Welcome back! As promised, I am here today with a very special women, maker and creator, Mardi Carruth of The Howling Boutique. *insert applause here* I had the absolute pleasure of swatching Mardi’s 3rd collection, The Chosen Collection and if you didn’t get a chance to read the my review, be sure you do here. I knew then, that she was someone who had to come back and give the people what the need, an Indie Maker Interview. It’s evident from her line of jewelry AND polish that she is talented, detail oriented and creative.
So without further ado, please give a loud howl…I mean warm welcome to Mardi Carruth!!
What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud? When was it?
Oh man. I honestly don’t remember anything specific but it was more than likely something my mom and/or dad said. We’re pretty hilarious.
Stranded on a desert island, what 5 things would you must have?
A fold-out cot, lighter fuel, first aid kit, water purifier, and a large hunting knife.
What cartoon character best represents you?
Daria from Daria.
Relaxing soak in a bubble bath or hot, steamy shower?
Neither! LOL. I’m not a bath type of person and hot showers really irritate my skin. I’d definitely go for a mildly warm shower, though!
Favorite 90s TV show or artist/song?
My favorite show was probably Buffy the Vampire Slayer and my favorite artist was definitely Nsync (even though both of them appeared in the late ‘90s).
If you were an animal, what would it be and why?
Oh. Easy. A wolf for sure! I’ve been obsessed with them every since I was little. I have a framed photo of timber wolves above my bed that my parents bought me in 1993 when I was only 8 years old. They’re just such gorgeous, magnificent creatures and I really love the dynamics of their pack – their family. They’re one of the few species that will adopt orphaned pups that aren’t their own where a lot of other animals, like bears and lions, would kill them. Wolves are amazing.
Best gift received? Best gift given?
The best gift I ever got was probably from my dad in 2004 or 2005. We went to New York City for my high school graduation present (I graduated in 2003) and during one of our site-seeing ventures, visited this HUGE Toys R Us. While inside, I discovered a display of My Little Ponies. As a kid, I was OBSESSED with them and had no idea that they had ‘come back’. So my dad bought me two of them and it more or less rekindled said obsession and now I have close to 400 of the darn things!
When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line and what makes your brand different?
I started making nail polish back in 2012 with the intent to ONLY make it for jewelry – as a medium to paint glass cabochons with. While there were (and still are) lots of people who make nail polish jewelry, no one was making the polish themselves for the sole purpose of using it for the jewelry. So I became the first person to do that! Almost immediately after I opened my shop on Etsy in late 2013, people would ask me if I intended to make/sell the nail polish itself. At first, I didn’t want to, but after awhile the idea grew on me and so I began reformulating and branching out from just glitter polishes to try and see if it was something worth doing. And it was! I think the fact that I started off just doing jewelry, and that I don’t really even wear nail polish myself, definitely sets me apart from other brands and makers.
What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
A super random, personal tidbit is that my cousin is Morris Day from The Time (my mom is his aunt).
What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own polish company?
Do your research!! In the end, it’s SO much more satisfying knowing that you’ve done the majority of the leg work yourself versus getting all the answers by asking other people who did the research themselves. Sure, you’re going to have questions, but try and find out the information first before approaching someone. Not only will it make you feel good, but other people will notice that you’ve done your research first and it will definitely get you some positive ‘points’ before you’ve even launched! Also – testing! So much testing! Like. MONTHS or more of testing!
Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?
I don’t really wear nail polish (shocking, I know) but I still try to buy other indie brands, especially when I’m friends with the maker, as a way of showing support for them and the community in general. I only have 19 polishes right now from Anchor & Heart Lacquer, Baroness X, Frenzy Polish, Great Lakes Lacquer, Stached Polish, Supernatural Lacquer, and Sweet & Sour Lacquer.
Describe yourself in 5 words
Sarcastic, Ramble-y, Creative, Empathetic, and Passionate.
What is one of your favorite collections or polishes you created?
Well I’ve only done three collections plus a duo so far, but I think my favorite release is still my first collection. Out of those, Mystic Mountain has got to be my overall favorite.
What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
I love to write, watch ‘my’ TV shows, and organize.
How did you come up with your company name and logo?
Well, I really wanted to incorporate wolves into my brand name somehow and after a ton of brainstorming, The Howling Boutique was born. Even though I started off doing jewelry, I knew that I eventually would want to branch out into makeup, which is why I went with Boutique. When I decided to do nail polish, I wanted to make sure that it went well and followed the same sort of theme, so doing something moon related was a given and that’s how I got Supermoon Lacquer.
If you weren’t in the indie polish business, what’s another product you would have liked to create?
Jewelry! LOL. Which I already do. Probably eye shadow? I’d eventually like to explore that avenue as well.
Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
Well I’m currently working on my first two collections for 2017. As far as any specifics go, I really like to share ‘behind-the-scenes’ stuff with my Facebook group so you should definitely join that for spoilers!
In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?
I already sort of have two: “Unique. Vibrant. Wild.” and “Individually Designed. Always Handmade.”
What do you love most about being an indie polish maker?
Aside from the obvious stuff like creating the polishes and getting to experiment with various ingredients, I really love meeting new people! Whether it’s a customer who’s made a purchase (or several), another indie maker, bloggers/swatchers, or just other people in the community who have no idea who me and my brand is. I’ve made a lot of good friends and met a ton of awesome people and I love it!
What other brand (just 1) would you like to collaborate with or have already collaborated with?
Well I JUST did my first collab. at the beginning of November with Stashed Polish, Sweet & Sour Lacquer, and Lilly Anne’s Garden. I’d love to be able to do a future collab with Supernatural Lacquer! I think it’d be suh-WEET.
Favorite nail art technique?
Hm. I don’t do any nail art personally, so really, everything amazes me but I think the people who are able to free hand pictures on their nails are just. RIDICULOUS.
What is your greatest accomplishment to date with your brand?
Well my ‘overall’ brand – The Howling Boutique – just celebrated its 3 year anniversary on October 12th, 2016! I think that’s amazing!!
*SHOUTING* Someone get Stephanie Sanders on the phone, we need to get this duo in the works immediately!!! (I’m making it my mission to bring indie brands together for the betterment of the world and ultimate polish domination…lol!) No, seriously though, I’d love to see these two ladies work together.
What an amazing way to end November. Thanks, again, to Mardi for stopping by and we look forward to what you have planned for 2017! See you in December!