May 01, 2019
The Most Challenging Moment I Experienced as the Co-founder of OPI
In business, there are always ups and downs. Growth does not come without occasional setbacks. When you are doing something new and different in a market and building a company, it’s only natural.
I have a strong work ethic and have always been that way. I found that it was best to stay laser-focused on the goals that were most important to me—gaining consumer loyalty and keeping it through our core nail color business. This overarching vision helped me to get through all of the challenges that came my way. It also helped me avoid overreacting when faced with failure. There’s a tendency to panic or act impulsively when things go badly and that can lead to greater disappointment.
My most challenging moment in business was when OPI was growing quickly. At the time, matching your lip color to your nail color was becoming trendy. Being an established success, we thought OPI could branch out into lip color. We jumped into it not knowing the category and we ended up with a huge order of lip colors that had bloomed—arriving to distributors with tiny beads of condensation. The lipsticks looked terrible and we lost the entire lot, in which we had invested significantly. It hurt the company financially, but we refocused on our core products and moved on. Nail color was what we knew, and what our customers loved.
What I learned from the incident is to do all the research you can before launching a new product. Everything has to be considered—from what time a year is optimal for a new product to how best to ship a product.
I’m immensely grateful for the ups and downs and for where the challenges took me. The lessons you learn in a downswing are so valuable and will help shape the future direction of your business. Keep your head up and just move forward steadily in pursuit of your dreams, and nothing can stop you!
Curious to know more about the ups and downs in OPI’s history? Check out my book I’m Not Really a Waitress: How One Woman Took Over the Beauty Industry One Color at a Time.
Originally published on Quora.
How One Woman Took Over the Beauty Industry
OPI is a famous global beauty icon. But behind all the glamour is the little-known tale of OPI’s unlikely origins—an inspiring story of a timid schoolgirl who arrives in this country with little money and no English and becomes an industry game-changer known worldwide as “the First Lady of Nails.”