Archive for November, 2011

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Monday, November 28th, 2011

What is your favorite Christmas classic TV show?

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What a great Thanksgiving Day weekend we had. Perfect weather, plenty of good food, no family squabbles and the Lions lost (why break with tradition?).

OK, a little bragging rights. I ran the Turkey Trot on Thursday and came in 2nd in my age group out of 273. Time was 42.40, about 10 seconds quicker than 2009 and 2010.

OK, a little more bragging rights. Spartans win yet again clinching the Legends title outright and going to the championship game this Saturday against Wisconsin. One more victory and we are headed to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988. Eat your hearts out Michigan (even though you got very lucky that you beat OSU, the QB missed 3 wide open touchdown passes).

I read an interesting thought over the weekend and that thought is that we have a deficit of wonder right now. Everyone now has the answer to any question within seconds. Before we go to a restaurant, we search their menu. Before we go to a resort or hotel, we search their site. We know everything yet we really don’t know much of anything. Personally a little wonder is a good thing.

I also liked this thought: Is there anything more annoying than the sound of a helicopter? Unless of course you are drowning and hear a helicopter coming to save you. How is the sound then?

Thanksgiving Day sales hit a record and it looks like stores will be open all day long in 2012. Soon it will be just another shopping day. Good news: Record sales so consumers are spending.

I was in Venice the weekend before last on business and it was my first time there. The city is just like you would imagine it with all the canals and bridges. To get to your hotel from the airport, you take a 50-minute water taxi and the taxi pulls right up to your hotel. Walking around is very interesting with the throngs of tourists snapping photos and dealing with the thousands of pigeons. Overall, nice place to visit for two days.

December is three days away. Really?

You know Christmas is coming when the classics on TV start showing up. I still love Charlie Brown’s Christmas story the best although The Grinch isn’t far behind. And how about those radio stations that play Christmas music 24/7?

Time is going by so fast that I’m already thinking about November 2012. How about you?

Speaking of which, it will be Obama vs. Romney. The winner will be based solely on the economy at the time voters go to the poll. YIKES!

black 15in1 is launching its first ever sweepstakes on Facebook starting this Thursday. The sweepstakes will be showing off their newest products and will be loads of fun.

Speaking of Facebook, 250 million “friends” are added each day and 100 million people “like” something each day. What computer system keeps up with all this?

I would be remiss not to mention the exploits of Ndamukong Suh this past Thursday. Sure he will get at least a two game suspension. But the real story is who triggered his behavior: Ndamukong Suh or the Lion’s coaches?

The iPhone 4S battery life goes quicker than a $20 bill in a slot machine.

It’s going to be a long time before I eat stuffing, sweet potatoes and unlimited desserts. Come to think of it, it will be Thanksgiving 2012.

Happy Monday!

Paul J. DiMeglio: The Final Story

Monday, November 14th, 2011

How many of your contemporaries have passed away?

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I hate final stories when they are premature. Warren Buffett got to write his autobiography and he is 81 and still going strong. Paul was only 56 and no one could predict his fate. Paul was a rebel rouser from the day he was born to the day he died. I knew him for more than 20 years and we shared a lot of history together. This is a story of his story.

The Rebel Rouser, Tolnafoil

Paul and his brother, Michael, started in the salon business in Virginia. It was there that Paul learned about nail fungus and nail polish. With his doctorate background (I never did know if he was a licensed physician), he developed a product to prevent fungus in finger and toe nails, Tolnafoil. It was jojoba-based and contained an ingredient called tolnaftate. He marketing it like crazy, did seminars preaching its benefits and it sold like hotcakes. Everyone thought he was crazy and the product was more of a placebo than anything else. Paul’s response to his naysayers was to spend more money advertising and sell more of it.

The Rebel Rouser, Formula 3

Never content, Paul went on to develop a product that would cure nail fungus and called it Formula 3. He advertised it in trade journals and gave the look of the ads a scientific feel and he was donned in a white lab coat. The icon I remember best was the microscope looking at the fungus. More than anything, he was a schemer and marketer. He learned well. Quickly, nail techs bought Formula 3 and it became a runaway best seller. It brought on a rash of imitators but stayed the leader through his relentless travel doing seminars.

The Rebel Rouser, Seminair

Paul and I had schemed together to create the first seminar on an airplane. We chartered a plane from Detroit to Atlantic City and actually did a seminar on the plane. On the ground, we completed the seminar, had a great dinner for all and went back the following day. Over 100 nail techs participated and it was an event never to be repeated again.

The Rebel Rouser, Peau Fest

By now, distributors were drinking the Kool-Aid and making a lot of money. Paul was never content on his success and he always wanted to share it and better yet, slam his competitors (his continued naysayers). The first Peau Fest was held in Virginia. He paid for all his distributors to come in and he wined and dined them for the entire event. Rumors were always going on how much money he spent on this. For his second Peau Fest, he actually rented a yacht and brought his distributors on board. I will never forget sleeping overnight on this boat and getting sea sick. But it was truly an experience.

The Rebel Rouser, Enamel

The nail polish market was dominated in the early 90’s by Essie, Forsythe, Charni and other $1.00 a bottle brands. Paul decided to get into the business and sell it for $5.00 a bottle. Again, his naysayers were many but Paul did what Paul wanted to do. He came out with a line of polish and I remember that the polish was packed in trays of 108, 648 to a pallet and we couldn’t keep them in stock. Star colors were French Pink and Soft White. While Orly invented the French Manicure, Paul re-invented it. At the same time, OPI came out with their polish and Orly became very competitive in the marketplace. Needless to say, Paul had his fights with both of them but continued to sell tons of polish.

The Rebel Rouser, Trade Shows

Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s nail trade shows were wildly popular and well attended. Paul wasn’t content on taking a booth, no sir. Paul took the equivalent of 8 booths and created a Peau de Peche store. I remember us doing this format at our shows and we would routinely do over $20,000 in sales in two days. Nail techs used shopping baskets and filled them up.

The Rebel Rouser, Dark Days

Like any brazen entrepreneur, Paul had his dark days and they came in the early 2000’s as distribution started changing and OPI became entrenched in the nail polish business. The Peau name was retired and Paul reinvented the company with a new name and a new focus: Tetra Corporation. See the reinvention start here.

The Rebel Rouser, New Horizons

Paul was granted a patent for Formula 3 in 2007 and thus became his crusade and mission to invade podiatrist’s offices. He hired independent contractors who visited podiatrists with his signature product. Slowly but surely, sales started to go up and within a couple years, sales exploded. Formula 3 would become the #1 anti-fungal seller in the podiatrist market. See the trade ad here.

A True Italian In Every Way

Paul loved to eat, drink and have fun. The BUB would refer to him as having a “puppy face”. Short and stocky, Paul had the art of WOO and people either loved him or hated him. He didn’t care. To his friends, he was a loyalist. For my 40th birthday, he and his wife flew in to Detroit, rented a limo, took us to the Whitney (very high end restaurant), bought us Dom and then left the next day. He was one of five guys in my wedding party. He attended my son’s Bar Mitzvah’s. Most recently, he would drive down with his second wife, Marta, just to have lunch and shoot the “s___.” Only a month ago, he held his first annual “Guy’s Feast” at his house. 400 guys attended the wild party in which Paul cooked 200 pounds EACH of Kobe steaks, lamb chops, lobster tails, crab legs, shrimp and deep fried pork belly. He had a 49 gallon oak keg delivered of Jack Daniel’s. Paul loved to be the ultimate host and expense was never an issue.

MSU Spartan

When he and Marta moved to Michigan, he became a huge Spartan fan. He tailgated every game with his Hummers, portable grills and heaters and personally cooked the eggs, hot dogs and other grilled food. Beer, cigars and fun were always free-flowing before and after the games. In fact, I just saw him at the Minnesota game where he was cooking up breakfast sandwiches with left over Kobe beef from his big party.

The Rebel Rouser, Big Dreamer

To his very end, Paul dreamt big. He loved big Hummers, big limos, big cigars and his biggest dream of all was the home he was building with Marta. All I know is that the home was to have an indoor riding track for his horses. If there was someone who lived life large, it was Paul. He experienced life right up to his last moment.

To those that knew him, he will be missed. I know we will miss him. Paul is perhaps my first contemporary that has passed away that was a friend. Steve Jobs too was 56 and died tragic. I will reiterate my stance on life: We each have 1/3 genes, 1/3 luck and 1/3 how we take care of ourselves. Life is short, enjoy each and everyday you get out of bed.

Soulful Monday.

So You Want To Be A Leader?

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

What is your overall trust level of leaders (political, business, sports)

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What is going on in the world is nothing short of . . .shall I say “history in the making?”

Let’s face it, we all need to be led. Even leaders aspire to other leaders. Without leaders, we are lemmings and we know the fate of lemmings.

If you go back into history, individuals are the ones that shaped the world we live in today. Not teams, not groups, not activists, not even majorities. One person and one person only. That person is the leader.

Great leaders come to my mind, which come to your mind? Take a minute to think about this.

This will help. Pick a great leader in each of these categories:

  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Sports
  • Business

Now that you have selected your great leaders, define what made them great leaders. What qualities do great leaders hold that others covet? Great leaders lead just as great singers sing, great dancers dance and great quarterbacks win games. You can’t make this stuff up, it’s all about talent.

I feel lucky each day I’m in the beauty industry and help make women more beautiful. Even in this relatively peaceful industry, leadership is difficult at best to execute properly each and every day.

But let’s face, being a leader today is a thankless and anxiety-ridden position. People are quicker than ever to topple a leader for any reason. And as usual, people are hesitant to praise great leaders.

The recent chain of events over the past week is historic in nature and positions future leadership as a scary metaphor:

  • George Papandreou, Greek’s Prime Minister, resigns
  • Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s Prime Minister resigns
  • Joe Paterno, Penn State’s football coach is fired
  • Robert Ficano’s top lieutenant’s either fired or resigned
  • Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, can’t remember which departments he is going to eliminate.
  • Herman Cain, presidential candidate, has five women ready to hold a joint press conference over sexual harassment claims

Worse, we can rattle off a list of other leaders who have resigned or quit this year alone.

Everything is under the microscope today. Society cannot tolerate leaders who don’t display honesty, integrity and trust at every level. But with powerful constituency’s, lobbyists, power grabs and the “good old boy” network alive and well, where will our next set of leaders come from?

Happy Thursday!

Out Of My Mind On A Thursday Mornin’

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Are you in debt?

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Have you noticed the proliferation of signs? They are everywhere. I especially love these signs:

  • Employees must wash hands
  • Do not throw napkins in toilet
  • Do not steal someone else’s food
  • No cell phones, no kids, no loud talking (perfect spa sign)
  • Tip not included

I was in NYC for a photo shoot and there really is no other city quite like NYC. 9 million people always on the go. Definitely one of the top cities in the world for food . I had the best breakfast at Norma’s. Sorry to tantalize you with this:

photo (4)

Egg white shrimp frittata with sundried tomatoes, spinach, caramelized onions and potatoes on the bottom.

I was in NYC for the black 15in1 photo shoot. The models are out of sight and the talent for photography, video, hair, make-up and such is over the top. It’s no wonder NYC is the place to be for beauty. But hey, we do a pretty damn good job right here in Michigan.

Speaking of Michigan, we apparently are the second fastest growing economy in the U.S.A. thanks to you guessed it, the auto industry.

Starbucks’s already has their Christmas cups out and specialty lattes. It can’t be Christmas time, can it?

Looks like the Colomer deal isn’t done after all. It’s always fun to watch private equity firms battling each other.

More on the black 15in1 scene, we are launching the brand new Signature Travel Kit later this month. The kit features the two newest products that are most exciting: TWICE A WEEK Miracle Hair Shampoo and TWICE A WEEK Miracle Hair Conditioner. These are the first products in either mass or professional to target women that only wash their hair twice a week. The full size products launch January.

Businessweek did a fascinating story this week on the “anti-leader” of Occupy Wall St., David Graeber. No one is certain where this is going but recent port closures and other labor related issues will soon bring this to the forefront. One idea Graeber floats is for the U.S. to have a “Jubilee” and forgive everyone’s debt.

Isn’t it amazing how fast the hair feather craze took hold and how fast it died?

Will student loans be the next scandal? It’s surely the reason for unlimited tuition hikes over the years.

I’m loving the iCloud. Everything is always backed up and all Apple devices are updated simultaneously. If you haven’t updated your iPad software, plug in!

Happy Thursday!