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4 Challenges of Starting an Indie Nail Polish Brand (And How to Overcome Them)

4 Challenges of Starting an Indie Nail Polish Brand (And How to Overcome Them)


By semick

Starting an indie polish brand can come with as many struggles as starting any other business – and you often can’t turn to an uncle or other relative who’s an expert in the lacquer-making market for guidance.

We talked to four indie makers who have made excellent strides in getting their brand out there and noticed and asked them what their biggest challenge was when they first started – and how they successfully moved on past it!


Ellagee Polish indie

Swatched by @ifeelpolished

Laura from Ellagee:

“When I first started I had no idea how to get my name out there. With so many beautiful brands I thought I’d just be lost, but I underestimated the amazing nail bloggers. I had several lovely people offer to review my polish and with their support I had a few customers already waiting on day one! I truly believe they are the backbone of the indie polish world and I appreciate them so very much. I’m attaching a photo from my friend, Heather of I Feel Polished. We’ve worked together from the beginning and her gorgeous manicures have done so much for my shop.”


Parrot Polish

Swatched by @esmalterapia4me

David and Sonja of Parrot Polish:

“In the beginning it’s hard to set up an image and a vision of your product. You need a name, colors and maybe a package. All this from zero! We went through ten names and argued about the vision!

We decided to make a list and taking turns, each of us crossed off a name. Parrot Polish was left! As we live in Florida, we both pictured white beaches and beautiful birds! We decided to go all white with the packaging and I even had a palm tree cut in the box so our parrot sticker looks like he’s in the tree. Clean, white, and colorful!”



Tux Polish Colors in Blue Christmas and Jingle All the Nails (both available now!) Swatcher pictured is Angel (@twi_star on Instagram)

Dominique of Tux Polish:

“My biggest hurdle when it came to starting my brand was probably connecting with people. When I decided to open shop, I had never made any internet “friends” and was (and still am!) pretty internet shy. So when I began contacting swatchers to boost Tux Polish’s exposure and for product photos, etc. it was such a challenge for me.

Even though it’s still a little hard for me to reach out sometimes, working with nail and beauty bloggers really has been crucial for my business and most of the girls I’ve contacted have been great. Over time I’ve learned to just kind of be myself and hope for the best. If there’s a nail girl that I see is killing it, I just go for it and ask if she’s willing to work with us. I’ve gotten way more yes’s than no’s and I’ve learned not to take the no’s personally. At the end of the day, I’m really grateful for the connections I’ve made in the nail world so far. The online nail community really is a lot of fun to get into!”


Vapid Lacquer

Cremes swatched by @lacqueredmama

Krys of Vapid Lacquer:

“I’d have to say the thing that was and still is my biggest challenge is simply finding my niche – where to fit into the community and industry. It was not easy, at least not for me, until I realized that I was trying too hard to fit a mold. I think that your niche is whatever you make it, so I just decided to be whatever it is that I am and that the brand is. I think I almost have it figured out!”