This beautiful face belongs to a woman who’s spent her career doing big things in the beauty business, which, currently, includes standing at the helm of Woo Skincare + Cosmetics’ Atlanta store. Meet Linda Silber — you’ll love getting to know her today!
Where did you grow up? If not Atlanta, what brought you here?
I’m like “Heinz 57 Varieties.” My father was a business broker, so we were always moving—mostly around the Midwest (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio). Clinique hired me early in my career in Houston and brought me to Atlanta with brief stops (one year each) in Orlando and Boston.
You worked for years at big name cosmetic companies before opening Woo in 2008; was that a difficult transition to make?
It was an interesting transition, but right for me at this time of my life. I was tired of all the travel—on the road nearly every week for 20+ years! But all the relationships I built during those years enabled us to get some of the big lines we carry at Woo because there was a trust level already established. Plus, it gave me a real understanding of the expectations these lines have from retailers. It can be very tough for a smaller retailer to get big corporate brands, so our ability at Woo to appreciate their expectations helps us stand out.
What are some of the challenges of owning a local skincare store in a city with large department stores and makeup counters?
We were lucky in the beginning because none of the big stores had heard of us and didn’t care. Now the national chains are acutely aware of us and would prefer not to see us expand in Atlanta, so as not to further erode their business. I think of that as a compliment! What has hurt the department store business is the lack of good, consistent customer service, convenience, and personal attention, and this is what Woo Skincare + Cosmetics tries to focus on.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Leonard Lauder of Estée Lauder was one of the smartest and most charismatic men I’ve ever met. He always had sage advice. My favorite was: “Catch someone doing something right and thank them for it—even if they are just doing their job.” Another favorite is: “The three most important things to remember about opening a store (or a counter) is location, location, location.”
What is the greatest piece of advice you can give someone who has just graduated from college and trying to find a career path?
Be very passionate about what you do. If you’re not, you will never be as good at it—whatever “it” might be—as someone who IS passionate. Also, passion gets you through the tough times.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three makeup products would you like to have with you?
Aside from fresh water which is a HUGE beauty product, I’d want Skinceuticals Sun Screen, Natura Bisse Diamond Extreme Cream, and ReVive Intensite Les Yeux Eye Cream. (Who wants makeup on a desert island?!? LOL!)
What is your favorite beauty treatment to indulge in?
I have a wonderful little salon where I get a 20-minute foot/leg massage with my pedicure. I love a good massage!
How do you spend your downtime away from Woo?
If we are home on the lake, I like to garden, go boating, and swim. Up in the mountains I like to play golf—it’s so pretty and relaxing.
If you weren’t in the skincare business what would you secretly like to do?
Probably be an architect, interior decorator, or psychologist. I love creating pretty environments, and I find people wonderfully fascinating.
Do you have any irrational fears?
Much more now that I’m older. I don’t think anything scared me when I was young (I’m probably lucky to be alive!). Flying isn’t a favorite of mine—and heights in general. You’ll never find me sky diving, for example. That plane would have to be on fire and going down fast before I’d ever jump out! Crossing a bridge from mountain top to mountain top, or scaling down a tall building would send me into a panic.
What are a few of you favorite local Atlanta stores or restaurants?
That’s a really tough question. There’s so many I love. But to name a few: Bungalow, Gramercy, Scout, JCT Kitchen, Bistro Nikko, Georgia Grill. (And nothing beats Canyon Kitchen in Cashiers, North Carolina—my absolute favorite restaurant!)
What are you reading right now?
I am not into reading about anything serious. I want to totally “get away” from life when I read so I tend toward murder mysteries and funny books. Right now I’m reading Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts. I can’t tell you if it’s any good because I just started it.
What can be found on your bedside table?
A collection of Jay Strongwater boxes, picture frames, etc.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Italy – especially the Lake Cuomo area and the South of France. I also think Banff Canada is very special.
What are three things you can’t live without (besides God, family, and friends):
- Good health
- Being outdoors – I love nature – especially water like large lakes and oceans
Thanks so much, Linda! And thank, also, to Amy Lesesne for the beautiful photos!
For more information about Woo Skincare + Cosmetics, visit the website: wooskincareandcosmetics.com