The nail care and products industry has seen many innovations over the years. Southern-California brand Aprés Nail is combining technology with artistry, bringing bling and beauty to manicures everywhere with their line of nail design products. Specializing in a nail artist’s tools of the trade, co-founders Carol Ma and Albee Chen, felt like there’s always room for one more when they founded their burgeoning brand. MODERN asked Ma to answer some questions about a line that is holding its own alongside industry heavy-hitters.
MS: Please tell us about your company, Aprés Nail:
CM: Our company was founded in the fall of 2015 by my partner, Albee Chen, and me. Albee is an award-winning nail artist whose creativity and passion for the nail industry fueled our commitment to bringing high quality nail products to the US market. At the start of Aprés, we only offered one product, our Aprés Non-Wipe Top Gelcoat. The nail industry is not like other industries, such as fashion, that are overly saturated with products and brands. Gel nail polish is still considered a relatively recent innovation, and I believe there is tremendous space for new inventions and developments.
MS: What did you feel the industry was missing that inspired the launch of Aprés Nail?
CM: We started this company to bring high quality nail technician products, focused mainly on nail art, to the US market. The US market is flooded with colors, and with the growing popularity of nail art design brought on by celebrities and strongly influenced by Japanese nail art, we wanted to introduce nail techs in America the colorful and fun world of nail art! Whether it’s crystals, 3D design, or hand printed art work, we wanted to shake up the industry from just solid color manicures and pink and white.
MS: Where are you distributed?
CM: We have authorized distributors throughout the US, including California, Texas, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, and Utah, and we are growing more each month. Our international distributor network is also expanding; it started with e-commerce seller Canada Nail Supplies in Canada, and we just partnered up with our first distributor in France and Spain to provide nail techs in Europe access to our products. We are in talks with distributors in Australia, the UK, and Mexico to meet the demand for our products.
MS: Where do you see the most growth for your company and where are you having the most success?
CM: I don’t think there is a limit to where our product could be widely used, but currently we are seeing the most success in areas that value providing their clients with the highest quality product even at a higher price to themselves. We are seeing high demand in places that feel the health of natural nails is important and also have clients that prefer less damaging products. Our company and our products are all about how to achieve the most beautiful look while leaving the smallest footprint, whether it’s to our planet or to their clients, by using methods that are safe, non-damaging, and free of harmful chemicals.
MS: Please share about any recent launches and any upcoming launches.
CM: We recently introduced Aprés Gel-X with great success! To give a sneak peek, Gel-X 2.0 will be launching at the beginning of 2018 with all new shapes, better formulas, and sleeker accessories.
MS: What are your thoughts on the future of the professional nail industry and what will it look like in five years?
CM: We’re seeing a trend of efficient, easy nail enhancements. More customers want to be in and out of the salon at a faster rate to make use of their time, and nail techs want the speed, as well, since it enables them to earn more money by doing more services within the same amount of time. With the rise of easy-to-use nail enhancements such as dipping powders, pigment powders, I believe we will see more innovations to come that will break the mold of just color and continue the revival of nail art and design.