To Sell or Not To Sell? Some Things To Ponder Before Diving Into Indie Polishes

Monday, July 16, 2012

So you may have seen a few of my frankens lately- on Twitter, Instagram, this blog. I've had some messages with inquiries about if I'll be selling them


1. I just started to make frankens. For fun. I made a few combinations of things that I felt like I was personally missing from my stash- that I had either not seen on the indie polish scene yet or that I was unwilling to deal with the drama associated with that particular polish/polish maker to purchase. I hate lines at a grocery store but I wait because I can't live without food. I can however live without wishlists, jacked up eBay prices and donning a full suit of armor so that I might dive headfirst into an Etsy battle the second polishes are released. Making polishes has been very fun but much like assigned readings for school, a lot of the enjoyment can quickly dissipate when I'm no longer making things for my enjoyment but to sell.

2. Since I've only started to make these polishes... I cannot predict what their shelf life will be like. Ideally, I'd let these polishes sit for at least six months and see if they degrade in any way. I refuse to insult you by selling something with glitters that curl or bleed and then do nothing about it or pretend that it was supposed to happen all along.

3. Since I only have the resources to make things in small batches, the costs of the materials are not being kept very low and I don't think many people would like the final cost of each bottle of polish. If I could somehow manage to give everyone low cost polishes, I would! Unfortunately, at this time I can't do that AND break even. Let me amend that. Low cost awesome polishes, break even AND give my life to this endeavor. As you may know, I'm a student and I have jobs, family and other interests. At this time in my life, I just don't have the time to dedicate to selling polishes.

4. Not only that, but if I were to ever sell any polishes, I would want a marvelous, professional, product. I just don't think that my hand poured bottles with hand scribbles lives up to the standard that I want to which I want to hold myself. I know that lovers of indie polishes like the charming appeal of products made completely by hand and personalized, but I feel like that is not my niche. Also, I don't really have that many awesome polishes made yet and I don't want to go the route of just throwing random colored glitters into a bottle, base color and calling it something special. It's not. Some of the glitter polishes out there look like cat sick in a polish bottle. There is a line of taste and aesthetics that one needs to regard carefully. Not only that, but I want to only make things that have a heart- things with a bit of soul and consideration (the whole Belly Button Lint thing, for example. How could I possibly come up with polish after polish that contained that much delight?).

5. It is a lot of responsibility. It really is. People not only expect a damn good nail polish (which sometimes can be more expensive than your salon and drugstore brands, due to the specialized nature of them) but they expect certain things from the creator. Will you stand by your products (like I said above) if the products degrade or the bottles break during shipping? How will you handle complaints on publicly viewed social media? Will you just delete a negative comment regarding the product on your Facebook page? Internet businesses are nothing without exceptional customer service and professional handling of social media.

5. Finally, also regarding professionalism- I believe that sellers, no matter how small require gigantic quantities of professionalism. That's not to say that I don't have that, but I think that when you sell ANYTHING to ANYONE, one needs to take care not to offend these customers. Also, one has to be very careful as to how much of their personal life leaks into the business side of things and just how much of a toll they're willing to let others have. That being said, I poured a lot of my own personality into this blog. Personality that I'm sure may not rub everyone the right way that if I aimed to conduct a legitimate business, I would feel the need to dissociate my somewhat abrasive and blunt personality from the polishes. Like I said before- I like my polishes to have heart and personality, so what is the point?  As I was taught by my first cosmetology teachers- it's not personal. It's business.

There are so many great indie polish makers out there already (ok, and a bunch of not so great ones) that I admire for doing what they do, you should support these existing fantastic individuals! For me, it is just not my cup of tea.

So. I think I'll stick to blogging. I may give away these bottles that hold the fruits of my labor in future contests or give them away to friends but as of now- after considering all the before mentioned points- I will most likely not be selling.

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