Welcome to Indie Insight, the weekly series where I interview an awesome indie nail polish maker! This week we are chatting with Rachel and Miranda of Ever After Polish! Ever After Polish is fairly new to the game but have created some truly original shades. They recently released an amazing Magic Mike themed collection, too. Let’s get started!
How did you get into nail polish in the first place?
Rachel: I was a long time nail biter and about three years ago I decided I was going to quit. I made my little sister come over and water marble my nails and I haven’t looked back since. It started with just buying pretty polish at the drug store then someone told me about Julep and that was kind of like the gateway drug, I signed up and sent Miranda my partner an invite and it led us into a whole other wonderful world of polish.
Miranda: I’ve always enjoyed painting my nails but I didn’t realize how much was out there beyond OPI and Zoya. Rachel introduced me to Julep and it went downhill from there. One day we got the bright idea to start making our own!
When and why did you decide to start your own brand?
Rachel: I’m not sure the exact moment we decided but as we got deeper into the polish world the more fascinating it became. I’ve always been very artistic and crafty and Miranda and I were constantly having “craft night” or going to painting classes and this seemed like another fun crafting adventure. When I got my first glimpse of indie polish I couldn’t help myself I just had to try it.
Miranda: a friend of mine sent me and indie and I was so intrigued I started looking more and more into it! Rachel and I both love creative things and we had so many ideas we just decided to give it a try!
Tell me how and why you chose your brand name.
Rachel: The brand name actually had a bit of a hiccup in the beginning. Our original name was thought to be too close to another brand so it was back to the drawing board. We wanted the name to be fun, light and still come across as girly. Ideas of things we loved, phrases and sayings were thrown around. Which resulted in the thought.. “well who doesn’t love a Happily Ever After” and thus Ever After Polish was born.
Miranda: exactly what she said!! The name so far has been one of the hardest things we had to come up with!
What is your favorite collection you’ve released so far?
I would have to say is Bloody Valentine, there are some great colors and diverse finishes. There’s not one polish that we would have re done.
Miranda: back to the Future for sure! I love the bright fun colors!
What is your favorite individual polish you’ve released so far?
Rachel: It’s a tie between Jagged heart and the pink berets. We fell in the love with the combo of the crelli finish with the ultra chrome flakies
Miranda: definitely Jagged Heart! It was such an amazing color that had so much depth and fun all rolled in to one polish!
What’s your favorite polish ‘season’?
Rachel: my favorite polish season is summer, I just love the bright and bold colors that come with many summer collections, even though in my option it’s okay to wear neons at any time!
Miranda: I have to agree I am def a summer girl I love bright vibrant colors!!
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your polishes?
We are inspired by things in life that we enjoy and find fun. Our last collection was inspired by back to the future. I think it’s fun to take themes and just create based on how you feel about that specific thing. Even in other brands it’s really great to see that individual take on that particular inspiration. Also from our friends, I love when someone comes to us with an idea and we are able to make that dream a reality.
Do you tend to keep your collections seasonal, or do you make what you want, when you want to make it?
So far our collections have been seasonal with random duos or singles as we go. There really are no set rules, I like having seasonal collections but think it’s fun to throw out a random polish just because
Are there any types of polish that you don’t make yourself but buy a lot of from others?
No not really. We do a wide variety of polish types, there is usually something for everyone in our collections. If I see a polish by another brand that I like I will buy it no matter if I make polishes like it or not.
How many bottles do you own in your personal collection?
Rachel: Well Miranda pretty much every julep ever made minus a handful of hard to finds, as well as many others… and I have never counted out of fear but if I had to guess around 200.
Miranda: I haven’t counted in a while but last I checked I was at just over 1100. And that includes everything from indie brands to main stream.
Other than your own brand, which brand do you have the most of in your collection?
Miranda: Julep and zoya
Rachel: it’s really a toss-up, at this moment in time julep and takko
Do you do polish work full-time or do you also have a day job?
I would adore to do polish full time only, even though it is not my day job it takes up a full amount of time. But my 9-5 is at a Hospital doing heart ultra sound and Miranda works in catering for the nuclear power industry. We hope to be able to grow to be full time polish and bath products only.
What has been your biggest struggle in polish making?
That moment when you have this amazing image in your head and then you start mixing and it ends up nowhere near what you had initially envisioned and just learning little tricks and tweaks to perfecting the polish.
What is your favorite thing about making or selling polish?
My favorite thing about making polish is being having the option of endless creativity. I love doing my nails and its such a simple guilty pleasure because I wasn’t able to do them for so long due to the nail biting. Nail polish holds a very special place with me and being able to share my excitement and joy of nail polish with others is so much fun. Seeing how excited people get for new colors, colors I make is one of the best parts. It makes me almost giddy to see posts of mani pictures and posts when they receive their packages in the mail! It’s all very near and dear to my heart.
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?
Oh goodness. Right now were in the transition of moving everything so keeping organized has been a struggle. All pigments are kept together and all glitters are organized according to color and type. It so hard because I feel like I spend a night organizing and two polishes later it’s like a rainbow exploded all over my work table. Mixing tools are kept separated by purpose, measuring, mixing etc.
Tell me about your creating process- from first idea through to finished product.
We usually begin with a theme and develop from there. For example our next collection is inspired from magic mike. So we take that theme and decide if the polish will come first or the names. In this instance we had names of polishes prior to color; for example one will be called “rhinestone cowboy”, we then decide what color scheme we want to go with and start mixing.
How many prototypes do you typically have for every polish that actually makes it into a collection?
It depends on if I know what I want going in. If I have it in my head that there is a specific polish I know and want the prototype number is slightly higher. It can take several attempts to perfect something you already have envisioned. But if I go in just creating and not having something I can make something first try and it ends up perfect.
The maker/blogger relationship is one that is pretty important in the indie world. How do you decide which bloggers to work with?
Blogger choices can be very difficult because you can’t work with everyone no matter how much you want to. I find one of the most important factors when choosing bloggers the dynamic between the two. If I don’t feel like I am comfortable talking to someone then I don’t feel they will be able to accurately portray my polish. I like to work with people that share the same love and passion for this as I do. It is also very important to me to see what they are saying about the polishes being reviewed. How detailed their descriptions are and personal takes on colors and finishes. The photo quality is also key to me as a maker. When your business is primarily based online the worst this is to buy a polish based on a photo and once you receive it come to realize the color is not even close to the same in real life. In my opinion good bloggers make notes on color variations when describing the polish if any.
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’m not totally sure what moment it started to take off but I do remember around the time our Bloody Valentine Collection came out that I was seeing more posts and more interest, my favorite thing is seeing mani pictures by those that buy our polish. I guess an exact moment would be when I saw someone list us as a favorite indie in a post on facebook. It’s an awesome feeling to receive the recognition. In the beginning we just talked about our brand, shared pictures on facebook, posted on Instagram, sent out polish for review and to friends to help spread the word. It’s very easy to get lost in the sea of social media these days, but just being persistent really has helped.
What’s your favorite polish not made by you?
Rachel: My favorite Polish at this current moment are takko lacquers, I can’t seem to get enough of them!
Miranda: I am a huge Julep fan I have every single color ever made since the start of their maven program up to current collections. I have a bit of an obsession!
With so many indies on the market now, what do you think sets your brand apart?
With such a large indie market it can be very difficult to stand out. We like to make sure that we offer amazing customer service and let people know that we are more than just a faceless company. Taking the time to get to know people and find out what they are looking for can make all the difference in building a successful brand rather than just blending in. We love talking to people and getting to know them and building friendships. Polish should spread happiness and joy and that’s what we really try to promote.
Let’s talk a little about the person behind the brand- what hobbies do you have outside of nail polish?
Rachel: Besides polish I have a small makeup and crafting addiction! I love my monthly subscription boxes, this way I get to try lots of new things all the time without the commitment of full size without being sure I like the product. I also love to make wreaths, it’s a guilty pleasure. Along with these I do love to draw and on occasion paint. Neither of those get the attention they used to but they are still super relaxing to me.
Miranda: I love to sew I make clothes for my 5 nieces and nephews. Other than that I like to paint cook and travel!
Do you have any pets? Tell me about them!
Rachel: No pets but I have a 6 year old little boy… I swear I don’t know if puppies or children are more exausting. We hope to be expanding our family soon with some fur babies after the move.
Miranda: no pets or children but one day hopefully both. I want to own a pug and a horse random I know!!
Is there anything about you that would surprise people to know?
Rachel: I love to paint and can do so with almost any paint meida… however ask me to paint my nails and it looks like a toddler scribbled on them! I’m getting better but a polish brush is very different than a paint brush.
Miranda: I’m pretty much an open book I’m not really sure there is anything that would surprise my friends and family anymore!!
What’s your favorite kind of food?
Rachel: Carbs… most anything that has a high carb count is also my best friend and own worst enemy. Pizza, bread, pasta and I have a love affair for the ages.
Miranda: oh goodness it’s a tie between Italian and Mexican oh and hot wings well spicy food in general the hotter the better!
Thanks again for chatting with us, Rachel and Miranda! 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!