Profiles

Lessons From a Polish-Lover Turned Entrepreneur

NAILS chatted with Nailette founder Lynn Wang about the polish-passionate consumer. 

Lynn Wang considers herself a curator of polish. The founder of Nailette (www.nailette.com), Wang seeks to provide women an affordable, convenient way to stay on trend with nail colors they love. A monthly subscription service, Nailette mails out mini-bottles of the latest professional polishes selected to complement the wearer’s style and skin tone.

We asked Wang to share her insight into the mind of the polish-passionate consumer.

What are the origins of Nailette?
Wang: I started it because as a nail polish consumer, I wanted a service that would curate the best seasonal colors for me at a super affordable rate, but that didn’t exist. So I researched the industry, got in contact with the best professional nail lacquer brands to supply us with product, and built a site for people to sign up. I launched Nailette in October 2013 and we’ve grown 20% every month since.

Why is unique about your approach?
Wang: At just $9.99 per box, we are by far the most affordable nail polish subscription service that offers high-quality brands and full customization options. While we curate the best seasonal colors from OPI, Essie, and Orly for our customers based on their style and skin tone, we also offer them the ability to further personalize their subscription and opt out of any colors or textures.
Our approach with mini bottles comes from the fact that full-size bottles of nail polish work well for salons, but they are too big for most consumers. The average .5-oz. bottle lasts for over 70 applications when in reality, most people don’t use one color more than 10 times. The mini bottles offer a much better value proposition — even the tiny-looking OPI ones last for 19 double-coat applications. Nail polish is all about more colors, not more of each color.

What has surprised you most about polish consumers since starting this venture?
Wang: Most people are pretty open to experimentation with different colors. When I first started I thought everyone would know exactly which colors they like and stick only to those. However, a number of our customers have switched up their preferences month-to-month, and others have also told us about how they were pleased to receive colors they wouldn’t have personally picked but that they ended up loving.

As a polish consumer yourself, what’s your advice to nail techs who want to boost their polish retail sales?
Wang: Most nail techs focus on having a vast selection of colors and brands for clients, but as psychology theory would suggest, people don’t always want more choices. One of the most frustrating parts of the salon experience for me was always staring at hundreds of colors and trying to make up my mind. It would be super helpful if nail techs asked customers what general color they’d like and then suggested a few shades within each color category to best complement the client’s appearance.

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