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HOW IT ALL BEGAN

The trained beautician Silvia Troska was already managing her own studio when she came across what were known as nail shops during a trip to the USA in 1982. This piqued her interest and so she went into one of the shops. There she found something that did not yet exist in Germany: artificial fingernails that are not affixed to the natural nails but instead are painted onto the natural nails with the aid of a stencil, special acrylic powders and liquids. The result not only looks more natural but is also especially well-suited to women with short or brittle nails. Silvia Troska was thrilled and demonstrated her talent for spotting trends. The new business idea was born: she wanted to bring nail sculpting from the USA to Germany. With the necessary tenacity, she ultimately even managed to convince her husband of the undertaking. Silvia Troska underwent training in America, packed her suitcase full of all the necessary equipment and, with great success, began offering the new technique in her Düsseldorf-based beauty salon. The new sensation from the USA created a real stir in the cosmetic industry and among the public. Impressed customers beat the advertising drum, and more and more beauticians wanted to sell Silvia Troska’s products in their own salons. Demand was so great that Troska concluded an exclusive agreement with a US company. Together with her husband, she built up a wholesale business practically overnight and offered training for professionals.

STRAIGHTEN YOUR CROWN AND CARRY ON

While the business became ever more popular, there were problems privately. Silvia Troska’s marriage broke up, followed by a painful and arduous battle for ownership of the joint company and the custody of the children. Silvia Troska lost both. The court ruled that child-rearing and a career don’t mix. Her husband took everything that they had built up together and she was left with nothing. Yet giving up simply wasn’t an option. Instead of turning to social welfare, she preferred to fight her way back up under her own steam. In 1989, she founded her own company, alessandro GmbH Cosmetics, based in Langenfeld. She borrowed the initial capital of DM 25,000 from a lawyer she knew. When she went to the bank to take out a loan to set up the company, they ridiculed her. A small, blonde woman with a cosmetics company did not look very respectable to the confessed financial experts. Yet the bank manager’s wife knew Silvia Troska’s high-quality products and backed her up. Ultimately, the quality spoke for itself: the credit was approved and the first step towards independence had been made.

A WATCHFUL EYE ON INNOVATION AND TRENDS

Despite the extremely positive appeal of nail sculpting, Silvia Troska was not yet completely satisfied, as the artificial nails had a crucial defect: they severely attacked the natural nails due to the chemicals contained in them. The development of an acid-free plastic offered a breakthrough. Silvia Troska secured herself the exclusivity rights, established the name Soft Gel, and thus revolutionised the cosmetics industry. The first alessandro product was born. Silvia Troska’s company expanded, the number of employees grew, the first offices abroad were set up and she made a name for herself in the beauty world. Her husband’s company went bust years ago. In 1998, just ten years after the launch, Silvia Troska was awarded the Prix Veuve Clicquot as female entrepreneur of the year. By this time, she employed 61 members of staff, and sold over 1500 products to more than 5500 customers in 26 countries. The jury considered that her success and the fact that her company was developing consistently made her a worthy candidate and a role model for women. Silvia Troska became the trendsetter in nail cosmetics and her company the market leader in Europe. Yet the alessandro product range not only comprised an astounding range of nail polishes and matching lipsticks. Over time, Silvia Troska also developed various hand- and foot-care ranges, her own fragrances, and even technical equipment for improving nail sculpting. The aim was to cover all aspects of beauty care with alessandro products. This even included a product range for fitting out nail studios. The quality of the new products was confirmed in impressive style with the winning of three Professional Beauty Awards. In order to pass on her knowledge, Silvia Troska founded the alessandro Academy in 2004 as a training centre for nail designers. And the comprehensive training programme has proven itself: the Academy has since become the world’s largest training centre for nail designers. Ms. Troska doesn’t know the meaning of downtime. alessandro presents its latest products each year in time for Beauty International Düsseldorf. Numerous high-profile faces have already promoted the brand, including Birgit Schrowange, La Toya Jackson,Verona Pooth, Sonya Kraus and Pamela Anderson. Over the previous year, alessandro ultimately impressed with the development of Striplac, a nail polish that lasts for a particularly long time and can be pulled away from the natural nail easily in one go.

FOR THE FUTURE

Yet, in 2010, the time had come when even the tough entrepreneur Silvia Troska needed to seek outside assistance. The economic expert Lars Börgel joined alessandro and helped to circumnavigate temporary financial difficulties with confidence. In order to further improve prospects on the international market, Troska and Börgel decided to affiliate alessandro with a globally operating corporate group: since 2012, the company has been able to rely on the assistance and expertise of the renowned Zwilling Beauty-Group. However, the strong emotional connection between Silvia Troska and the alessandro brand did not detract from this step. And there was no stopping further success: today, alessandro records annual sales in the two-figure million range, employs more than 200 employees and exports to over 50 different countries. With the new headquarters at Schwanenhöfe, the company has moved its base from Langenfeld into the heart of Düsseldorf’s fashion scene. Silvia Troska has not had it easy in her professional career and has worked hard for her success. It is a constant battle to make your mark as a woman in the male-dominated business world. She always has to prove herself again and again. Yet she has an iron will, discipline and staying power. Her company has so far survived the economic crisis well and Silvia Troska can look to the future full of confidence. Her aim: she would like to become the Queen of Nails beyond Europe. There’s lots to look forward to.


1989
Silvia Troska founds alessandro GmbH Cosmetics with headquarters in
Langenfeld
1990
Soft Gel:
the world’s first acid-free
UV gel system comes onto the market
(to the products)
1991
180 nail polishes and matching lipsticks:
the unique range from alessandro
1992
alessandro Club:
Founding of an amalgamation of verified institutions for nail design
1993
Charisma UV:
Patenting of a device for power light curing with interval timer and hour counter
(to the products)
1995
Pedix:
the world’s first cosmetic foot-care range is introduced
(to the products)
 
1996
Celebrities boost the brand’s profile:
RTL presenter Birgit Schrowange becomes the face of alessandro
1997
Professional Beauty Award: the renowned
award for nail design and nail care goes to alessandro
Thermo Lift therapy:
Silvia Troska acquires the global distribution rights
to the novel anti-aging technique.
Atlantis anti-chip therapy: Nail chips can be corrected for the first time with the aid of a heat welding technique.
1998
Silvia Troska is honoured by Veuve Clicquot as female entrepreneur of the year
alessandro is given the Professional Beauty Award for the second time
Award
Nail Control System: the first care system for nails comes onto the market
1999
alessandro and haute couture:
famous Parisian fashion houses such as Dior and Dolce&Gabbana rely on alessandro for their
models’ nail design
2000-2002
lasting success: alessandro becomes an award winner for the third time at the Professional Beauty Awards
Hands!Up:
Introduction of a hand-care range that takes into account all different skin types for the first time
(to the products)
Prix de Beauté: Cosmopolitan honours the Hands!Up skin-care range
2004
Uomo:
Development of a complete hand-care range for the male clientele
 
2005
Nailbox:
Patenting of the first dimmable UV device
for nail sculpting:
Nail Spa:
the new comprehensive care
system for nails
(to the products)
2006
Verona Pooth promotes
the world’s most expensive nails, encrusted with diamonds
2007
alessandro girls:
the first hand care for girls
is presented by Boris
Becker’s daughter Anna
Great Lashes:
the new trend for eyelash
extension, presented by Chiara Ohoven
Nail Couture:
The complete package for DIY nails
2008
Source:
Organic hand care for salons, spas and hotels
Stiletto:
Cosmetics for sexy feet and legs, presented by Sonya Kraus
2009
Men Handcare:
Markus Schenkenberg promotes the new
manicure range for men
(to the products)
2010
Dream Cream:
La Toya Jackson presents the world’s most expensive hand cream, 100 ml for 169 Euro in a pot encrusted with Swarovski crystals
(to the products)
 
2012
Jana Ina Zarella presents the brand new summer trends for nail design & hand care
Zwilling
Sale of the majority shares of alessandro International to Zwilling J.A. Henckels
AG
2013
Striplac: the first polish
that can be simply peeled away from the nail, presented by Pamela Anderson
(to the products)
Relocation from Langenfeld to the Schwanenhöfe in Düsseldorf
2014
Striplac mobile:
thanks to the Travel Lamp, a Striplac manicure is now also possible on the move, presented by Paris Hilton
(to the products)