you launched and you decided to go to las vegas when you launched because the women in casinos you know. They had hands that everyone saw and also it was a meeting place of sorts for women from all the coasts who traveled there. Can you talk about. Wh- what you did in las vegas. I mean it was very important to me that i go to a place where i get the best bang for my buck. And i thought. Las vegas eighty-one between showgirls steals dancers that were always in the public i that always had beautiful hands and beautiful feet if i could get them to try the essay polish. Wow once you try you hooked. It's the best addiction around and it did work. I just left.

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