Whether in a media Q&A, at an event or via one of our social channels, Nailberry founder Sonia Hully is often asked what an average day is like creating our award-winning L’Oxygéné polishes. Here we join her for a behind-the-scenes look…
“Let’s start by saying there is no such thing as an average day in product development… every day brings something different. With several projects taking place at any one time, each involving different internal and external stakeholders, it’s a fine balancing act – there’s never a dull day!”
Long-standing Nailberry fans will know that, in addition to occasional nail care launches in our Apothecary range, we unveil limited-edition seasonal collections twice a year – spring/summer and autumn/winter. Planning commences at least nine months in advance of a scheduled launch and new hues are only selected if they are deemed missing from our current line.
“Nine months may seem like a long time, but I like to allow for a few inevitable ‘surprises’ that delay the process. Regardless of best-laid plans, something always goes awry.”
Unlike many other colour brands, however, new Nailberry shades aren’t determined by seasonal trends but instead inspired by Sonia’s love of nature, her travels and her life experiences. Today starts with feeding back on production samples for our new autumn/winter collection... a range originally briefed in early March.
“Without wanting to give too much away, our autumn/winter 2020 collection is very much influenced by what our whole world is going through this year and the remarkable spirit it has fostered in all our communities.”
Production samples for each new shade are tested to compare their durability, vivacity, shine, texture and finished tone against the adjustments requested to the previous lab sample batches. It’s vital that Sonia is assured every polish is nothing short of perfect before we progress with bulk production.
With four limited editions on the way, it’s time to pick up with retail and salon partners across the globe to plan and collate their anticipated volumes, before contacting the factory to order brushes, caps and bottles. Though this may seem hasty for a late October launch while we all bask in the early summer sun, coronavirus has greatly impacted production and lead times – our partners continue to operate with a fraction of their usual staff. Hence, the more time we can give them, the better.
Next, come marketing and PR – checking availability with our chosen photographer and scheduling a shoot before brainstorming launch communications and preparing the press release.
“Certain media titles have very long lead times, requiring us to launch new shades in all their flawlessly finished glory up to four months in advance. It’s vital therefore that we have everything ready in plenty of time.”
Yes, product development contains many layers – each a changeable challenge for our whole team. But it inspires and inspirits us every day, and that’s why it sits at the heart of our brand – urging us to pursue more improvements and enhancements to our tones and treatments, so we can all continue to colour our nails healthy!
“I often find people are rather surprised at the variety and complexity of work involved in product development. Yet, as all-consuming as it can be, it’s still exciting… seeing each new polish finally hit the shelves is as thrilling as if it was my first one.”