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More With Lydia Sarfati

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: September 26, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Read the word for word interview with this industry leader.

You are so well-know in the beauty industry for your product line, but do you consider yourself to be more a businesswoman or more an esthetician at heart?

In Vegas, I was in the elevator, a young lady was there and says to her husband, “Oh my goodness, this is Lydia Sarfati, the best esthetician in the world.” “It’s funny how you are still an esthetician to them,” says David. Certainly I am the CEO and the big cheese and a product developer, but, in my heart, I still think of myself as an esthetician. Her verbalizing it in such a way, in my heart, I am an esthetician. In my head I am the CEO.

What is your favorite part of your job?

There are so many facets to what I do and what I enjoy the most. I love developing the products, I love being inspired. I recently was in Baden-Baden, Germany, for a meeting and it is a resort town and a centuries-old mecca for wellness. I was taking early morning walks in the Black Forest, and I was just inspired by the forest and the earth and found out there’s this delicious pine honey from the forest, and I’m thinking that my next body scrub needs to be the Black Forest scrub. I am inspired and bringing in things, creating, developing, places and people always inspire me. I really got back into doing treatments during the past two years, going back into the spas and created an appearance called “Up Close and Personal” and I do consultations with clients. I love being with clients, putting on masks, having 15 people in line and wanting to talk to me and making a difference. I have a fan base. I love sticking my fingers in the mud and seeing the seaweed on them. I love the firsthand reaction from satisfied clients. I come back and am exhausted, but my head is still going and I love teaching. I get so much pleasure and satisfaction, sharing the knowledge, talking to estheticians worldwide, seeing the sparkle in their eye because they are inspired by me, and I give them the opportunity to know that if you are disciplined and willing to work hard, you will be successful. That gives them the inspiration to continue. I love doing that, and I come off the trade show floor and my body says stop and my head says go. These are the things I really, really love. I love negotiations. I get my juices really going when I sit across from vendor or a banker and really negotiate a good deal. I think being an entrepreneur allows me not to be boxed in to one particular section of the business. I can have my input and listen to others at the same time.

When you were growing up, would you have ever imagined your life would turn out the way it has?