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.