Monday, 26 August 2013

Crumpet Chats to ..... Chirality Nail Polish

Hi Goddesses

Today's Crumpet Chats To is really interesting.  It's with Amanda, from Chirality.  You may remember a few months ago she released some polishes called the Cereal Killer Collection, which mixed serial killer names with cereal names.  She took a lot of flak for this, and below, she gives her really interesting version of events, why she pursued the idea, and how she felt about the fallout.

I first noticed Chirality when my friends started posting hauls of all these amazing holo polishes, and I was overjoyed when Amanda got in touch and asked me if I would like to review for her.  I rubbed my grubby little holo-hankering hands .... and took delivery of the first Cereal Killers lol.

Since then, I've been lucky enough to review more polishes, including her recent amazing LE polish, The Sinking Belle.

What’s your earliest polish memory?

My earliest memory would be when I was a child and I thought the best way to close up a polish bottle was to paint the threads of the bottle with the polish and put the lid on it. I remember going to my dad every time to ask him to open the polish with his pliers. I still remember the baffled look he gave me every time I came to him.

What was the polish that started it all for you?

I remember falling in love with a black polish from Wet n Wild. I can’t remember how old I was. Probably 12 or 13.

When did it go from enjoyment to full on polishaholic-ness / obsession?

I was pretty obsessed with polish when I was a child, but as children, we go from one thing to the next, so the obsession kinda faded away until last year when I was stuck at home trying to beat cancer. I happened upon some fantastic social media outlets dedicated to polish lovers. I went on a buying frenzy and once they were all in my possession, that love had been reignited.

How many polishes do you own?

I’ve filled up one melmer so far.

If there was a fire and you could save only one polish, what would it be?

One polish isn’t an option. More than likely I’ll be wearing a shirt, or at least a bra, that I can take off and use to carry as many polish out as possible.

Which is your favourite brand and why?

Mainstream: Orly. Indie: I’m torn between Different Dimension and Emily de Molly.

Which brand do you own the most of?

Different Dimension

As a polish wearer, what’s the best tip you’ve picked up along the way?

Never skip out on a good base coat and top coat!

Do you also have a day job?

I go to Optometry school. That’s my day job.

What prompted you to start making polishes?

When I was at home trying to recover from my chemotherapy treatment and nerding out over all of these newly discovered indie polishes, I started doing a little research to try and make my own. I made a couple of random ones that I loved. A few of my friends and some family expressed interest in owning their own bottles. Within a week, I had given away over fifty of them. That’s when I started thinking about starting my own brand.

How difficult is it to get started – what’s involved?

It was a fairly painless transition for me. I’m a big nerd so I’m all about researching something to the point of overkill. I was fortunate enough to have a supportive husband who encouraged my interest, not to mention help me invest in all of the necessary products. Then there’s the creative process; to be able to play with colors and see what sticks and what doesn’t. Then of course lots and lots of testing until you’re ready for implementation.

How long did it take from the idea to the first saleable polish?

It depends. If it’s glitter polish; it can be up to a few months of creating and testing. The same goes for, say, a holo, but that is just for the first time around. Once I’ve established that all of the colors and pigments are tested and acceptable for use, the idea to sale is pretty quick on those.

How did you decide your brand name?

I’m a nerd, so lots of sciences interest me. Chirality is a chemistry term that sounded really pretty to me.

What was your vision for your brand?

A lot of the indie brands only make a limited supply, and after so many cart-jackings and sell outs of polish, I became frustrated and decided that my own brand would be something that was affordable and readily available. I’m still a huge fan of limited editions and hope to do some of my own in the very near future.

How do you decide where to sell eg Etsy v an e-tailer?

I really enjoy my Big Cartel store, which is very user-friendly, and then there is my Etsy store, which does a lot of advertising for you, so I decided to have two stores. I like that several e-tailers overseas (Singapore, France, and Sweden) also carry my product because it gives people outside of North America a chance to purchase my polish without having to pay insane amounts of money through postage. My polish is also sold out of a small boutique store back in Northwest Arkansas (where I grew up). Hopefully the brand can be carried in more places in the future.

What was the first polish you made and did it ever make it to sale?

My first polish that I made was Cu2+, which is my highest selling polish. Go figure.

What’s the proportion of prototypes to saleables – how many make it through the process?

I’d say it’s fairly lopsided. There’s only been a couple with each new line I made that did not work, however, those “duds” would just wind up in my “Mystery Polish” listing in my big cartel. It always cracks me up when a fan buys a mystery polish that they are so in love with, yet it was one that just did not make me happy.

What defines whether a polish makes it through the process – why do some of them “not work”?

I just really need to have each and every polish sing to me. They need to make me say wow or get me extremely excited. If there is one that I am even remotely hesitant about, it’s removed from the line.

Which polish is your favourite child 

I love all of my children, but I will say that my first one holds a very special place in my heart.

How do you decide on polish names?

It’s decided between a lot of nerdy back and forth between my husband, Jason, and me. We’ve incorporated comics, songs, movies, people, and lots and lots of science.

How do you decide on themes for your collections?

Again, a lot of back and forth between Jason and I. He’s a real creative force and helps me to be more creative as well.

How did you “get your name out there”?

Again, Jason was a lot of help. He’s more internet savvy than I when it comes to social media. He’s been instrumental in building my Facebook page, my twitter, and various other outlets. He’s always on me about posting and updating. I’m a lot further along because of him.

Can you pinpoint moments where your brand has grown, and what triggered them?

I couldn’t believe it when my facebook page hit 1,000 likes. That was a huge moment for Chirality and me overall.

What’s your most popular polish and why do you think that is?

Cu2+ because it’s so pretty!

Do you get tingles when you see other people post swatches of your polish?

It’s an unbelievable feeling. Whenever I see pictures of people swatching a polish that I created, it is still such a surreal feeling to this day. I’m overjoyed when a fan makes that extra effort.

How did you decide which bloggers to work with – how important is it to pick the “right” blogger, or has it been about getting the most exposure / using many bloggers to spread the word?

I’m ecstatic whenever someone wants to take the time to review something that I created, big or small. It’s great to get a good review from a big name (like The Crumpet), but it’s also important that I give the small bloggers a chance too. They’re trying to get their name out there and someone needs to help give them that opportunity. As for the number of bloggers used, I try to just keep it at 10 per line.

How do you feel when you see people do nail art with your polish – does it give it a new life or ruin the aesthetics?

I love those just as much! Again, anyone who takes the time to do something using my polish is delightful to me.

Where do you see your brand a year from now?

I just hope people still like what I put out and are not bored with me.

Whose nails do you wish you had?

Too many to name. Pinked Polish, Cosmetic Surgery, The Crumpet. The list goes on.

Whose blog do you wish you had?

I don’t think I ever want a blog. It seems like a lot of work and effort. Making nail polish is easier.

Which blogger inspires you?

You, of course!

Which polish brand do you wish you owned – indie?

I’m happy with my own.

If you were the CEO of one of the major brands, what changes would you make?


What are you proudest of that you’ve achieved as a polish maker 

I’m proud of each and every fan I’ve achieved. To have a stranger message you just to say how much they love something that you’ve created is a great feeling.

Where do you create – describe your workspace?

I have an office where I produce my polish inventory, but as far as creating, I just use the kitchen table. We never eat on it anyways.

You started with those amazing holos and when you said a new collection was coming, we all assumed more holos, but you delivered glitter!  Do you plan to keep mixing it up?

Absolutely! I don’t want to be known for just one thing. I want to try to be unique.

You took a lot of flack for the Cereal Killer polishes – tell us what your intentions were.

I sure did! I wanted to do something fun and humorous. When I made one of the first prototypes, I showed it to my husband and he said it looked like cereal. I tried to put together some inventive wordplay. Those were my only intentions.

Were you surprised by the backlash?

Kinda. Before I made any announcements, my husband warned me that it would happen, but I was optimistic and thought people would get the humor of it and not turn it into something serious.

After all that flack, and people threatening to boycott your brand, why did you then release a 2nd collection – it seemed to be asking for trouble?

I announced that it was a two-part collection from the very beginning and I was not going to back down because of a small group of women. Besides, I got a thousand more fans within just a couple of days after releasing the first half. I appreciated their opinions, regardless of how mean-spirited, contradictory, and insulting some were, but I opted to listen to the hundreds of customers who bought the cereal killer lines instead. I’m bummed people got offended by nail polish, but it was pretty exciting for others to start using words like “dangerous”, “edgy”, and “controversial” to describe me. I felt like it gave me some street cred.

How do you stay original – how many polishes do you test and then find someone else is doing something similar?

I try not to pay attention to what others are doing while I’m creating. I stick to a set mindframe while creating until it is completed. Afterwards, I’ll do my research to see if there is something similar.

If you could only be remembered for one polish you’ve made, which would it be?

Gotta go with Cu2+. So many people love it, as do I. It was a game changer for me.

If you could steal any other indie maker’s polish and claim it as your own, what would it be?

I wouldn’t steal anyone else’s polish. I’m extremely happy with my own.

You can follow Chirality on Facebook HERE.

Thanks to Missy from Gnarly Gnails and Sheila from Pointless Cafe for the use of their photos xx

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