The inaugural Polish Convention, playfully labeled PolishCon, debuted at Loyola University in Chicago on Saturday, September 17, 2016. Artisan makers of nail polish from around the United States and Canada displayed their products for purchase, along with convention exclusives inspired by Chicago. Additionally, live tutorial tables showing different nail art techniques were held during the convention with one-on-one guidance and technique assistance.
The Polish Convention was a joint creation from Miranda Kraft and Rachel Ciardi, owners of Ever After polish, and Mariah Jonckheere, owner of Great Lakes Lacquer. “A friend approached me about wanting to put together a PolishCon. We started talking about it to see if we could make it happen and thus PolishCon was born.” said Ciardi. “Chicago seemed like a good starting point – it’s an amazing and fun city with a central location.” Twenty-seven brands came together to show off their existing lines and some debuted new collections for purchase or pre-order as well. Participants could purchase either a general admission ticket or a VIP ticket, which included one extra hour of shopping and a VIP bag with over $50 worth of products from the various vendors. All participants went home with a PolishCon shopping canvas bag and program.
Over 450 people were in attendance to include nail bloggers, micro-bloggers from Instagram and YouTube, as well as the casual polisher. While some in attendance were from the local area, others traveled hundreds to thousands of miles, including one young lady from the United Kingdom who had family in the Chicago area. Throughout the event, baskets of donated polish from the vendors were given away as door prizes. Hors d’oeuvers and beverages were also included in the convention space at no additional charge.
Long lines formed quickly around Cupcake Polish and KBShimmer, both who had PolishCon exclusive lacquers while other vendors sold out completely of certain holographic or glittery polishes.
Crowds also formed to watch the live tutorial tables of Stamping hosted by Jenne of Polished Pathology, Watermarbling hosted by Melissa of honeybee_nails on Instagram, Basic Care and Clean Up hosted by Megan of Mindfully Polished and Gradients/Various Nail Art hosted by Shelly of Shelly’s Sassy Nails.
Standout polishes included “Whatchu Talkin’ ‘Bout Willis” from Different Dimensions, a dark purple holographic polish, “Hot Toddy” by Top Shelf Lacquer, a wine colored holographic polish with golden shimmer, and “Leaves In The Lake” by Great Lakes Lacquer, a blue jelly with golden and green flakes.
Due to the success of Chicago, the creators have decided to continue a yearly fall convention held in Chicago and add a second, traveling location each spring. The next PolishCon will be held in New York City on April 29, 2017. “We just want to thank everyone for their amazing support for our first event.” stated Ciardi. Jonchkheere added, “Polish Con is the embodiment of an online community full of support and love, gathering together to shop, socialize, and learn from each other.”
For more information on upcoming PolishCons including the Spring NYC convention, please like The Polish Convention on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/polishcon/
[Images: Courtesy of The Polished Hippy]
— Krystal Emery