Welcome to Indie Insight, the weekly series where I interview an awesome indie nail polish maker! Up to this point I’d just been interviewing brands I’d worked with recently (mostly so I can show you swatch photos with the interviews) but I’m going to start branching out a bit more to give some newer brands a little exposure as well from time to time! This week we are chatting with Rachel of Frenzy Polish. Frenzy Polish is a pretty new brand that’s been putting out a lot of great-looking stuff lately. Let’s get started!
How did you get into nail polish in the first place?
When my (then fiance, now husband) was deployed for the last time, it was just me and my two young boys in an apartment by ourselves for the first time ever. I was really active on Makeup Alley and addicted to bath & body stuff like sugar scrubs, lotions, candles/tarts, etc that were handmade, so I would spend a lot of time at night after the kids went to bed browsing through the forums on MUA and also Etsy, which was relatively new back then. I naturally floated over to the other message boards and found myself drawn in by all the pretty nail polish pictures. 🙂
When and why did you decide to start your own brand?
It was shortly after Indie brands like Darling Diva Polish, Crowstoes, Pahlish, and Lynnderella started showing pictures of the polishes they’d made, and the term “franken polish” was used. I’d grown up hearing my Mom always say “I could make that…” when we’d be out shopping and I’d pick up something I liked, and I’d helped her with her jewelry-making business for a year or so, so that was the first thought I had. I also majored in Art and love creating things with my hands, so I really wanted to try making my own polishes as well. I took a couple of years to do my research and plan everything out, but it wasn’t until just recently that I had enough money saved up and a not so gentle nudge from my best friend to actually take the final step to creating my own brand.
Tell me how and why you chose your brand name.
As an avid gamer, specifically World of Warcraft at that time, I always loved the beautiful scenery and names of places in the game. I spent a lot of time in one area trying to find and tame a very rare and beautiful pet, and there’s a river there called Frenzyheart. When my best friend (who is now my wonderful assistant and sounding board for all ideas) and I were throwing around name ideas, I suggested Frenzyheart but we didn’t want to trademark infringe, so we shortened it to Frenzy. It also seems pretty fitting considering what a frenzy us nail addicts can get into sometimes over hard-to-find or unique polishes!
What is your favorite collection you’ve released so far?
That’s a tough one…I think it would have to be my first one, “The Books Are Always Better Than The Movies!” because I’m an avid reader, and the books/movies I named the polishes after are all ones that really impacted me in some way and mean a lot to me.
What is your favorite individual polish you’ve released so far?
I think that would have to be “Dauntless”. Not only for the name, but because every time I look at the bottle, swatch pictures, or wear it, I fall in love with it all over again.
What’s your favorite polish ‘season’?
Definitely fall/autumn. I’m a sucker for dark, vampy type polishes.
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your polishes?
Books, movies, video games, and nature mostly. I have a folder on my desktop full of gorgeous pictures that I want to re-create.
Do you tend to keep your collections seasonal, or do you make what you want, when you want to make it?
I do a little bit of both. I haven’t really had enough collections yet to determine which way I’ll stick with though!
Are there any types of polish that you don’t make yourself but buy a lot of from others?
I honestly haven’t bought very many polishes at all in the last few months….as much as I absolutely love painting my nails, I tend to mess them up when I’m mixing up colors or packing orders, so the same polish rarely stays on my nails for more than two days or so. But I do still have a wishlist of other indie polishes and it’s mostly small glitters and holos. 🙂
How many bottles do you own in your personal collection?
Last count it was well over 200, but that was awhile ago so it could possibly be over 300 by now.
Other than your own brand, which brand do you have the most of in your collection?
Darling Diva Polish, Girly Bits, Pahlish, and Liquid Sky Lacquer
Do you do polish work full-time or do you also have a day job?
I do polish stuff full-time but I’m also a stay at home mom and caregiver of my husband who’s a disabled veteran.
What has been your biggest struggle in polish making?
Never enough room!! It seems that my polish making supplies are constantly overflowing onto the dinner table, my desk, and every other available flat surface. (see pics of my work area…and please don’t mind the mess!!!)
What is your favorite thing about making or selling polish?
It’s a tie between mixing up new colors and interacting with my customers and other indie makers through social media. By far the absolute best parts of all this.
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 have a couple of large storage cupboards and also a couple smaller plastic drawer/bin things. I still manage to have bags of glitter and testing bottles and miscellaneous other things laying around though lol.
Tell me about your creating process- from first idea through to finished product.
It’s usually at some random moment when I see a picture, hear a song lyric, or read something striking in a book that I get a general idea for a color or color scheme. Then I start with a small canning jar and honestly, 9 times out of 10 I just wing it…it’s like a crockpot…I throw in a bit of this, a bit of that, until I get the effect I’m looking for. Then I let it sit for a day or two and come back to it, and if I still like it I’ll pour some into a polish bottle and do some swatches and test it out. Then if it passes those tests I’ll let it sit for a few weeks and come back to it to see if it needs tweaking, if any of the glitter or pigment has settled, etc.
How many prototypes do you typically have for every polish that actually makes it into a collection?
Not very many, because usually I’ll mix the ones I end up not using into another creation.
The maker/blogger relationship is one that is pretty important in the indie world. How do you decide which bloggers to work with?
It is definitely important! I really like working with swatchers and bloggers that are friendly and don’t mind when I chatter…lol. I tend to be pretty particular about what length/shape of nails I like, and of course look for all the typical things like good lighting, clear pictures, neat and clean cuticles, etc. I love having a good mix – tried and true bloggers that have a larger following, swatchers who post more on social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, etc. Plus I plan on rotating one or two swatchers/bloggers each collection because there’s so many great ones that I want to work with. I keep a list of everyone I hope to work with in the future and update it regularly.
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 think it was when I nailed down my logo and packaging…customers started to post pictures of how I wrap the orders and seemed to really love it, and I think my logo is pretty memorable too. I’ve absolutely loved having customers send me pictures or videos of fox things they’ve seen that made them think of my brand. 🙂
What’s your favorite polish not made by you?
I’d have to say OPI DS Extravagance. That’s a tried and true that never fails to make me happy.
With so many indies on the market now, what do you think sets your brand apart?
Definitely my packaging and the notes I include with every order…the fox on my logo/labels…and hopefully the fact that many of my polishes are unique colors/mixes that haven’t been done before.
Let’s talk a little about the person behind the brand- what hobbies do you have outside of nail polish?
Well you already know how much I love to read….lol. I also play video games but I think that’s pretty well known too. 😉 I’m a sucker for animals at the pet store and shelters…I love to just sit and play with them and hope it gives them a little bit of comfort. I used to volunteer at a local animal shelter and it was heartbreaking but wonderful at the same time. I’m also really big into drawing, coloring, painting, photography, and wearing sweatpants/pajama bottoms. Yup, I consider that a hobby…I would live in pajama bottoms 24/7 if I could lol.
Do you have any pets? Tell me about them!
Yes! We have a service dog for my husband, although she isn’t officially trained as one. We got her when she was just a tiny puppy, her mom was a stray and the entire litter had lots of difficulties so I had to bottle feed her and rush her to the emergency vet a couple of times. But she’s healthy now and is extremely smart, loyal, and protective. She watches over my husband and brightens up his life so much. We also have five cats – a fat, lazy siamese who we rescued from a horrible living environment…an older fat lazy tiger cat that likes to wrap herself around my head at night and bury her face in my hair…a grey little girl that will talk back and forth with me (and often wakes us up with her yowling at night!)…a cream colored flame point siamese beast of a cat that favors the “lick, lick, bite” ideology and somehow I’m the only one who he’ll snuggle with…and the newest addition, a manx kitten with a little bob of a tail and a purr that could wake the dead. 🙂
Is there anything about you that would surprise people to know?
I’m super talkative over the computer and texting, but when I first meet people in person I am painfully and embarrassingly shy. I also have a weird fear of talking on the phone….I have no idea why!
What’s your favorite kind of food?
Pasta, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob…the ultimate comfort foods!
Thanks again for chatting with us, Rachel! 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!