Learn from Franziska Christensen of...
Real Advice For Starting Your Own Nail Polish Brand
Tiffany of Comet Vomit
Nailpro: What are the components/ingredients that go into indie polish?
Tiffany: Liquid base(s): there are several different kinds. I use "suspension base" which is a must have for suspending glitters, "luster base" which is for solid colors without glitter, though it can suspend very fine glitter, and matte base which dries matte. I have not found a matte base that suspends larger glitter.
Glitters: These must be solvent resistant so that they will not break down or bleed in the polish.
Pigments: These come in several form as powders, liquids and micro fine glitter.
You will, of course, also need empty bottles, mixing balls and tools like funnels, scoops and swatch wheels.
How much would you recommend someone expect to spend to get started making their own polish from scratch?
When I first started, I believe ordered about 30 bottles, a bottle of suspension base, mixing balls, and a few pre-packaged assortment of pigments and glitters -- since I didn't know yet what I was going to want and need. My start up cost was about $150 and was enough to get things moving.
Tell us about the process of finding the right bottle to put your polish in.
I really just wanted a classic polish bottle. I wanted something that didn't distract from the polish itself. I went with the classic, round barrel and black cap and I've been very happy with that choice. There are a lot of bottles available in all shapes and sizes and I have considered the possibility of releasing some limited edition polishes in other bottles, eventually.
How did your first start promoting your products?
I was a member of a nail art community online and went to them with my products. I gave a few bottles away promotionally and showed off my swatches and asked for feedback. I was given a lot of constructive criticism, which was very helpful.
How did you first get customers to buy your polish?
Talking about my polish online in the nail art community was very successful for me. I started with pretty low prices and sold quite a bit right away. I listened to their feedback and made adjustments to my photos and polishes. I found that people really want to see a full manicure of each polish (not just swatches!) and lighting is key! Once I acquired a light box, my photos improved ten fold and people knew exactly what the polish looked like. I would say self-promotion across every social media platform you can use and high quality photos are your best weapons.
Who are some good suppliers to turn to for someone who wants to get started?
TKBtrading.com is wonderful and they have just about everything you need to get started. Wonderful, personable customer service also. I also can't say enough nice things about glitterunique.com! I swear they bend over backwards to get me what I need. Once again, truly amazing customer service.
Are you glad you chose to start your own indie line?
Every single day, I am grateful for being able to do something I love and share it with people around the world.