Welcome to the second installment of Interviews with Indies! Today we have Anthea, the creator of Sayuri Nail Lacquer, which launches tomorrow. Before the big day, we thought we’d pick her brain and get the behind-the-scenes story…
Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Anthea, and I’m a self-confessed polishaholic. I have a qualification in fashion design, and I’m currently studying a degree in business (marketing and Japanese) at university.
How did you first get into nail polish?
I had one friend introduce me to nail foils, and another to OPI, which then got me really interested in nail art. The rest is history.
What inspired you to start your own line?
I’ve always been a creative person, and I really wanted a way to combine my qualification in fashion design with my love of nail polish. Like clothing, nail polish goes through trends. It closely mimics the same colour palettes and textures used in the fashion industry. For me it’s a way to express myself.
Where did the name “Sayuri” come from?
It’s a Japanese girls’ name that I came across during my studies. I thought it was really pretty so it stuck! Depending on the kanji used it can translate to ‘small lily’, hence the lily flower in my logo.
Tell us all about your logo.
I had artist Laura Goodings create Sayuri for me. I was hoping to capture the essence of who I imagined Sayuri to be, and Laura managed just that. I like to think that she’s sweet and gentle, but behind that innocent exterior she’s up to mischief.
What are (in your opinion) your best creations?
My favourite polish from my first collection, Streets of Tokyo, would have to be Fairy Kei. I’m loving pastels at the moment and this polish is influenced by the soft, pastel tones of the Fairy Kei fashion style. For anyone avoiding pastels for fear of appearing too ‘girly’, try layering this one over black. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
At the other end of the spectrum, there’s Lolita. This one was inspired by the Gothic Lolita style, and I think it’s beautiful but haunting. Unfortunately it’s a hard one to photograph, but it reflects a stunning garnet flash when it catches the light. Perfect for those who prefer vampy hues.
How do you come up with new polish ideas?
My inspirations usually come from unconventional notions that pop into my head when I least expect it. I guess that’s why so many people have described my design aesthetic as ‘quirky’. I have no idea if I can pull something off, but I run with it anyway.
What’s the best thing about being an indie polish maker?
The freedom to be my own self and not have others telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing. I love that it gives me the ability to grow and learn on my own. Yes, I’ll make mistakes along the way, but who hasn’t?
What’s the worst?
As much I love working things out for myself, working independently means that I’m limited to my own knowledge. I don’t have access to some of the resources that larger companies do.
If you could collaborate with anyone in the world on a polish line, who would it be?
I’d love to work with Dee from Rainbow Honey. Rainbow Honey was the first indie label that I became captivated by, and I appreciate that so many of Dee’s inspirations are linked to Japanese culture since that’s an interest of mine.
What else do you like to do in your spare time (if you have any)?
In my spare time you can usually find me doting on my Siamese cat. He’s like a child and if I don’t pay him the attention he demands he’ll prevent me from getting any work done. When I’m not giving him tummy rubs I’m working on my blog Nailed Obsession.
Oshare (swatched by Anthea over black)
What’s the one tip you’d give for perfect nails?
Treat them as jewels, not tools.
What are your picks for the top trends in indie polishes this year?
I think that we’re going to see more daring glitter and colour combinations than before. I’m noticing that some indie polish makers are starting to experiment with texture too, so I think that’s something that we’ll see more of as the year progresses.
Mizuiro (swatched by Anthea over OPI Happy Anniversary)
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve been given?
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough”. Don’t sell yourself short by taking the easier, safer route. Launching Sayuri hasn’t all been fun and games. There have been times when it’s been frustrating and there have been setbacks, but without these moments Sayuri wouldn’t be here today.
What keeps you going?
The reactions I get from customers. There’s something heart-warming about seeing people enjoy something you’ve poured so much love into.
Sayuri Nail Lacquer launches tomorrow (March 1st) with its first collection, ‘Streets of Tokyo’. More information, including swatches, can be found here.
Disclosure: Anthea is a contributor to Lacquerheads of Oz.