Daniel started Shellac Nails in November 2012 with help from an Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Course which works with start-ups. Initially planning to supply medical statistical data to global pharmaceutical companies. He had a talent for sourcing products from external markets and with a hint that Shellac Gel was the next best thing to hit the market, Daniel took the plunge to start his own Shellac Nails business.
Some thoughts from the interview
“We started in November 2012. I was an actually on an enterprise Ireland new frontiers course which works with start-ups and if you have a start-up idea you can progress and get finance.”
“The start-up we were working on was actually to supply medical statistical data to global pharmaceutical companies, so you can see the connection between that and gel nail polish.”
“Whilst sitting in the pub one day doing some strategy my friend said to me that he is tired of working on all of this and let’s import something for the craic and that is word for word what he said to me.”
“My sister in law was a beautician and she suggested that Shellac Gel was the next big thing hitting the beauty market. Shellac Gel is similar to nail polish; it is a coating that go on your nails. The huge advantage to it is that it is guaranteed to last for a minimum of 14 days, it does not chip, scratch or peel.”
“The ladies will explain how you can paint your nails with a nail polish and before you even two things you will have chipped.”
“The limit to 14 days is merely because at the base of the nail plate you will get a growth area showing as your nail grows so you would have to refill or we would suggest removal and repainting.”
“We are actually active on 12 different online platforms. We sell on Amazon, eBay, we have a number of our own websites with shellacnails.eu being the main website as such. We also supply directly to beauticians, we have a sales team out on the road selling to beauticians and we have a website specifically for beauticians which they can go on and get more competitive pricing.”
“They have to supply the registration for the company and certificates to show they are qualified before they can buy the products.”
“I think the most exciting part is the online sales because we are selling now, we have sold to every single country in the EU. We have supplied as far as Japan. we have supplied into Australia and New Zealand and a bit into the USA and Canada. We cover a huge market from the website.”
“The third party market places we currently sell on Germany, France, USA and UK. We have been asked to sell on Japan but the problem that we have is that nail gel is incorrectly classified on Amazon’s platform as nail polish. Polish is flammable and gel is not so it seen as a hazardous item so we a busy working on the that to get into the Japanese market.”
“We use fulfilment by Amazon in some of the market places and that works well enough for us. Amazon is great for bringing in a number of customers and then the challenge is to migrate them so you can contact them through social media and things like that.”
“We use a number of different ways, flyers and such like. What we also do is we release a collection every 3 months and we would only release that collect on our websites, so we wouldn’t release direct to Amazon. So it is a case of informing the customers that if they want to latest colours in the ranges then it is case of coming direct to us rather than going to Amazon or eBay or one of the other external platforms.”
“Currently we import the product from China and we compete with a number of other people that also import the product. We are fortunate to be one of the largest distributors of the product and I regularly visit China, I visit at least twice a year to build up the relationship with them.”
“There are so many different areas that you can get support from. It’s probably the biggest challenge is getting the right place to get the support that you want.”
“We won an award for Waterford Chamber of Commerce small business of the year award so that has raised our profile and got us out there quite a bit more.”
“We have 2 sales staff at the moment and we are tentatively looking at a third. Of course the big move for us is once we have secured the business model in Ireland is role it out across the UK.”
“One of our biggest issues is that we manually update stock.”
“If a colour goes out of stock we have 12 platforms to update, that colour could be involved in 6 or 8 different variations, it could be in a kit or it could be in a two pack with something else so that is very difficult to keep on board. Thankfully because we deal in bulk it doesn’t happen too often.”
“What we do at the moment we have a percentage ratio so as stock comes in we spilt it across different platforms according to the percentage.”
“It’s not about the amount of likes or followers you have it’s the amount of revenue that social media provides for you it’s a great tool”
“We run promotions every Tuesday and people know about it and expect it.”
“It’s also keeping a constant measurement if you’re going to put an advert up or are going to put post up make sure you have a code or something that allows you to track, go through to the actually orders and say right we generated 15, 20, 40 ,50 orders from that and see what works and what doesn’t work for you.”
“It is a huge market. What we have focused on as our niche is when a lady is getting ready to go out she normal has her tan done, her eyelash extensions, her nails and her make-up and those are the 4 product ranges that we are working towards. We have a nail gel; we have a tanning product in stock we have the eyelash extensions so we are looking to a make-up range next.”
Best advice: “Small is good. You don’t need a big, flash website. Use a third party website, use the Amazon or eBay. When you pick a product buy 4 or 5 of them, if you put 5 items online and you sell them within 2 hours you know you are on to a winner if they are still there 6 weeks late you know you have a problem. Do small, do a lot of test marketing and make sure it works before you invest your hard earned money.”
What do they offer?
Shellac Nails is the European based importer and distributor of Bluesky Shellac products, supplying this well-known brand throughout Europe and Worldwide. Shellac Nails provides quality nails all over Europe and the online store includes nail collections, specific colours, nail kits, accessories and exclusive offers.
How to contact Shellac Nails!
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