Meet Kristyn McQuiggan and Shannon Rieger, the makers of Echoes Polish! We catch up with them with a few one-on-one questions about how their business began.
Nail It!: What’s your “day job”?
Kristyn McQuiggan: Shannon is a secondary school teacher working with students with special needs. I ran a home daycare for a few years but now I run Echoes Polish full time.
How did you begin creating your own polishes?
Shannon needed to find a school project for her special needs students to make and sell at their school to their peers. We researched how to make polish, thinking that teens would be interested. After buying the supplies, she and I practiced making glitter polishes but realized pretty quickly that the fumes would be too strong without proper masks. Buying fifteen masks for the class didn’t seem cost-effective so Shannon changed her mind.
During our sister weekly date nights, Shannon and I began to use the supplies to make polishes for ourselves inspired by Shannon’s books she had written. When friends seemed interested in buying these polishes, we figured we could start a business together as sisters. We began to sell polishes to local customers on Facebook for a year and a half.
What makes your line of lacquers unique?
In each collection, we are sure to include a range of different finishes. We have our Fall collection which has five thermals, a jelly, two crellies, three duochromes, three holographics. We do this so that there is something to match everyone’s taste. We are known for our ever-changing unique color combinations for our thermal polishes. We take care that our product is always consistent with the high quality that our customers come to expect. We purchase our supplies only in Canada and the United States so that we can trust that the health of our customers comes first.
Is there a story behind your brand’s name?
We named our polish after Shannon’s first book, which is called Echoes. We wanted to bring the two businesses together, building upon one another, supporting each other with our creative endeavors.
What’s the inspiration behind your lacquer colors?
We are inspired by the colors we find around us ranging from nature, fabrics, to my daughter’s dolls. We are also inspired by media, including movies, music and books.
What is your best seller right now?
It changes for each new collection that we release but as of now, our neon thermals and our neon holographic polish are our top seller in our stores.
What is your favorite polish you’ve ever created?
Shannon’s favorite polish has always been Copper D’Rose, which is a gorgeous copper to rose duochrome.
My favorite polish is ever-changing but my favorite one today is called, Squeeze a Peach, which is a pink and orange color changing thermal polish from our new Fall Collection.
Other than your own, what’s your favorite brand of polish to use?
My first indie polish purchase was from Above the Curve, which was a holographic neutral beige and this company still remains as my favorite.
What’s one tip you wished you knew when you started your own indie line?
I wish that we had opened our Etsy store sooner, instead of a year and half after we had started to sell on Facebook. What held us back was the expense of Canadian shipping. We would have liked to have started our Instagram presence sooner as well, as this is how we reach out to other countries.
Any spoilers you’d like to share about your future collections?
Our plans are to release a new collection inspired by Shannon’s book series to coincide with the release of her first book of her Pria Chronicles, Echoes, to be published before Christmas. I am always working on holiday season polish collections. I just released a new Fall collection, in our stores now.
Find Echoes Polish online:
Images: Kristyn McQuiggan, Shannon Rieger, @picturemynails