There was a small, cute, and busy booth at Premiere Orlando this year. Lauren Wireman, who many know as an NTNA Season One finalist and owner of Wildflowers Nails, ventured into manufacturing full-time, investing a significant amount of money to take a space at one of the industry’s busiest shows. Wireman took a big leap; she stopped doing nails altogether to devote all of her attention to her new venture. She is experiencing the highs of success — her Nail Spex for Smart Techs along with her line of specialty glitters and nail art supplies are selling well, but the road has been tough.
As a reporter at Entrepreneur magazine for many years, I had the opportunity to interview and write about business startups of all kinds. Many of these were launched by individuals who had a vision for a new product — and not much more than that. Their progress, punctuated by business loan rejections and painstaking lease negotiations, revealed how difficult it was to enter the realm of business ownership, especially the kind like Wireman’s, where you must deal with inventory, supply costs, ingredient fluctuations, shipping, and distribution.
Every year, companies large and small launch new products or share victories in business growth. You’ll see that Young Nails, a rising force within the larger-scale nail products companies, just got the nod from Cosmoprof stores for its nail lacquer and gel-polish to be on the shelves in 2016. This is a major milestone for them and it took two full years to ink the deal.
Perhaps more fascinating to the nail tech with dreams of an innovative new product are the number of entrepreneurial companies rising from the ranks of nail techs. This is certainly not new, as you know from examples like Tammy Taylor, Lezlie McConnell, Brandi Hensley, and so many others. And don’t forget the hundreds of thousands of nail techs who built their business into a full salon with employees.
The economy benefits from both salon ownership growth and from other new business startups. We should take every available opportunity to nurture this healthy growth. The wisest among us see someone else’s efforts to make more of themselves as an opportunity to provide more jobs, better product, more choices, and helpful role models for the next generation of nail techs and company owners. The generous professionals in our story on how to launch a product provide some helpful tips based on what they’ve observed and experienced in the marketplace. We will continue to share information to fuel this tide of entrepreneurship that truly lifts all boats.