Gelish CEO Danny Haile and company president David Daniel are celebrating 30 years in the nail business this year.
This family portrait shows Danny Haile, Haile’s daughter Morgan, Daniel’s daughter Taylor, and David Daniel.
The story behind Hand & Nail Harmony and its Gelish brand hardly begins in 2009 when it was founded by CEO Danny Haile. It’s really a tale of two industry veterans; Haile and company president David Daniel — his cousin — are celebrating 30 years in the nail business this year.
NAILS asked the pair to give us some insight into their paths to success.
Tell us how you guys got started in the nail industry.
Danny and David: Our aunt owned a chain of nail salons all around Southern California. We started doing nails there and that eventually led to us teaching in different nail salons.
What was your first product launch?
Danny and David: Introducing French white tips and colored acrylic powders to the industry.
Can you give us a brief timeline of jobs held/companies started since you entered the industry?
Danny and David: We’ve tackled all aspects of the industry — product launches, sales, consulting, and education are probably some of the highlights.
What are some of the major differences in the industry between back then and now? How has distribution changed? How have the major players changed?
Danny and David: A lot of distribution has shifted from small distributors to large distributors. Also, the major players have become more organized and are offering an even better quality product than before. There’s also been a shift to more cosmetologists and hairdressers getting more involved in nails since the introduction of Gelish; it’s an easy, quick service that they can offer their clients while their color is processing or their perm is setting.
What was your greatest professional accomplishment over the years?
Danny and David: Launching Gelish would be our number-one accomplishment.
What was your greatest professional “oops” moment?
Danny and David: When we taught in Japan years ago, we were observing their nail art and noticed that people were mixing pigment and acrylic powders to create their own “colored acrylics.” It wasn’t very stable, so we came home and started working on it ourselves, which eventually led to our colored acrylics launch. I guess you can say that it was more of an “ah-ha” moment, than a “ha-ha” moment!
Tell us one thing that’s happened that you never expected to see happen.
Danny and David: Gelish revolutionizing the industry.
Gari-Dawn Tingler (center) starting working with David Daniel (left) and Danny Haile in 1992. The partners are shown here on a European tour in 2004.
You guys are family and have been working together off and on for these 30 years. How did you end up partnering with Gari-Dawn Tingler and what role does she play in the company?
Danny and David: We’ve always known Gari-Dawn throughout the years — we’ve traveled together and competed together, so when it came time to really start building the business, we knew that we had to have Gari-Dawn on board. Her strong background in education has really helped build our program all over the globe.
How do you see the roles of your children changing within the company over the years? Will there be more generations leading the Harmony brands?
Danny and David: It has always been a dream of ours to have our children as the successors of our business. Now, with Morgan and Taylor actively involved in marketing and promoting their own polish line [Morgan Taylor, named after Haile’s daughter Morgan and Daniel’s daughter Taylor], Jake working on the sales side of things, and Garrin and Josh joining us once they return from school, we definitely see them being a part of our growing family. As far as generations to come … we’ll have to be patient and wait and see!
How would you finish this sentence: “The last 30 years…”
Danny and David: … have been awesome. The nail industry has been so good to all of us.
What’s in store for the next 30 years?
Danny and David: More innovative product launches that will surprise and delight the professional nail industry.