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Essie Weingarten Works With Mercy College Business Students

Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Costmetics, has been working with business students at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry.
Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Costmetics, has been working with business students at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry. Photo Credit: Submitted

DOBBS FERRY, N. Y. -- Since the start of the fall semester, students in the International Business class at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry have had access to education they couldn't get from a book.

Essie Weingarten, founder and global creative director for Essie Cosmetics -- now part of L'Oreal -- has been working with the students alongside her business partner and husband, Max Sortino.

The pair have visited the class to talk about business practices, specifically what it takes to grow a small business into a well-known brand. They are also part of a business panel -- including KLM, Bloomberg or others -- that will review student presentations.

“Essie and Max give the students the inside story of what it is really like to grow a business. They give them great lessons on competence, character and leadership – all things necessary to build a brand," said Chuck Garcia, business instructor at Mercy College.

"You can’t learn in a textbook the things that Max and Essie are teaching them,” he said.

Weingarten founded Essie Cosmetics in New York City in 1981. She then set out for Las Vegas to market her nail polish line.

Soon salons throughout the world were using Essie nail polish. L'Oreal bought the company in 2010.

Garcia said the student in his class react to Weingarten like a “rocket launch.” Her strong New York personality brings to life the lessons of business, he said.

“Essie breaks all the molds," he said. "And while students today are in a generation that has grown up knowing successful and accomplished women, it’s still important that our female students see a woman who had an idea and the courage and conviction to act on her idea.”

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