Kudos to anyone that gets the reference in this blog title!
A lot has happened in the polish world lately. It seems like every week, there is a new problem or hoopla raised over indie makers and their polishes. For the most part, the indie makers aren't starting this hoopla themselves.
I don't plan to talk about the recent Lynnderella debacle. If you want to read a much better worded recap of that, head over to see The Crumpet. First, she is hysterical when she reviews polishes and her views on the polish world. Second, she summed up the Lynn Event so well.
(Personal view? Lynn really didn't handle any of this correctly and alienated so many of her fans, including me. I doubt I will ever buy another Lynnderella, mainly due to her attitude towards the entire thing.)
What I DO want to talk about is the recent influx of indie makers. (I started this only 3 months ago but at that time, there were far less indie polish brands than right now.) It seems as if each week, 10 more shops open. And while some makers are showing tons of promise, some are really going down the wrong road.
I cannot speak for anyone else here, but I can share my views with all of you, lovers of indie lines.
When I create a polish, it takes weeks for me to finally nail down the look of it. I have wasted a ton of bottles re-working polishes and tweaking them until I am happy and feel good about selling them. I like to think that if the look of the polish can satisfy ME, then you all are sure to like them.
But before we get to thinking about creating a certain polish, I want to talk about testing. TESTING. When I order a new glitter, I don't throw it in a polish bottle and sell it the next day. I put each glitter into an artists paint wheel and test to see if it bleeds. If it bleeds, the remaining glitter gets tossed into a large box by the front door that is being taken to my kids school and donated to their art program. (Schools always need the donations and what else would I do with glitter that bleeds?)
After I figure out the glitter "keepers", I start mixing up polishes based on whatever I want to make at that time. Take my Colonel Mustard polish. I mixed up the pigment, mixed in the glitter, and then sat it aside. And it sat and sat and sat for almost a month. Why? Because sometimes, curling glitter can take weeks to show the curling. (Bleeding usually happens instantly although it can take a week or more.) Only after weeks of letting it sit and making sure that the glitter and pigments are holding up do I post about it and list it in my shop. The least amount of time that I let a polish "marinate" was 3 weeks.
I know for a fact that there are indie makers out there are buying glitter on Friday, receiving it on Wednesday, and listing it in a shop on Thursday. And that's a catastrophe waiting to happen. You have no idea what that glitter will look like in a few days when it gets to your customers.
If there are any newer indie makers out there reading this, PLEASE test your glitters. And don't test them for a few hours. Give the glitter time and see what the reaction with the base will be.
Also, I can make all of you a promise right now. You will NEVER buy a polish from me that solely consists of a pre-mixed glitter combo. Sorry, it's just not my thing. When I was making Mrs. Peacock, I did see a glitter mix somewhere that was listed as "Peacock". I COULD have used that and shoved it in with the base but where is the fun and creativity in that? I made my own mix using the individual glitters that I had spent months testing and collecting. To me, it takes more creativity and time to come up with your OWN glitter mix for a polish. A few fellow indie makers that DO use pre-mixed glitter don't JUST use that glitter in a bottle. They add to it and tweak it until they have what they want. Sadly, there are a few new polish makers taking the route of ease and pre-mix and it's strange to see the exact same polish found on 3 different sites.
As an indie maker, I love getting the positive feedback for a polish. It really does make your day. And getting those compliments while having so much pride in my work makes me feel as if I am walking on air.
And you know what else? Making polish isn't a job that turns a $1000 profit right out of the gate. I think some people out there think that we are making WAY more money than we actually make. Yes, we sell bottles and get money... that goes right back into buying more supplies to replenish what was just used up. It's a cycle that just keeps on turning and turning. The further down the polish road that you travel as a maker, the more of a profit you will see. But in the beginning? It's not like winning the lottery. Not even close.
So, in closing, if you are buying from a new polish maker... do your research. Google their polishes and look for swatches and reviews. Head to their Etsy shops and check the feedback. Go into forums and nail groups and ask around. I have never bought a bottle from an indie maker that didn't have SOME good reviews out there somewhere.
Below is a list of indie polish makers that I can assure you do excellent, long term testing. Customer service is high on their lists of priorities.. This is not a complete list... I know I am missing a few. I don't know every single shop that is open right now or even the number of shops that sell polish. I can probably update it at a later date or maybe just add a page to the blog and keep it updated.
Northern Star Polish
All That Glitters
Once Upon a Polish
Alta Costura Vernis
365 Days of Color
Wishful Bath and Beauty
Sonoma Nail Art
For anyone I missed, I apologize. It's late and I am tired after spending hours tonight working on the new collection (swatching!!!).
No one mentioned above asked me to add their shop links here... I simply posted links to the stores that I know are diligent at testing and go above and beyond normal customer service.
See you later, lacquer lovers!