OPI's new ROB|B salon , new colors make a bright arrival
By By Melissa Magsaysay
Apr 05, 2009 | 12:00 AM
Cajun Shrimp. I'm Not Really a Waitress. You Don't Know Jacques. The name on the bottom of a bottle of OPI nail polish can sometimes be more colorful than the shade itself.
Now OPI has gathered its vast array of hues at ROB|B, its first salon, which offers Murad facials, massage treatments and manis and pedis in 231 colors.
The two-story salon has six semi-private manicure stations, two pedicure stations, private VIP rooms for massage and facials and an airy rooftop patio for private parties or group events. If you're in a rush or can't spend the $30 on a full manicure, there is a "nail bar," where a mini-manicure goes for $18.
The prices here are higher than those at many other nail spots in the area, but ROB|B, in addition to offering all of OPI's shades, is an eco-friendly, completely green structure. "OPI, at end of day, is a chemical company, so we wanted to give back where we could and create a safe environment," says salon owner Robbie Schaeffer.
The new space sits on a busy block of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, the same street where OPI began in 1981 as a dental supply company called Odontorium Products Inc. The company sold a product used by dentists as an adhesive and bonding agent and branched out when astute dental technicians found that they could use the stuff as a filling for their acrylic nails as they grew out.
George Schaeffer, OPI's president and CEO, began going door to door on Ventura Boulevard selling the product that marked OPI's entry into the nail industry. The "rubber band special," which brought together the basic components of the company's traditional acrylic system, was a jar of powder, liquid and primer, rubber-banded together. In 1989, the company added nail polish to its cache of products.
Now available in 100 countries over six continents, OPI has built a nail product empire that's practically impossible to escape, especially in Los Angeles, where its bottles are ubiquitous at local salons.
OPI is still a family business -- Robbie Schaeffer is founder George's son, and the company's artistic director is Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Robbie's aunt, who travels the globe for color inspiration and comes up with all the quirky nail polish names. She also pens "Suzi’s Beauty Blog," a feature on the OPI website, opi.com, that includes beauty news and trends.
Weiss-Fischmann's newest collection is inspired by the South Beach scene, with six shades that include an eye-popping pink called Feelin' Hot-Hot-Hot! and a pinkish-red Miami Beet.