Inside OPI: An Interview with Suzi Weiss-Fischmann
Today, to be a successful woman in any business field, I believe that definition incorporates inclusivity. Success used to be focused on solely paving the way for yourself, but thankfully now success is also about bringing other people up and along with you – something I’ve always felt strongly about. Rather than being cutthroat to be competitive, I found that being nice, humble, and listening to people served me well. Instead of pushing others down to get to the top, inspire them and take them on the journey with you. I believe you’re only as good as your team. When the people around you take ownership of their roles, they will flourish and find success that will ultimately enrich your shared goals.
On a personal note, my mommy was my greatest role model. As a Holocaust survivor, she suffered more than most but still managed to emerge the most loving, kind, and strong woman. I also have always considered the everyday woman my inspiration, my muse, my role model. Look at what women around the world have achieved! Women are go-getters, organized, financially savvy, creative, great multitaskers, global thinkers – we handle so much. Women are incredible. I have had the privilege to connect with so many women in my beauty career, and I’m never not impressed by the real, hardworking, passionate people I meet.
Of course, hard work tops the list. I see so many businesses operating today on short term quarterly goals; instead, stay focused on your bigger vision. Setbacks and temporary losses are part of the journey, so work on developing resilience and flexibility so you can get up the next day and start all over again. Relationship building is also key. In the current technology landscape, social media seems like an easy way to connect, but it can actually create a sense of isolation. Real, meaningful, and authentic personal relationships are so important. Bottom line, people respond to people. People invest in people. OPI’s success, and indeed my own personal success, was built on relationships, from suppliers to the sales force to the maintenance crew, and later in our journey, from fashion editors to public relations pros to celebrity trendsetters – and above all, to the consumer. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, be the change you wish to see in the world. Whether you’re focused on a specific cause or charity, make a difference through your passion. Success can often be very self-focused, so I think it’s extremely important to take the time to channel your talents in ways that can help others.
Work hard to get ahead. Patience - even if the job is not exciting, have the patience to see things through. Keep a journal and write what you would like to accomplish for the day. And have passion! Whatever you do in life, be proud of it - it will go a very long way.
You really changed the way people thought about color- what was that like?
OPI was one of the first ones to print a color chart so the consumer could take it home and now exactly what color she wanted at the salon next time. And now, nothing is taboo in nail color- you can go to the salon and get any color, it's instant gratification. It surpasses any socio-economic level, and age, girl or boy!
"I'm Not Really A Waitress". It's my favorite. It tells women you can be anybody, including a waitress. You can have any dream, and be anyone you want.
OPI was one of the first brands to do celebrity collabs and brand partnerships- what was that like?
I wanted OPI to be a lifestyle brand, to be more than just nail color. So being in Hollywood, collaborating with movies was natural. As far as brand collaborations - when you opened your Dell laptop, drove you Mustang, used you Maytag dishwasher, you thought of OPI. What we were able to deliver to these brands was a strong female audience.
Be a boss and shop the whole Mexico City Collection!
Hear the full podcast about the first lady of color, our founder, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann.