“We came on the kielbasa boat.” That’s how Liz Stelmach describes her family’s immigration from Poland. “My parents constantly spoke about the lack of opportunity there,” she says, “and that they came to America so their children could have better lives.”
Ziza, Stelmach’s first salon, has been open for almost three years, but her reputation as an award-winning stylist goes back much further. Among the secrets to her success are things she learned at Saks 5th Avenue in Bala Cynwyd, where she worked for 20 years. “At first, it was a mismatch,” she laughs. “I was an immigrant kid from Manayunk, and they were upscale women from the Main Line. But, through Saks, I learned the importance of customer service and forming relationships with your clients.”
She counts those clients as her biggest influences, right alongside her mother. “My mom taught me to seize every opportunity and be grateful,” Stelmach says.