Thursday, August 4th, 2011


Zoya Spoons Necklace!

A Conversation with Zoya Reyzis @ Cosmoprof 2011

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to sit down with Zoya Reyzis, who is the founder (along with her husband, Michael Reyzis) of Art of Beauty, which includes the brands Zoya, Qtica, Smart Spa, and Zoom. I can’t say it was an interview, because it was so much more than that.  She left an indelible impression on me, and it is a rare gift to come away from someone feeling like that, so I am so thankful to have had the chance to sit down with her.

Zoya is, at the very least, an inspiring woman, but she has such a wisdom about life that goes deeper than mere inspiration–it does not feel like a powerful enough word to describe how I felt talking with her.  One feels touched and humbled to be in her presence, and it has very little to do with her founding Zoya, but it is the person she has become as a result of the culmination of all of her experiences. It is the passion she has for the things she does in her life, and her passion is infectious and exciting and exhilarating. It is the best kind of disease to catch.  There is no artifice with her.  She is genuine, warm, and sharp.

I did not expect to have as much time as I did with Zoya, and I had one question I planned to ask, which was what was her level of involvement in the brand today. She gave it some thought, and she confessed that her role is very fluid and certainly nothing like the roles she played in the beginning. Zoya–the brand–is a family-run business.  My goal whenever I interview someone is to come with less planned questions and instead react to their answers to develop a story that is personal and intimate.

Michael is still very active in the business, but Zoya herself remains the founder, the muse, and the well that each person must draw strength from. She is a calming presence. Her voice is soft but strong, her speech melodic and intelligent, and it feels like she can see right through you, but she sees the best in you. Both of her sons work in the business, as do their wives. She spoke of how family get-togethers are not riddled with fights, though she admits that it is difficult for business talk to cease!

Both Michael and Zoya’s hard work has enabled Zoya to pursue her original dream and passion and love: classical piano. Her favorite composer is Bach, though she’s currently working on a Beethoven piece. When Zoya talks about music, it is not just music to her, and it’s so apparent that she is one of the lucky few who understand music on an immensely intimate, emotional level–a level that transcends the sound of the music and pushes into the beauty behind it.  She truly immerses herself in the composer she plays; to understand where the brilliance of the piece developed from.

I took piano lessons for many years when I was younger, and I rarely play now (admittedly, I was spoiled by mother’s personal dream of owning a baby grand piano, which is what I grew up playing on, and electronic keyboards always feel wrong underneath my fingertips). I could not relate to the relationship Zoya clearly had with her music and the people who had composed it. She could hear the life of the composer in the crescendos and decrescendos of the pieces she played, but I left wanting to play, to feel the keys depress and lift, the music flowing and resounding through the room.

It is the same when she approaches Zoya. It is not about nail polish–it is about the feelings evoked by wearing the polish. How does one feel when they wear a color they are confident in? What if they choose one they would normally choose? Does choosing a particular color make someone happy? Cheer them on on a bad day? How does it enable them to express themselves?

This is the Art of Beauty, Zoya says. The creativity and joy of the way color plays with our senses and emotions is what motivates the brand. There is much love that goes into each bottle of polish they fill, and there is something intrinsically satisfying about knowing the people who create the products we love do so with as much love and care and passion as their biggest fans.

See more photos! 


Zoya Spoons Necklace!


Zoya Spoons Necklace!


Me with Zoya and Michael Reyzis

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24 thoughts on “A Conversation with Zoya Reyzis @ Cosmoprof 2011

  1. alison

    loved to read this post. i played piano for YEARS (though i don’t really anymore, for some of the same reason as you; i grew up playing my mom’s upright, and now that i’ve moved out, an electric just doesn’t do it for me, even if i love having one to play with sound with), so it’s really neat to see that zoya did as well. i always thought that her brand was so thoughtful and really inspired, and i never really ‘got into’ nail polish until i discovered zoya. funny to see how much depth there is behind the brand, in her person, and how much i end up relating to it on a not-cosmetics-at-all level!

  2. That’s a wonderful report. I am a recent fan of Zoya’s nail polishes, but knew nothing of the woman (and family) behind the brand. Thanks!

  3. Rosie

    Wow what a beautiful story!!!! It’s so wonderful in life, when we meet people that truly move us in a unique way because it’s genuine and that is hard to come by these days… I loved the story and no wonder I love Zoya nail polishes as well!!!!! Seems like you had a super great time, that’s awesome :)

  4. Debra

    So happy you got to indulge in this inspiration of art and beauty! I’m a primarily auditory person, with strong visual back-up, so to me, color is intermixed with sound. The love of music is something that is part of a person, and here it has brought much success in creative work to Zoya and her family.

    Oh, to have fingers long enough to play piano! I hope you’ll return to playing.

  5. What a wonderful post Christine! It’s great to hear more about Zoya!

  6. Amalia

    Great post Christine! Loved reading it – learnt a lot about the brand! Too bad I can’t get their polishes where I live…I guess I’ll just have to drool over your swatches!

  7. claire

    So awesome! Zoya’s Tobey polish makes me very happy when I wear it by the way :-) I’m wearing it now!

  8. Lena

    i own a lot of polish, and although zoya does not make up the majority of them, my best-loved ones are zoya, i.e. my hg red, blue, yellow, purple, and pink sheer. zoya is so very right about polish and makeup in general, yes they are cosmetics but oh boy they could mean so much more.

  9. Devi

    I enjoyed reading this. I honestly did not really know anything of the woman behind Zoya, and I certainly did not expect this. What you stated in the penultimate paragraph is what struck me the most. I had a huge paragraph here explaining in great detail how I related to it based on my dreams, but it got too long. However, I can never stress the importance of exploring and knowing the emotional aspect of whatever it is you create, whether it be music, nail polish, or a graphic design. The emotional aspect of anything is always crucial.

    Ms. Zoya sounds simply inspiring and I’m glad you had the opportunity to sit down with such a great woman!

  10. Maggie

    i wonder what zoya is wearing on her own nails :P

  11. nmkpg9sd0qq

    loved to read this post. i played piano for YEARS (though i don’t really anymore, for some of the same reason as you; i grew up playing my mom’s upright, and now that i’ve moved out, an electric just doesn’t do it for me, even if i love having one to play with sound with), so it’s really neat to see that zoya did as well. i always thought that her brand was so thoughtful and really inspired, and i never really ‘got into’ nail polish until i discovered zoya. funny to see how much depth there is behind the brand, in her person, and how much i end up relating to it on a not-cosmetics-at-all level!

  12. Josie

    Great post! Does anybody know which shade is that shimmery pinky coral one in the 1st pic? Its right next to that mauve shade. Its right below the ridges in her thumb! I want that shade!

  13. Christina

    i love Zoya polishes and it’s neat to see the woman behind the brand. she sounds like such a genuine person. you are so lucky to have had the opportunity to talk to her. as always, thanks for sharing!

  14. Wow, sounds like a fantastic opportunity! I love Zoya and all of their polishes that I’ve tried. I love to see a person that obviously cares about what they put out. Some brands just feel insensitive and industrialized but not Zoya.

  15. Dela

    Loved the post! It says sooo much more than just an interview would have!
    I love the brand Zoya and was introduced to it in a rather unusual way. I dont live in the US and Zoya is not available in my country. I named my daughter Zoya and then came across the brand when I was looking for the complete meaning of the name on Google. Ever since then, I have been a fan. I have managed to get a reasonalbly large collection of colours with the help of friends and family. This post tugs at my heartstrings.

  16. As a sub distributor for Art Of Beauty for over 20 years in the UK , we too feel part of the family. Zoya & Michael make it that way. We at Supernail have grown with the company. ZOYA is now a big name in the UK.

  17. Jinete

    What a wonderful opportunity for you to get a sense of the founders of this company! What was she wearing on her nails that day?

  18. Melissa

    This was a very inspiring and well-written article. I love to meet, or at least hear about, women who are living their dreams. Zoya sounds like a unique and fascinating person. I think I may go out and buy some Zoya products this weekend and give my self an uplifting manicure. Thanks Christine.

  19. Paula

    Thanks for this post. It was very informative. I never realized the motivation behind the Zoya brand. I must say I am impress, and will look at the color options in an new light. Great piece!

  20. yvette

    Christine, this post has really allowed your incredible writing talents to shine through! You are quite the multi-skilled woman! Very enjoyable to read this indepth, unique profile. I think the NYT is your next port of call :-)