Welcome to Indie Insight, the weekly series where I interview an awesome indie nail polish maker! This week we are chatting with Dolly of Dollish Polish. Let’s get started!
How did you get into nail polish in the first place?
I loved polish & painting designs on my nails since I was very young. I started a You Tube channel, posting nail tutorials, and everything grew from there.
When and why did you decide to start your own brand?
Making polish was always a hobby of mine, & via You Tube, I made a video about creating polishes and saw a large interest.
I already had an Etsy store with nail accessories and tools (dotting tools, brushes, rhinestones, etc) so one day I decided to list a few of my polish creations and they sold out immediately. That’s when I decided to just pursue nail polish alone.
Tell me how and why you chose your brand name.
I had a couple of Etsy shops, under a couple of different names, but since I originated from You Tube, I wanted the brand name to reflect my YouTube name, and personal nickname, so I had a contest to see who could come up with a clever name with “Dolly” or “Dollface” in the name. Dollish Polish was born from that.
What is your favorite collection you’ve released so far?
Ohhh, that is a really tough one!
I’ve had so many favorites, but I have to lean towards my Halloween collections as my most favorite since I’m a HUGE Halloween lover. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Halloween Frights” stand out as some of my personal favorites.
What is your favorite individual polish you’ve released so far?
Another tough one! I think I have 2, rather than just 1. “Toxic Avenger” and Walker Bait” ….because I’m a holo junkie 😀
What’s your favorite polish ‘season’?
Where do you draw your inspiration from for your polishes?
I’m a big ol’e fandom geek, so my polishes are always inspired by a particular fandom, whether it be a TV series, or a movie series, or a book series, etc.
Do you tend to keep your collections seasonal, or do you make what you want, when you want to make it?
I pretty much make what I want, when I want. Of course I make seasonal collections, but I’m also constantly releasing stuff between those times
Are there any types of polish that you don’t make yourself but buy a lot of from others?
I have a tendency not to make many solid colors , so I usually buy those from other brands.
How many bottles do you own in your personal collection?
I honestly stopped counting because I was embarrassing myself LOL I can tell you that it’s easily in the thousands, probably nearing 3,000
Other than your own brand, which brand do you have the most of in your collection?
I’d probably have to say China Glaze. Closely followed by Color Club. Those are my 2 personal favorite main stream brands.
Do you do polish work full-time or do you also have a day job?
When I first started it was just a hobby, but it’s now become a full time job for me.
What has been your biggest struggle in polish making?
Keeping things on trend and unique.
With so many wonderful indie brands out there producing polish, it can be really tough to make something that hasn’t already been seen.
I strive really hard to create something no one has seen before.
What is your favorite thing about making or selling polish?
The creativity. Getting in the shop and working with so many different colors, glitters, the possibilities are endless.
I also love interacting personally with customers. It’s a definite perk to being a small company!
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?
All my pigments and glitters are in containers, and all those containers are stored on color-coordinating shelves. I’m pretty lucky to have a spacious area to work in.
Tell me about your creating process- from first idea through to finished product.
First, I always start with the inspiration. A movie, a character, a funny quote, and I branch out from there. I try to imagine what that movie, or character would look like in color form, and then I get to work. It’s really important to me that the color of a polish, represents the thing and/or person it was inspired by. Ideas and shades often come to me when I’m laying down in bed at night. I always keep a pen and notepad on my nightside table
How many prototypes do you typically have for every polish that actually makes it into a collection?
Between testing, and getting the blend of colors; ratio of glitters just right, on average, I’d say 3-5 prototypes
The maker/blogger relationship is one that is pretty important in the indie world. How do you decide which bloggers to work with?
First and foremost, I like to see if a blogger has previous worked with indies before, because let’s face it, we’re a unique bunch!
We are a bit different then mainstream, so it’s important to find a blogger that is familiar with how indies work. So many bloggers have such a passion for the indies community and it makes me so eager to work with them!
And of course quality of photos, speed, and their fan base are all important as well.
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?
It was fairly easy, because I used my YouTube as a platform and I already had a following.
But I also believe that hard work, passion, and unique polishes, no matter how big or small you are, will definitely get your brand noticed.
I also was fortunate to work with some pretty great bloggers like The PolishAholic, and that thrust my name into the spotlight pretty quickly.
What’s your favorite polish not made by you?
I go through phases. Sometimes its a glitter phase, and I want ALL the glitter polishes! Sometimes it’s holo….and sometimes it’s creams, etc.
Right now I’m hooked on metallic. I saw Elevation Polish “Khan Of Khans” and knew I just had to have it
With so many indies on the market now, what do you think sets your brand apart?
I think the fact that I really strive to make my polishes truly represent its fandom counterpart makes fellow geeks like me, keep coming back for more.
Let’s talk a little about the person behind the brand- what hobbies do you have outside of nail polish?
Outside of nail polish? THERE IS NO SUCH THING!
I love to cook, and spend time with my family, I also have a thing for interior design.
But seriously, I really do eat, sleep and breathe polish most of the time.
Do you have any pets? Tell me about them!
I do! I have 2 little kitty furballs. A blue-point Siamese , she’s 8 and her name is Marshmallow. She’s a bit of a loner…but she is beautiful!
And Tobuscus aka Toby ( named after the famed You Tuber) he’s a 3 year old tuxedo. And he is a big mush. Very sweet & loving
Is there anything about you that would surprise people to know?
I just as passionate and obsessive about make-up as I am with polish. Though to people who really know me, that’s not a surprise!
I’m also a horror junkie, and I’m a total vintage/rockabilly slut, but again, most people who know me, already know that! So I guess no surprises here!
What’s your favorite kind of food?
Thanks again for chatting with us, Dolly! 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!