How does Anne Maza, co-owner and vice-president of sales and marketing for Olivia Garden, create and cultivate success? She shared some of her strategies during a panel discussion at the Create & Cultivate event in San Francisco, a conference for women looking to construct the career of their dreams, held on September 21. Maza, who along with her brother runs the company founded by their parents in 1967 in Belgium, oversees the manufacture of high-quality professional salon tools for hairdressers and consumers. But a brush is not just a brush to Maza. “Olivia Garden is an extension of who we are,” she explained. “I feel like these brushes are like my children. We try to explain to the consumer how much passion has been put into our products so they understand where we come from.”
Here are some of the highlights from her time in front of a very engaged audience.
ON PLANNING: “We are extremely detailed in what we do and we work with a plan-- short term, mid-term and long-term plans. But, we’re also flexible. A plan is great, and it hopefully gives you a road map to where you want to go, but things change, new technologies come up or new opportunities present themselves that you didn’t see originally, and you must be able to respond. You can’t just say, that’s what I said I was going to do and I’m going to do it even though it may not be the best idea anymore. You have to adjust.”
ON BEING AUTHENTIC: “We are based on being genuine about who we are, and we do that in different ways. Social media has been huge for us, of course, because you can talk to your customers on a large scale. It’s important to have your different teams—social media, PR, marketing—speaking with the same voice. It’s not realistic that I can answer every enquiry or DM or PR request personally so you must make sure that the people you work with understand where you’re coming from and they can speak for you. Having the right partners is really key for all of you out there just starting a company.”
ON BUILDING A BRAND: “It’s been important for us to have our own images. You see companies using royalty free imagery and that can work for some but I can’t do it because I didn’t create that style and my brushes didn’t create that look. How could I say that that represents me?
“Also, we have these events where we get to be in front of you and explain who we are. We want to be where our customers might be, at Fashion Week, on the red carpet, in the magazines. And for people who can’t attend we always make sure we have a video so they understand what we’re about and so they get a feel for our company.”
Learn more about Olivia Garden here.