As we all know, it's President's Day here at Repêchage. No---not Washington's Birthday!--the founder and president of Repêchage, Lydia Sarfati's birthday! Every year, she sends YOU a special birthday gift, a fabulous discount on all her amazing products on our site! Birthdays are always a time of reflection, so we talked with Lydia about all she has accomplished to date, some of her favorite memories, and what she is looking forward to in the future. It's always so interesting to get the back story on how the Repêchage brand came to be -- we think you may be surprised by some of these never-before-heard insider tidbits! Listen up:
Birthdays offer a great opportunity to reflect on the past. Did you ever think you’d be the visionary of an entirely new skin care concept when you were the first to use seaweed in cosmetics in 1980?
Lydia: I started researching seaweed back in 1978 and 1979. Based on how little there was in terms of knowledge and resources, I knew I was the first one to develop products based on seaweed. I really had to start from scratch! But, I didn’t look at it in terms of a gamble on a whole new format for skin care. I approached creating a seaweed-based skin care line as something that was in sync with my personal mission and philosophy: taking care of the skin in the healthiest way, respecting the skin barrier, understanding how the oxidation process damages the skin, the effect of free radicals and how aggressive chemicals jeopardize the structure and the barrier. Looking at seaweed, I clearly understood that it was and still is the best plant to deliver healthy skin. Therefore, it only made sense to use seaweed as the basis of my skin care and cosmetic line.
You’re not only the CEO & Founder of Repêchage, but also the head educator. What gives you the passion to continue teaching the finest esthetic skills and also innovate techniques when you could have passed this responsibility onto someone else?
Lydia: Education fuels my passion! As I've said before, education is power, and it gives me the most satisfaction to help others become stronger and more successful, from Ghana, Africa to Las Vegas, Nevada! I consider it an honor and a huge responsibility to give estheticians the tools they need to improve their lives.
You’ve been in Vogue in the 80s, yet people still rave about the products featured in that issue. What gives you such longevity in this beauty industry?
Lydia: One word---Results! Consistency, quality and delivering what we promise are the pillars of our company, then and now.
How did the birth of Repêchage, especially the name, come about?
Lydia: It was inspired by the reactions of those who first experienced the Four Layer Facial®. The results were so amazing that everyone said "Wow, My skin has never felt so wonderful! It's like being reborn!" So, I told myself that "second chance" should be the name. But that sounded too simple. I looked into dictionaries of various languages--- Italian, Spanish and French---to see if I could find something more appropriate and what struck me was the French word, Repêchage. Repêchage means second chance, and is typically used in sports to announce a do-over, a team's being given a second chance to win. But it’s original meaning came from fishermen casting their nets again, to literally "re-fish" or "re-pesce", so the connection to seaweed and the sea was perfect. To me, it means that anyone that has struggled to have great skin can have a Repêchage, a second chance.
Do you have any birthday traditions that you celebrate each year? Like a restaurant you go to every year?
Lydia: The Four Seasons. Unfortunately it will be closing, but it’s been my tradition for the last 40 years to go there for my birthday. It’s also a tradition at Repêchage to celebrate President’s Day (my birthday) by offering a very beneficial price for our loyal customers.
What’s your best tip for staying young?
Lydia: Using Repêchage seaweed products, and a healthy lifestyle.
What product(s) can people use to keep their skin feeling like it’s their first birthday?
What's the best birthday gift you’ve ever received?
I have a very generous husband, David Sarfati, our COO, and since the beginning he has spoiled me with the most beautiful gifts! I’ve been married 43 years so as you can imagine I have received at least 43 wonderful gifts over the years---beautiful jewelry including pearls, watches and rings. Exceptional things because he has exquisite taste! The best gift, however, was a surprise trip to Poland a few years ago. I had not been back to Poland for over 25 years, and it was an amazing surprise and profound experience. It was a gift that continues to bless and enrich my life, being able to reconnect to my homeland.
Which Repêchage treatment would you give as a gift to the person who has it all?
What’s your favorite product to use?
Lydia: I don’t have one favorite, all the products I mentioned are my favorite, but if I was stuck on a desert island and only allowed to take one product, I’d take C-Serum®.
Do you have a birthday wish?
Everybody should be using seaweed products! More importantly, everybody should be using Repêchage!
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