A wise nail tech is always learning new techniques – like this gel owl done by nail artist...
Real Advice For Starting Your Own Nail Polish Brand
Andrea of Indigo Bananas
Nailpro: How much would you recommend someone expect to spend to get started making their own polish from scratch?
Andrea: Most of the successful brands that sell professional looking (labeled, consistent batches) products started with somewhere north of $4k, and that was my experience as well. Supplies to experiment with and test, materials for sufficient stock, promotional items, licenses and insurance all adds up quickly.
Did you ever consider doing private labeling (which is simply putting your name on an existing product and marketing it)?
I looked into private labeling as something I didn't consider for my brand, but as a curiosity or to see what was out there. Stock product without modifications from the private labels I checked was very limited in terms of creativity, and a contract with a lab to create more interesting colors required larger startup funds, especially if exclusive colors were worked on.
Tell us about the process of finding the right bottle to put your polish in.
There are just two major glass companies in the world that make nail polish bottles, and a handful of smaller companies in Asia, and most resellers sell from these two companies. So I found a couple of catalogues to flip through, requested samples, measured contents and checked the quality of the glass mostly.
How many new colors do you put out a year?
I've averaged a bit over 50 colors in my first year, with a few months of downtime in between sets. I aim at collections of 5-8 colors every month or two.
Who are some good suppliers to turn to for someone who wants to get started?
The starting point for nearly everyone, and supplier for a good amount of materials for most brands even long-term is TKB trading. They have great prices and lots of selection and options.
Are you glad you chose to start your own indie line?
Yes, it's a great creative outlet and I can basically identify a large majority of commercial (and other indie) nail polish components - so it really trains your eye. Running an indie brand is a lot of work, and customer service is a big part of it - and a lot of time is taken up with customer service and paperwork and restocks and quality control (hopefully things everyone is doing!). It's a lot more work than it sounds like it will be initially!