Essie Nail Polish Founder: 'Your Brand Is the Most Important Thing'

Essie Weingarten says you have to evolve and grow with your brand.

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By Nina Zipkin

When you see an Essie nail polish bottle, it is immediately recognizable -- the white cap topping a square of vibrant color with the Essie logo imprinted into the glass. But this wasn't always the case. When founder Essie Weingarten started the company in 1981 with 12 shades of color, she launched her polish line as a label-less little bottle, thinking buyers would want to write their own names on it.

In 1999, she had a change of heart, realizing that embracing the logo was a key part of nurturing the company's brand. By 2000, a redesigned bottle with the Essie logo front and center soon replaced her original vision.

"Your brand is the most important thing," she says. "You have to breathe it; you have to live it. It has to be an extension of you."

Related: The Founder of Essie Reflects on the Evolution of Her Iconic Nail Polish Brand

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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