Starrily is known for over-the-top mixes that incorporate tons of glitter combined with cool effects. Join us as we talk to Mawish Ali, better known as Mawi, the polish maker behind it all!
Us: So, do you have a “day job”?
Mawi: I’m fully devoted to Starrily. I can honestly say that I pretty much live and breathe nail polish. Whether it’s formulating new colors, shipping orders, taking product pictures, answering customer emails, or simply tracking inventory, Starrily keeps me on my toes.
How long have you been making your own polish?
I started making nail polish about 2 years ago. Starrily was launched on July 28, 2012.
How did you begin creating your own polishes?
I have a special connection with nail polish. I remember the very first bottles of nail polish I used. Seeing the bright pink and dark blue colors on my nails was such a thrill. I was so excited to show off my nails in school the next day! I still experience that same ecstasy every time I get a new bottle of nail polish. I wanted to take that energy, excitement and creativity and share it with the world. That’s when I decided to start my own nail polish line. It took extensive research, experiments, and capital but I did it! I faced many challenges and learned to tackle them head on. But in doing so, I learned that the nail polish industry is where I belong.
What makes your line of lacquers unique?
Starrily is unique in many ways. I started Starrily when I realized that the types of nail polish I wanted weren’t readily available in stores. Our nail polishes are all handmade and 5-free. We have many polishes, like Candy Shop (above), that contain 40 or more types of glitter! And it doesn’t stop there: our new line of polishes are color changing, jelly, holographic, full of multiple glitters, textured and they also glow in the dark. One of the best things about Starrily is that we also do custom work. Sometimes customers request a special nail polish shade just for them.
Do any of your polishes have a totally different look layered over a colored base?
All of the glitter toppers can be layered of different colored bases for new looks. Unicorn Landia is a duo chrome polish that sparkles alone but the colors stand out more when layered over black.
Is there a story behind your brand’s name?
There’s a story behind every brand name. My fiancé had a dream that we owned a company with the word “star” in it. He excitedly told me about the dream and we started to brainstorm ideas for the brand name. The conversation went something like “Star…I love nail polish…I love you…ily. Hey, that practically sounds like a word. Starrily. It almost sounds like my last name, Ali, too. Starrily? Yes, Starrily! It’s perfect!” So that’s how we ended up picking the name.
What’s the inspiration behind your lacquer colors?
Inspiration can come at anytime from anywhere. The best ideas come to me at the most unexpected times. When a new idea comes to me, I immediately jot it down. I stop doing everything and try making the design I just thought about.
What is your favorite polish you’ve ever created?
I have so many favorites, but currently I’m obsessed with Do You Believe In Magic? (above).
Other than your own, what’s your favorite brand of polish to use?
I have a few favorites including Essie, OPI, and Illamasqua.
What’s one tip you wished you knew when you started your own indie line?
To always remember there are worse things than dropping a ton of glitter.
Any spoilers you’d like to share about your future collections?
I’m really excited to announce that a new collection with all-new triangular glitter and cutout circles is coming out soon!
Starrily shop: www.starrily.com
The latest Starrily news: starrily.com/blogs/news
[Images: Mawish Ali, @chalkboardnails, @twangel_nails, @glitterfists]