The birth of my first daughter Vivienne made me realise that I wasn't as flexible for my nail appointments as during my single time in corporate life. I wanted to be able to do my nails at home when Vivienne was asleep but how to get hold of professional products, like I did when I went to the hairdresser? No nail salon would sell it to me. So I did a course, qualified and decided I didn't just want to manicure mine or other people's nails, I wanted to offer them flexibility and independence between salon visits. I just had to research if this is what other women wanted too.
I researched for 4 years, looking at other gel polish brands. There were only two types. The professional brands that were only sold at wholesale and the cheap brands that were sold online. But there was nothing in between. How come we can buy professional hair salon products and professional cosmetic products that are used on celebrities, in films and in fashion shows, all at retail but not for nails?
I worked with the supplier of the gels I used to train with to create a brand for the UK selling a professional gel polish at retail. I opened the doors to my first bricks and mortar business, Vivienne Nails London, in June 2016 and the web shop was launch in October that year too - www.vivienne-nails-london.com
But my customers kept asking for a service too. Why didn't I do nails and sell the products? Was my shop a new franchise? Was it a new chain? Did I do Gel Workshops? Did I do Nail Art Workshops? Feedback on the gels was that they were better than salon products! They called the shop a 'Nail Paradise'.
That's when I knew that this was bigger and I had to develop a nail salon chain with sale of the products that were used in the manicures and offer workshops. This is what the customers asked me for every day for a whole year! Do it like hairdressers, provide a service and the products.
I would then be covering 3 types of customers instead of just 1:
1. Those who like doing their nails themselves
2. Those who like having their nails done
3. And those who want the flexibility of both.
And have retail through the online shop with over 2000 products, from nail gems and stickers, gels to UV/LED lamps, acetone to nails files, nail polish, gel effect polish, removers, gel brushes and nail art paints and tools.
Charlotte Tilbury cosmetics is a great example of someone who has created a luxury make-up brand, with an exclusive look at a mainstream price. Her stores look amazing, the service is impeccable at no extra cost.
My new Gel Polish brand will be under a new company name, with a gold label packaging (drafted), the price is already mainstream. A unique market offering not just in the UK but globally.
The next step is to open the first ever Nail Salon/Store in the heart of London. My connections have told me that there is something they are doing at the fashion shows with nails that is not currently covered on the market and would be an absolute runner if it was launched. There has been an interest to launch Dubai, this will be a global brand chain following the example of the likes Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel, Shisedo and many more.
And we will add a British Brand to the ever increasing, highly competitive and USD 600 billion cosmetic industry which is expected to be worth USD 853 billion by 2024.
Clearly this project is too large for me to turn around on my own. I'm looking for an Angel Investor to kick off the first store and join me on this incredible global journey. I'm so excited for the one who jumps onboard with me in this project.