What’s her name:
Ariana Pierce, 21
What’s her company:
Superstar Nail Lacquer- A fast drying, couture nail polish line.
How she came up with the idea:
There were a couple things I had going on in my head. I wanted to be in the fashion industry but I didn’t necessarily want to do clothes at that time. I wanted to create a nail polish line that matched the runway. You know, there are polishes out there but I wanted something couture and something for the girl on the go. I was on my way to college, Michigan State University, and students wanted to get to class on time and girls always wanted to get their nails done in between class, but we were always on a busy schedule. I said, “What can I do with this nail polish that would be creative but girls could do it and get back to class on time?” I decided to create a fast drying nail polish and that’s how Superstar Nail Lacquer came into being.
How she got started:
I’m so thankful for my mother because she used to have her own makeup line and she knew all about the makeup industry and she really helped me with the process of getting started. It takes tons and tons and tons of research, because it’s not just a common thing to do. It’s not just as easy as creating a t-shirt line, for example, where you just buy the t-shirt and print something on it. You have to find chemists, you have to find the right people to manufacture your polish, you have to find bottles and you need to find the right color. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of hard research, but I’m so thankful that my mom was there and that she used to be somewhat in that industry.
It was about one year. I don’t know if that’s fast or short, I guess it depends on what kind of company you’re starting. I came up with the idea. I talked to my parents about it. They made me do my research, even though they helped me, they made it clear that it was my project and I had to do the work. They helped me with the funding and that’s how it got started. We didn’t start off with 40 nail polish colors. We spent about $2,000 and it started off with a couple of bottles , maybe 5 or 6. We tried it a conference in May that year and it just sold out and then we just expanded from there. We knew that we had something special on our hands. We were just trying it just to see if it worked and it did.
How it affected her life as a college student:
I started it my freshman year going into MSU. College, of course, is not like high school. There’s a lot more work, there’s a lot more free time but you have a ton of work at the same time. That first year I was like, “How am I going to do this?” I’m just starting school. I just started the business. I don’t want to fail at either of them so that first year was a lot of pressure on me and people were expecting me to do well. They were thinking “Your parents have a successful business, your grandfather was successful, what are you going to do now?” So, I had people looking at me thinking, are you going to fail? I just kept pushing and every time I get down I just go to my mentors and different people in my life who encourage me by saying “yeah, it’s going to be hard but this is the life that you want so keep pushing. Stop making excuses.”
How she sacrificed to build the business:
I definitely had to make a lot of sacrifices for my business. There was no partying or going out for the first couple of years in college. I would have to sacrifice time with friends because people wanted me to travel and speak at their conferences on days where events were happening on campus. I try to make it to every home football game on campus, but sometimes I’d have to miss three weeks in a row because I was traveling every weekend for my business. I did have to make a lot of sacrifices but now I see that it was worth it.
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