Originally published on Urban Darling on May 23, 2014
“There’s 4000 sq ft of beauty going here”, Sherri Ziesche, states happily sitting in the vault of her light filled, airy beauty salon and store located on Polk St in a Russian Hill, a charming Russian Hill neighborhood, among trendy restaurants, French cafes, and high-end boutiques.
As a small business owner myself, I wanted to find out more about Sherri’s path to making it as as a successful San Francisco Beauty Boss. For the past several years, as I have grown to know, Sherri, I was impressed by the growth of her business and inspired by her story. As typical in these success stories there in no magic involved, just a strong work ethic, a focused vision and the drive to create something of your own, and of course a strong network of of family and friends to lend support and belief in your vision.
The current incarnation of Beauty Company, launched in 2010, is located in a former Bank of America, and the all white room with an impressive vault door, is often rented for pop-ups and trunk shows. The original Beauty Company opened in 2002, just a few blocks away, to offer beauty products both local and international, and several years later expanded with a space next door with four hair styling stations.
Born and raised in California’s Central Valley, Sherri recalls always being obsessed with nails, skin care, and make-up, and dreamed of having her own salon and product line. Starting in the late 80′s, she gained extensive experience in the beauty industry while working for Adrian Arpel at Macy’s and traveling with Cosmair throughout California as a make-up artist and esthetician. In the mid 90s, a stint as a dealer in high-limit and no-limit poker in the Bay Area allowed her take extensive trips throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. During those travels, she frequented beauty salons and old-world apothecaries and was left to wonder why what was offered Stateside did not quite measure up.
In 2005 Sherri created the gender neutral Fabulous Five basic skin care collection. In 2012 she followed up with a soft launch of a bath & body line, Ziesche Modern Apothecary, sold exclusively at the Beauty Company. The collection of plant based natural products has already gained a strong following with Beauty Company’s clientele.
Currently working on a floral summer collection of the Ziesche line, Sherri, is proud of her business. She adores the neighborhood and thinks the city is unique in the ways communities are nourished. Her investment in her neighborhood runs deep, from being an involved member of the merchant’s association to Beauty Company’s commitment to local charities, among the closest to her heart are Oasis for Girls and St. Anthony’s.
What impressed me from Sherri’s journey the most is her entrepreneurial spirit (perhaps there’s a magic ingredient, after all, on the road to success), that led her to create the largest, locally owned and operated, ground floor brick and mortar beauty business. From a 500 sq ft beauty boutique, Sherri grew her business to a 4000 sq ft, 20 station, full service beauty destination, offering 100 + product lines, that was voted the best beauty supply store by SF Weekly in 2014.
Share you stories about the intelligent and vibrant women that you admire, and how they inspire you in your careers in the comments below.
Photography by J.Villarate Photography
Photo of Sherri Ziesche provided by Sherri Ziesche