Welcome to Indie Insight, the weekly series where I interview an awesome indie nail polish maker! This week we are chatting with Jennalyn of Lynbdesigns! Lynbdesigns is one indie brand that’s been around for quite awhile and is known for her awesomely named (often fandom-inspired) polishes. Let’s get started!
How did you get into nail polish in the first place?
I’ve always been into makeup and more specifically nail polish. I started my collection while in elementary school and even had some super old Avon colors from my mom. It wasn’t until 2011 when I had a bad cold that I started to franken. I haven’t looked back since.
When and why did you decide to start your own brand?
I started my Etsy store in 2011 for something to do. I was browsing Etsy one night and came across NerdLacquer. I knew then that I had to try my hand at polish.
I chose my brand name back in high school. I was obsessed with being a fashion designer (never mind that I can’t sew) and thought LynBDesigns would be a great name for a fashion line. It always lingered in the back of my mind, and I was thrilled to get to use it for my brand.
What is your favorite collection you’ve released so far?
ooh that’s tough. Whatever collection I’m working on releasing or developing is my current favorite, but I think my TFIOS collection and my Downton Abbey collections will always be a favorite.
What is your favorite individual polish you’ve released so far?
Even harder… After thinking I have to say Our Little Infinity or Nightmare Revisited. I can’t pick just one.
What’s your favorite polish ‘season’?
I don’t follow seasons I wear and make bright colors all year long.
I draw my inspiration from everywhere. Movies, television shows, songs, words, books, and pretty much anything else.
Do you tend to keep your collections seasonal, or do you make what you want, when you want to make it?
I usually make what I want when I want to, but I do like a nice Christmas collection.
When I started it was a lot harder to find supplies, and to create the vision I had.
Are there any types of polish that you don’t make yourself but buy a lot of from others?
Not really. I don’t make thermal polishes, but I also don’t own any. I do buy a lot of creme finishes and I don’t really have that many in my store.
I recently did a huge destash and sold off about 300 bottles of polish. I currently have a little over 100 bottles. I got stuck in a rut and didn’t buy any new colors for a long time.
Other than your own brand, which brand do you have the most of in your collection?
There’s a tie between two indies that dominate my collection. I love both Digital Nails and Literary Lacquers.
Polish is my full time job. I did have a job last year, but quit because my business needed me.
What has been your biggest struggle in polish making?
In the beginning it was finding the things I wanted to use in my polishes, and now it’s finding unique ideas and color combos.
My favorite part if coming up with new collection ideas and the polishes themselves. I love that feeling where you finally know the color you have is the winning combo. For me it’s an addictive feeling.
We all know glitter can be really messy and stick to everything- how do you keep all of your glitter, pigments and mixing tools organized?
I keep them in a combination of plastic tubs and the baggies they come in. I work in a small space and don’t have room to have them all in jars of shelves.
Tell me about your creating process- from first idea through to finished product.
It can happen in a variety of ways but for me it usually starts with a theme. Once I have the theme I want I start thinking of names and then get to experimenting. Usually I get the color I want on the first try. From there its just seeing how the whole collection looks once it’s done.
How many prototypes do you typically have for every polish that actually makes it into a collection?
If I’m in the groove usually one per color, but occasionally there’s a color that just won’t work. When that happens I can have 5 or even 10 prototypes. I get frustrated when a color doesn’t work so I usually take a break and think before attempting it again.
I choose based on a long list of qualifications. For me it helps if the pictures are nice, but if the writing is intriguing and witty it really helps. One of the last things I look for is number of followers.
What was the moment that your brand really started to take off and be noticed? When you first started, what did you do to get your name out there?
I can’t pinpoint one moment when I thought my brand had taken off. It’s been a cumulative effort. When I first started I posted a bunch on Twitter and Facebook. It wasn’t until I had been making polish for about 6 months that I discovered bloggers.
This is a super hard one. I think I have to go with Nails Inc. Baker Street. I love blues and that one is just perfect.
With so many indies on the market now, what do you think sets your brand apart?
I’ve been thinking about this for ages and finally figured out that it’s having everything on stock. I’ve never liked the hurry up and wait mentality with indies. I like to have everything in stock, and that sets me apart from a lot of indie brands.
Let’s talk a little about the person behind the brand- what hobbies do you have outside of nail polish?
I’m obsessed with YouTube, and playing the Sims 4. I also love watching British TV shows. I’m an avid photographer, makeup lover, and frequent nap taker.
Do you have any pets? Tell me about them!
Yay, pets! I have two cats Oscar and Coco. Oscar is my little man and likes to watch over me while I fill orders. Coco is a bit more aloof. She tends to want attention only on her terms. I have a dog, Wilbur who has allergies. He’s a lovable mutt. I have a turtle, Herman who is a cross breed. He’s part painted turtle part red-eared slider. He lives in his tank with about 50 guppies. I have about 35 chickens. It’s a mixture of full-size and bantam chickens. Finally, I have a colony of stray-ish cats that live across the street from me. Currently we have about 13 cats, and every week we make an appointment to get at least one fixed.
Is there anything about you that would surprise people to know?
I think people would be surprised to hear that I’m an introvert. I also have anxiety issues, so crowds are not a good thing.
What’s your favorite kind of food?
I have to say Italian, Comfort, and Chinese. I love noodles and cheese.
Thanks again for chatting with us, Jennalyn! Talk to me in the comments and let me know what you think of this brand- have you tried them out before? What other brands would you like to see interviewed in the future? Let me know!
If you liked this interview, make sure to check out the other ones in the indie insight tag!