The Scoop on CND

Year founded: 1979

First product: SolarNail acrylic (liquid and powder)

Home base: San Diego, Calif.

Little-known fact: When CND began, the Nordstrom family labeled products at the dining room table

Born out of a dentist’s office in 1979, CND has risen to become one of the industry’s most successful manufacturers of professional nail products. The company’s commitment to deeply embedded education and raising nail design to the level of runway couture is legendary. Co-founder and Style Director Jan Arnold, who has steered the company for 37 years and through two acquisitions (The Colomer Group and Revlon), has never veered from her mission of putting nail professionals first. Arnold seems to magically be everywhere at once but her average days are spent at the office working on concepts, ideas, and events for the brand. We followed her one day to see just how this industry leader rolls.

Jan Arnold just got a new desk! Although the sleek surface easily adjusts, she prefers to stand. An inveterate note-taker (by hand, always) and doodler, Arnold tends to convert ideas and concepts into sketches. “Whether it’s planning a nail design or planning a show, translating into a drawing helps everyone,” she says. Luckily Arnold always has meticulously sharpened colored pencils at the ready.

Working out which colors will be showcased in the Flirtation collection at an upcoming show is no easy task. Arnold, along with Education Director Virginia Bradley, carefully runs through a series of considerations from trending color to fashion, fabric, and street trends, to finalize which lacquers will be selected. (The turquoise Aqua-intance became the collection’s “hero color.”)

Lunch? More often than not, it’s a hardboiled egg (or maybe two) with a pinch of salt. Arnold also loves sashimi and Niçoise salad.

Image is everything so Arnold spends a lot of time with Creative Services Director Lisa Jannone, making sure the presentation of CND products in print is absolutely perfect. “We’ll get down to the nth degree of a good crop on an image,” Arnold says. “We love the honesty of a beautifully designed nail; we were the first to push in tight, to show its architecture.”

San Diego’s balmy weather is ideal for impromptu meetings al fresco between Arnold and Jim Amos, general manager of Revlon Professional Brands. Topics range from strategic planning to the current state of the industry. “If we see the same vision then execution becomes crystal clear,” Arnold says.

A nearby gym gives Arnold the opportunity to fit in a workout some afternoons. She brings her designs and notes from the day’s meetings to review.

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