Monday, 8 April 2013

Brand Masterclass - Essie

Essie Weingarten was inspired by shopping trips with her father, after ballet lessons (the only feminine past time with sport mad tomboy had). She visited a apothecary that her distance family owned. After a few more years in hosiery sales she saw a market, brands were investing in lotions and make up but not nail varnish. Stores would hold limited colour lines, her dream was to crate a range that not only inspiring but wet looking and iron strong that would last a over a week. With $10,000 investment she looked for a chemist to make her the formulation that would work, with that soon solved, she created a line fo 12 colours to launch with.

Out of the original line up "Bordaux" (a deep wine red), "Blanc" (Chalk white) and "Baby's breath" (a soft white used for french manicure) are still in the current line up of 200 colours. Essie got inspired from the world around her, "Fiesta" was from a pin cushion that owned and loved the colour of. The now famous "Ballet Slippers" was of course from her childhood days of the shoes of ballet dancers.

Essie sold door-to-door, flew in from New York to Las Vegas to capitalise on the disposable income and high life of Vegas. She left with 10 cartons of nail varnish and never looked back. Starting from the 100 odd salons of Las Vegas to now sold in 95 countries in 30 years, not many brands can say that their polishes have been requested by the Queen to grace her nails (Ballet Slippers for your information).

Purchased by L'Oreal in 2010 they went from being a professional only range to now dominated the nail varnish market.

While researching this I came across a brilliant article and interview by Into The Gloss and would encourage to read it, as I find out inspiring and an interesting look into the brand.


  1. Really interesting post - I do love to hear about the history of some of my favourite brands - all of the really great ones often have quite humble origins like this :-)

    Sharon x

    1. I really like how this started, with a simple idea and expaded into one of the biggest nail brands of the moment. Inspiring. x

  2. I really like the idea behind this post!


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