Disclaimer: Seller Spotlights are hand selected by the ArtFire Staff and contacted personally. We ask sellers to tell us a bit more about themselves and their business through their own eyes.
I decided to teach myself how to make nail polish without toxic ingredients. I wanted a product that I could use on myself, my friends and their children, and not have to worry about what these toxins were going to do to our bodies.
Hey there! My name is Cecy and I’m the proud owner of Pelirrojita Studios
, based out of Tucson, AZ. We delve into all sorts of crafts at the studio, but my favorite has always been the handcrafted nail polish that we make.
I’m absolutely obsessed with cosmetics of all kinds. I began my business three years ago because I started getting really concerned about what it was that was in my makeup. I researched ingredient lists and Googled to figure out what on Earth these unpronounceable chemicals were. It was in reading the ingredients in my favorite nail polishes that I realized, ‘there’s a lot of junk in these.’ They contained chemicals such as formaldehyde and toluene, both of which are known to be toxic. I decided to teach myself how to make nail polish without toxic ingredients. I wanted a product that I could use on myself, my friends and their children, and not have to worry about what these toxins were going to do to our bodies.
I’m entirely self-taught. I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started, I just experimented. I’m like a mad scientist. I might have a general idea of what’s going to happen but sometimes things won’t go quite right. (I once had a hot pink that, for the life of me, I could not figure out why it was turning orange). I may be more of an artist than a scientist.
I have a background in Art History, so I get inspiration from art and my surroundings, but what inspires me the most are the works of William Shakespeare. Before I earned my degree in Fashion History, I was studying to be a Costume Designer for theatre. While in theatre, I was immersed in everything Shakespeare. He was a very busy guy and he wrote a lot. Many of his words have thoroughly permeated our language. Even though he hasn’t been alive for well over 300 years, we still reference him every day. (What can I say? He’s a charming fellow).
I spent my first two years experimenting and getting to know the nail polish medium. I decided to open my virtual doors on ArtFire.com in October 2012. With ArtFire as my guide I have created a website to showcase my products.
Up until a couple months ago I had several jobs. This Spring I was offered a fantastic chance, and now I have the opportunity to be a full time working artisan. (And let me tell you, I love it!)
I currently have my products in one local store, and I am looking to have my products carried by more stores. I’m looking forward to working with other businesses, and stocking my products nationally, as well as internationally. If you buy wholesale please let me know!
What makes me unique? I have really tried to make my business and my brand an extension of me. I’m this tiny little ex-theatre girl with crazy colored hair who loves coffee and hates Mondays, is utterly obsessed with vintage fashion, the Oxford comma, giraffes, ellipses, and parenthetical statements. I tend to gear my brand towards other odd ducks like me, who are looking for the other people that belong to our tribe.
This business is essentially a one-woman show. (I joke that I’m the CEO: the Chief Everything Officer). I do all the design, chemistry, research, product development, and the majority of the product construction. When it comes to crunch time, I have a couple of very good friends that are willing to help me out, (in exchange for brownies).
Running a business is not for the faint of heart! Nobody ever tells you that it consumes every waking moment that you have. But I enjoy it, so I can’t complain (though sometimes I do). Running a business has taught me to advocate for myself, for what I need, to negotiate when necessary, and to have more confidence in myself.
My nail polishes are big 5-free: no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resins, toluene, camphor, or dibutyl phthalate.
I just finished building our first brand’s website. It launches on September 10th. I have a lot of prototypes in the works for skin and nail care. They will also be additive-free alternatives as compared to what is commercially available. These will complement my nail polishes which are “big 5-free” (no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resins, toluene, camphor, or dibutyl phthalate).
Remember how I said that running a business just takes over your life? Well the trick to that is having really understanding friends, family, and cats. I put everything in a calendar, I set a million reminders on my phone, and lots of alarms with notes attached. (And amazingly, it all gets done!)
When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I love to cook, I love to eat fantastic food, and to celebrate the greatness that is life. (The cats, however, constantly demand my attention. If I don’t play with them, they sit on my keyboard or meow until I pet them. So cute, but so frustrating when I’m trying to work).
So, it’s advice time. Patience is an important thing to have. If you don’t have it, you should really try to cultivate it. Getting your business to a successful place takes time, and no one can tell you how long it’s going to take; it could be months, it could be years. Organization plays a big part, but passion covers a multitude of sins. Without passion to light that fire within you, you have no reason to get up in the morning, to pull the crazy long exhausting hours doing more of the same thing you did yesterday, just to get to the part that makes you so incandescently happy. I strongly feel that it’s important to do everything within your power (and a few things that are out of your reach) to get you to that place; Happiness.