1. How did you first get into making polish?
I’ve always loved polish since I was a little girl. I have actually been a nail tech for the last
17 years and last year I decided I wanted to try and open a salon. While doing some research I came across salons that carried their own brand of polish. I thought “I want to do that”. After researching
my options, I decided to go the indie route instead of private label.
2. What was the inspiration for the name "KATHLEEN AND CO"? Is there a story behind the name?
There is a story behind the name and it definitely has special meaning to me. During my journey into starting my own line, my mom informed me and my family that she had stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to her bones. She had actually been fighting it for some time. Unfortunately, 2 months later in October 2015 she lost her life to this horrific disease. My mom was very excited for me that I was starting my own polish brand. She was so supportive and really believed in me and what I was doing, it was only fitting that I use her name as part of the brand. I wanted to dedicate it to her. My mom was one of those women who was the matriarch of the family and she always was surrounded by people. She always had company because people just wanted to be around her, hence the “& Co.”. The loss of my mom has devastated us so I really wanted to honor her in this way. This is why I take a lot of pride in what I’m doing. There’s a deeper and special meaning to all of this now.
3. What inspires your collections (or where do you look for inspiration)? What inspired your latest collection? Any hints/ideas about upcoming collections?
I’ve only had two collections so far. One was inspired by Mardi Gras because I live in New Orleans, the other was very shimmery pastels for spring. So I would have to say that I’m inspired by what’s going on around me. I love polish and colors. I really like polishes that are unique and just starting out I wanted to do something a little different. A hint into my next collection is that I’m getting my ideas from some women who I have a lot of respect for.
4. Do you have a favorite indie maker(s)? Favorite mainstream brand?
I don’t really have a favorite indie maker yet but I would have to say that from what I’ve seen, KB Shimmer really has some gorgeous colors with a lot of variety. I really want to buy some, I just haven’t yet. My favorite mainstream brand would have to be OPI. I’ve used their products for years and they have consistently been great. I really like Gelish as well.
5. What are your go-to products for nail/cuticle care?
I have always used cuticle oil, which I’m actually adding to my shop soon. I also have really liked using jojoba oil just by itself. I think it really helps my skin. I use it all over.
6. What are your favorite colors? In general? For summer? For fall?
My all time favorite color is Purple. In the summer I love to wear different shades of purple but I love blues and reds as well. In the fall I tend to wear darker shades or nudes.
7. This may be hard--but which are your 3 favorite creations so far?
I made a couple colors from the Mardi Gras collection that I really loved, a Mardi Gras glitter bomb called “Throw Me Something Mister”, a deep royal purple called “Fit For A King” and from the new collection I love all the colors but my favorite is “Rose-Gold Digger”. It’s a beautiful rose gold with different flakies.
8. Do you have any other hobbies? Are you involved with any other clubs, associations, or recreational activities?
I love to hang out with my dogs, read, watch movies, ride my bike and I just started getting into Pilates. I also love to volunteer. I love volunteering for dog rescues and I even volunteered at a Wolf sanctuary years ago in Colorado which was amazing!
9. What is your most favorite thing about being an indie maker? What are some of the challenges? What advice would you give to people considering starting their own brand? Overall, are you happy with your decision to get into the indie polish world?
My favorite thing about being an indie maker is that it gives me a creative outlet. I find some peace of
mind and comfort especially after losing my mom. I just put on some good music and get to work. I’m so focused on what I’m doing that I’m not really thinking about anything else.
Some challenges I faced were figuring out things on my own. I did a lot of research but that only goes so far. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I really was very particular about how I wanted things to go as far as color, consistency and formula were concerned. I definitely have botched a few colors. Another huge challenge were my labels. I ordered from a professional printer but when they arrived they weren’t right so I had to just run out and try to print my own. It was super stressful but I had no other option at that point. I’m working on getting them exactly how I want them.
My best advice to someone looking to get into indie making would be to really do your research, not just on the product but every aspect. It’s a learning process. I would also suggest buying from several reputable suppliers, test the products and see which ones work best for you. And try not to get discouraged. I have had several ups and downs but all in all, it really is very rewarding.
I really am happy with my decision to get into the indie polish world. I love seeing my polishes on other people and thinking “wow, I actually made that”! Someone took the time to email me recently to thank me for making such a beautiful color(Rose-Gold Digger). It really was rewarding to know that my polish made someone happy.
10. Fun facts:
Astrological sign: Leo
Favorite comfort food: Spaghetti or Mexican food.
Favorite beauty item besides polish: Lipstick
Favorite fragrance: Hanae Mori
Favorite vacation destination: I now live in what used to be my favorite vacation destination, lol. I do really love visiting Colorado so that’s probably my favorite now.
Favorite candy: Kit Kat
Favorite celebrity: Clint Eastwood, Chris Hemsworth and Gwen Stefani, lol
Favorite family member or friend (you can pick one of each): I am very family oriented. My son is my favorite, and my husband and dogs as well. My favorite friend is my best friend Stacy. She’s super supportive and has been there for me through thick and thin. Its so great to have a friend that you know you can rely on no matter what.
Most recent read: Reading a book by Doug Schoon
Most recent movie you loved: The Jungle Book
Favorite TV show and character: I have two favorites: The Walking Dead, Rick is my favorite character. I also watch Grimm religiously and I can’t pick just one. I like most of them.
If you won a million dollars, first thing you would buy is : A huge piece of land in Colorado and have my own dog rescue.
So there you have it, my darlings! A little glimpse into the world of Mia of Kathleen & Co.!
I will have a review of her Spring 2016 collection shortly but in the meantime, don't forget to enter our giveaway HERE!
As always, I'm thrilled to hear from you, so don't hesitate to leave me your thoughts in the comments section below!
Until next time,