Up Close & Personal with Julie Bennett of Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer

Up Close & Personal with Julie Bennett of Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer

Name: Julie Bennett

Location: Decatur, Georgia

Birthday: August 27

Biggest pet peeve(s)?

Weirdly, when people take their time getting off on escalators xD I know, it’s a weird one, but it drives me bonkers!

Favorite meal of the day?

Dinner! Followed closely be breakfast. And then there’s always brinner – breakfast for dinner xD

What cartoon character best represents you?

Louise from Bob’s Burgers. At first glance, I look sweet and nice, but once you get to know me, I’m a bit cray xD

Heels or flats?

Depends on the outfit and what I’m doing for the day. I love a great pair of heels, but if I’m taking the train or walking a lot, then I go for the flats.

Jeans or Dress?

Jeans for sure!

If you were an animal, what would it be and why?

A cat because 1) they are adorbs, and 2) they don’t give a crap about what anyone else thinks or wants.

Live without your sense of smell or taste? Why?

Hmm, probably smell. I know what I’m going to be putting into my mouth (and hopefully the inability to smell wouldn’t affect my sense of taste), but being able to avoid the stinky smells of others would be worth not being able to smell.

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?

I love to support my fellow makers, so I tend to wear a lot of indie polish. I don’t get a chance to wear a lot of other polishes, but when I do, I gravitate towards stuff from my friends like Monster Polish, Lit Lacquer Sweet Heart Polish, Ever After, and so many more.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Hard working and anal retentive.

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?

I’m actually really jazzed about this March’s We Saw the Stars Collection, which has been in the works for about a year. I also love the neons I did a few summers ago – the Leave the Sun Behind Me Collection.

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)

I love beer, so doing beer tastings with friends is one of my top fave things. I also am an voracious reader – I read between two and three books a week. Some crappy free Kindle books as well as other not-so crappy books. Lastly would probably be to travel. I was never really able to travel a lot before the last few years, so being able to go to amazing places like France, England, and Italy has been amazing!

How did you come up with your company name and logo?

When I was younger, my dad called me his Blue-Eyed Girl, so that kind of stuck. I created a blog that was originally intended to be a stream of consciousness journal about things I wanted to do with my life called Wishes of a Blue-Eyed Girl. Before I actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were), it turned into a polish blog, which is now sadly defunct. When I decided to start my own brand, I had a bit of community recognition, so I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate the blog name into my brand name. The logo was originally created by a lovely lady in a maker group who created a logo with a flower over the i in girl. When I decided I wanted to make a business out of it, I knew I’d need to reformat the name to be a little easier to read, but I stuck with the flower idea. It has absolutely nothing to do with my brand name, but I don’t think I would want an eyeball on my bottles, lol.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?

I’m planning to do a girl power influenced collection this summer!

In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?

Polish is my Siren Song –> mostly because 1) I feel like a lot of us are guided by the need to have polishes in our lives, and 2) I have a series of polishes that came out monthly for about two years called the Siren Series. So, mixing in the lore of Sirens as well as the fact that they are my signature series, I feel like that slogan fits pretty well. 🙂

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Up Close & Personal with Virginia Shaw of Pretty Beautiful Unlimited 

Up Close & Personal with Virginia Shaw of Pretty Beautiful Unlimited 

Name: Virginia Shaw
Location: Tyler, TX
Birthday: June 10th

Biggest pet peeve(s)?
I have a lot of these lol…but my biggest is rudeness/disrespect. I feel we all have our own opinions and its important to be able to express them but to do it in a way that that doesn’t make the other person feel like they don’t matter. I’ve had this happen to me so I tend to keep quiet and just observe and watch and only speak when its one on one. I try to live by that old saying “if you don’ have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” lol

Favorite meal of the day?
I prefer salty to sweet so probably anything that is Italian

What cartoon character best represents you?
I don’t know of one that would best represent me, but I’m a Disney addict so any character from the cartoons is good to me. my favs are Ariel and Belle.

Heels or flats?
Flats, I can’t keep up with my kids in heels lol

Jeans or Dress?
 Jeans all the way!

If you were an animal, what would it be and why?
I’d be some sort of cat, big or small it doesn’t matter. I love their grace and athletic prowess and then how they can be total goofballs over something like a cucumber. lol

Live without your sense of smell or taste? Why?
Wow that’s a tough question. I love to cook and both senses are really important when cooking, but I’d say if i had to choose one to live without it would be smell. I live in the country so skunks should say it all!

When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line and what makes your brand different?
started buying indie polish about 4 years ago and was really loving how different they were compared to what i could find in the stores. I’ve always been a crafty person and had already been doing research on making my own makeup. it wasn’t till i was home after my second baby was born that I really got the bug and dove head first in to this crazy obsession. I started researching and buying supplies and mixing like crazy. as for what makes my brand different, I’ve recently been told how complex my polishes are. i was a little surprised because I hadn’t really thought about it but its true, one polish can have shimmer, holo, glitter and flakies! That’s a lot to pack into one bottle lol. I love being a “mad scientist” as my husband calls me and I’m always looking for ways to improve and add new things to each collection.

What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own polish company?
Research and customer service. I spent a lot of years in customer service when i worked for Nordstrom. so I think that gave me a really good foundation and i also treat others the way I want to be treated. research is also very important and i think never stopping for ways to make you products better is very important.

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?
oh my! I have a collection that is closing in on 1000 bottles (shhh, don’t tell my husband). my first brands that got me into this where Fairytale Finish, All Mixed Up Lacquer and Polish ‘M. Since then I’ve expanded. i try to support as many fellow makers as i can, like Supermoon, Vapid, Tonic, Night Owl, Femme Fatale, MDJ Creations and so many more!

Describe yourself in 5 words
driven, creative, supportive, loving, hardworking

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?
its funny, every time i release a collection i think this is my favorite. then the next one comes along and i’m like no THIS is my favorite! but i think overall one of the most fun collections i have done is the Big Bang Theory inspired collection. I’m a Big Bang Theory nerd so it was a very easy and natural collection to come up with.

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
Lets see, I love crafts in general but absolutely love floral arrangements. I’m actually thinking about adding some to the site at some point! i also love to garden, but the summers in Texas are pretty intense for me so i have to make sure its early in the am. and as mentioned before i love cooking and baking.  

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
My brand name and logo have gone through some changes since i launched, but the name Pretty Beautiful is thanks to my husband. there is a song by Danny Gokey that was playing in the background while we were discussing names and my husband said that’s what you should call your business…Pretty Beautiful. at fist it was Pretty Beautiful Cosmetics because I thought i would continue with my research and eventually launch some mineral makeup. but over time I changed it to Pretty Beautiful Unlimited because i didn’t want to be stuck in one category. as for my logo, I have always loved fleur de lis so i knew i wanted that to be part of any design I used. Now I’ve gone from one big one behind my brand name to a smaller more intricate design that I hope everyone loves.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
I’m getting ready to release what has turned into a large spring collection (3/20) and am working on a collab with one of my swatchers for a collection to be released in April. I’m also hoping to start adding additional items to the store that were made with nail polish, like jewelry and coasters.

What do you love most about being an indie polish maker?
I love creating new colors and interacting with my swatchers/bloggers and fans. They constantly give inspire me and come up with wonderful names for a polish collection when I’m stuck, I’m terrible with names!

What other brand (just 1) would you like to collaborate with or have already collaborated with?
I’ve already worked with some amazing ladies already and would work with them again anytime. But if i can be a bit of a fan girl for a moment, I would love to work with Michelle of Polish ‘M.

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Up Close & Personal with Chrissy Gieringer of Turtle Tootsie Polishes

Up Close & Personal with Chrissy Gieringer of Turtle Tootsie Polishes

 

It’s humpday Wednesday and I survived!!! I survived my daughter’s 10th birthday party, which was a blast btw, and I survived their extended weekend. If you remember from Monday I told you my kids had Monday and Tuesday of this week off from school, ugh, but I got through it but most importantly, THEY got through it alive…lol!!

So here we are 9 weeks and 3 days away (not that I’m counting) from one of thee most exciting events of my life. I have been looking forward to it since it was announced last year…POLISH CON!!! This year Polish Con will be taking over NY and it’s gearing up to be a polish-tastic event. One of the makers I’m looking forward to meeting is Chrissy of Turtle Tootsie Polish. But we don’t have to wait until April, let’s get Up Close and Personal now!


Name: Chrissy Gieringer
Location: Schnecksville, PA
Birthday: February 12

Biggest pet peeve(s)?
People that don’t use their turn signals….ughhh they are there for a reason!

Favorite meal of the day?
Dessert. I love everything cake.  

What cartoon character best represents you?
Smurfette. I’ve always loved her. A powerful woman.

Heels or flats?
Flats, I’m 5’10” so yeah, no heels

Jeans or Dress?
Jeans

If you were an animal, what would it be and why?
A cat, because they have such a tough life laying around all day and night

Live without your sense of smell or taste? Why?
Smell, although without smell I don’t think you can actually taste…

When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line and what makes your brand different?
I decided in 2012 after a rough battle with breast cancer, II wanted to start making polish, bought supplies, got a testing group together and began. 2 1/2 years later I launched! What makes my brand different is I do the kind of polishes I want to do. I don’t always follow the “latest” trend. I’m more personal than that.

What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
I’m married to another cancer survivor. He survived thyroid cancer.What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own polish company? Have a good business plan and research, research and research again. It’s expensive and difficult. Don’t expect to make a profit for a long time, but don’t give up!

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?
I have tons of Smokey Mountain Lacquers and 77 Nail lacquer. Of course I have a bunch of Cupcakes as well! I love supporting other brands, I feel we all should support each other.

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Sarcastic-Funny-Stubborn-Persisitent-Underated

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?
My Easter collection from last year is my favorite. I’m a total pastel holo freak and Iove this collection!  

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
I’m a crafter so I like scrapbooking, crocheting and knitting, and going to baseball or hockey games.

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
I’m a turtle lover and I love things that are cute. This brand stuck in my head and nothing else I came up with worked for me.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
My Spring collection was inspired by an idea from my youngest son and is quite “:yummy” My Summer collection is “bright and sparkly”

In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?
Painting happiness one nail at a time

What do you love most about being an indie polish maker?
I love the interaction with the fans and being able to make polish as a form as stress relief. My “normal” job is very stressful and polish is my ‘outlet’.

What other brand (just 1) would you like to collaborate with or have already collaborated with?
There are too many to name just one, I’m always up for a good collaboration.

Favorite nail art technique?
Stamping! I’ve become obsessed with this over the last few months but don’t get a lot of time to do 

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Up Close & Personal with Allison Tyropolis of LE Polish

Up Close & Personal with Allison Tyropolis of LE Polish

I’m such a slacker! Hubby and I took the day off yesterday to spend Valentine’s Day/wedding anniversary together and have a date day. We enjoy date days because hello…no work and kids are at school so we don’t have to find a baby sitter, win win! But even as of this morning I am still finishing up this post…ugh!

Even though the day of love has passed, I am still in a loving spirit because today’s featured maker is Allison Tyropolis of LE Polish. You may remember Allison from previous posts including 12 Days of Polish where she teamed of with 11 of the best bloggers, and me, to create 12 custom polishes or from Libra Scale Birthday Club Custom, but today she here so we can get Up Close and Personal.

Name: Allison Tyropolis
Location: Ellington, CT
Birthday: August 18th 

Are you an early bird or night owl?
Both. The afternoon is when I accomplish the least.

Stranded on a desert island, what 5 things would you must have?
The practical side of me wants to say food, water, shelter, clothing, and firewood, but that’s no fun, so I’ll go with my family, nail polish, books, flavored seltzer, and lip balm.

What cartoon character best represents you?
Daria (p.s. this might be a hint at things to come!)

Night on the town with friends or evening alone at home?
Evening alone with my Netflix please!

Favorite 90s TV show or artist/song?
I’m going to go with Daria again. Although TGIF was my jam back then!

If you were an animal, what would it be and why?
Well, my brand logo has a bee, so probably that. Plus bees are nature’s environmentalists!

Read a book or watch a movie?
Book first, then movie.

When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line and what makes your brand different?
I had been an indie fan for a while before I decided to try my hand at mixing. Once I finally tried mixing my own polish, I knew I couldn’t turn back. I’m a creative person by nature, so I like making and producing things for other people to enjoy. My brand is different because it’s a representation of me. I love the vintage romantic style and I try to let that show through in my branding and packaging. As far as polish is concerned, although I try to mix it up, I love making crellies and feel like my crellies are somewhat different than many you see out there.

What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
Anyone who’s in my FB group already knows this, but I can’t do nail art. Not even a little bit. So I’m always so in awe when I see the beautiful nail my customers produce!

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?
I love all my babies equally like a good polish mommy, but I have to say if you twisted my arm, I really loved my Love Your Mother Earth Collection. It’s fun and bright and sparkly, it has a Greek goddess and Earth Mother theme. It was one of the first collections I did that really showed my signature crelly style. 

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
Business-wise, I love interacting with my group and planning events – like giveaways, launches, restocks, etc. I probably should have been a party planner in another life. I love seeing customers enjoying and using the polishes that I make. Please keep posting your mani shots ladies! I love collaborating with other makers, whether it’s to create a box, or just to bounce ideas off one another. It’s refreshing to get a glimpse into someone else’s creative process.  

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
le polish is named after my two sons (l and e are their first initials – this is also why they are both lowercase. I didn’t want to capitalize one and not the other). The logo was a labor of love. My first logo was fairly generic. I went for something simple and cute, but when it came down to it I was never really happy with it. For my 1 year brand anniversary I decided to change it to something that represented me and my brand. I’m very into vintage things, so I knew I wanted a vintage look. And I consider all the women in the polish world to be queen bees, so the queen bee was a perfect fit!

If you weren’t in the indie polish business, what’s another product you would have liked to create?
I have knitted since I was a little girl. I’ve taken a few custom orders for knitted pieces, and if I had time, I’d like to get into that a little more.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
Right now I’m working on getting my limited editions for Polish Con all wrapped up! I can’t wait for you guys to see them and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone who can make it to Polish Con NYC!!!

In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?
My brand slogan is actually “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful.” I stamp it on all my packages. The great thing about the indie community is we’re very supportive of individuality, which I love and wanted to celebrate!

What do you love most about being an indie polish maker?
I love the creative process. I get inspired by things around me and my interests and I make it into something pretty you can wear on your nails. What’s better than that? I also love interacting with my customers and other makers and bloggers. My customers and bloggers are the best and other makers have been so friendly and supportive of me. I love our tight knit community. 

Well that will do it for today. Be sure to join us back next time! 

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Up Close & Personal with Nicole Bivins of It Girl Nail Art

Up Close & Personal with Nicole Bivins of It Girl Nail Art

When I told you that I was taking it up a notch in 2017, I meant it! I am expanding my blog to be more well rounded and setting my sights on more than just indie polish. That’s right, I’m thinking big and bringing you all Up Close and Personal with Nicole Bivins of It Girls Nail Art. I recently had an opportunity to review of Nicole’s products and they are amazing! If you haven’t had an opportunity to read my critique, be sure to do so here.


Nicole Bivins
Tacoma, Washington
May 6th

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
It’s oddly specific, but I cannot stand super scratchy clothing tags. I’ve got a seam-ripper tool in my handbag at all times to get rid of annoying tags!

If you could have dinner with any 5 past or present people, who would they be?
David Bowie, RuPaul, Alton Brown, Michelle Obama, Betsey Johnson

If you had to lose one of your 5 senses, which would it be and why?
I debated this one internally for well over an hour. I’d have to (very sadly) go with taste. If I still had my sense of smell, I could still experience a good majority of “taste” and I wouldn’t jeopardize my ability to release scented cuticle oils!

Favorite/ideal vacation spot and who would you take with you?
I’ve always wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand with my husband.

Would you rather have the ability to fly or the ability to read people’s mind?
Fly, for sure. I’d save so much on travel, and I fear that mind-reading would just make me really sad and angry all the time!

Do you have any hidden talents or traits?
I’m ambidextrous! It’s come in handy (no pun intended) for a few things, including nail polishing/nail art.

Best gift received?
At the time, I was not thrilled about it, but my husband (then boyfriend) gave me Smart Wool socks and long underwear for our first Valentine’s Day together. I thought it was not frivolous enough for Valentine’s, but am still wearing them 8 years later. I reluctantly admit that he was right. He knew I was always cold and wanted to keep me warm. That’s actually pretty romantic.

Best gift given?
I sent one of my dearest friends a box full of goodies that included things that reminded her of her trip to visit me, and it arrived on a day that school and work had her really stressed out. Just knowing that getting this box from me totally turned her day around is the best feeling in the world.

When and why did you decide to start your business? 
Like most indie nail brand owners, I started as a fan. I was living in Montana after my wedding, and without long-distance event planning taking up all of my free time, I needed an indoor hobby for the winter. It was around that time that I started looking at Pinterest, and discovered nail stamping. Like most things, I can’t be a casual fan and became obsessed immediately. But after collecting a huge, heavy binder’s worth of cheap plates, I wasn’t happy with the quality that was available, and was only really interested in maybe a quarter of the designs on each plate–the rest I thought were really uninspired “filler.” By the time I started toying with the idea of making my own plates, I had moved to Tacoma, and regularly visited with a local group of indie polish obsessives like myself. With their encouragement (and my husband’s), I started the long process of research and testing. Finally, after over a year of that, It Girl Nail Art launched with three stamping plates in August of 2015.

What makes your brand different?
Basically all the commercial stamping plates on the market are mass-produced in just a handful of overseas factories by people with no connection to nail polish/stamping in general, or the indie community specifically. I wanted to change that, and offer a product with amazing quality and quality control. Although there’s a higher cost to produce stamping plates in the USA, but I think the quality more than justifies it. When customers choose to buy from It Girl Nail Art, they’re not only supporting my small, american business, but the small, american businesses in my supply chain. That’s a factor that matters to a lot of people in the indie polish community. 

What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
I went to film school. It took me a long time to realize that a career in the film industry wouldn’t make me happy, but my education definitely gave me experience with some of the software I use, and it honed my aesthetic eye. And I might be rolling my film and video experience into some educational stamping demo videos in 2017…

What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own business? 
Do. The. Work. There are no shortcuts to experience. All businesses start somewhere–many are tempted to ask for the answers to their research and development questions, but you’ll never be sure how “right” those answers are until you experiment for yourself. The results you obtain yourself will be more rewarding, too.

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear/use?
I wear a lot of ILNP, KBShimmer, Painted Polish, Ellagee, and Pepper Pot Polish (which is made by a totally fantastic fellow Tacoma lady!)

Describe yourself in 5 words
Obsessed with all things artistic.

What is one of you favorite collections or product you created?
IG111 is a stamping plate inspired by the outdoors right around me. I am lucky to live in the absolutely beautiful Pacific Northwest, and spend a lot of time hiking and camping with my husband and dog. So that plate includes lots of my favorite things; raindrops, fern leaves, wood grain, a topographic map, etc.

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of creating and filling orders…lol)
I’m borderline obsessed with drag and musical theatre, so my #1 favorite thing to do is go to shows. I fan-girl like nobody’s business. I’m an avid baker, and make a lot of complex goodies for my friends and my husband’s students. I’m part of a “stitch and bitch” group, and am currently cross stitching a Harry Potter themed sampler for my best friend.

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
The name comes from my background in filmmaking and cinema history–Paramount Studios had a film called “It” a very long time ago, to which they hired the actress Clara Bow. She was one of the most famous fashion icons of her time, and came to be known as the “It Girl.” The term has since been used to describe confident, fashionable role models, and as I feel like nail art is a real extension of fashion and self-expression, it stuck.

Besides your current business/company, what other product you would have liked to create?
In an alternate dimension, I’d be a fashion designer. I’m so obsessed with clothes, but have very little sewing experience. Someday when I have more free time (lol) I may take a sewing class.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
There are a number of molds in my living room that I’m using to cast silicone and plastic to handmake stampers. From the prototype, to the molds, to the formulations, my Chief Spousal Officer/Engineer has helped me bring my dream of a brand new handmade stamper concept to life!

In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?
Independent, exceptional quality nail stamping tools made in the USA!

How long did you test your product(s) before ‘going live’?
It was well over a year for the stamping plates themselves. For the stamping polishes, the first collection (jewel-tone metallics) took about 8 months, and the cremes about 10 months. I test incessantly and have a lot of good friends in my local area who are willing and ready to test whatever I give them!

Favorite nail art technique?
Well, I think I’d have to go with stamping! 😉
More specifically, I love advanced stamping techniques like decals and leadlighting.

What is your greatest accomplishment to date with your brand?
For me, it’s the number of people for whom I’ve been able to help learn stamping. It’s a technique that takes some time and practice to really perfect, and it helps to have someone available to troubleshoot. I’m always available by email to customers and friends, and have helped several people figure out the little nuances really quickly!

What do you love most about being a business owner?
I love seeing the nail art creations my customers and supporters make with my products. Every once in awhile I see some interpretation of the image that I had not imagined myself, and that makes me smile harder than just about anything!

Chief Spousal Officer/Engineer…lol that’s great! I personally cant wait to see what’s on the plate for It Girl…get it… plate…stamping plate…oh nevermind.

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Up Close & Personal with Victoria Greathouse of Blush Lacquer 

Up Close & Personal with Victoria Greathouse of Blush Lacquer 

Welcome back! It’s Humpday Wednesday AND it’s the 3rd Wednesday of the month so you know what that means….Indie Maker Interview!!!! This is one of the series that is getting a slight change in that I am no longer just calling this series Interview but from the title you can see that we are getting Up Close and Personal. So let’s get this party started with Victoria Greathouse of Blush Lacquer.


Victoria Greathouse
Lyons, Indiana
January 2nd

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I’m a pretty easy going person and not a lot bothers me, so this question is actually kind of difficult to answer! One thing that really annoys me though, is when you’re driving on the highway and there’s some sort of a road block up ahead where traffic has stopped or is backed up and everyone is having to get into one lane. Instead of just getting in line with everyone else, there is always that one person who thinks they can just cut in front of everyone and skip to the front of the line. I cannot stand it when people do that and I never let those people cut in front of me! 

If you could have dinner with any 5 past or present people, who would they be?
Well, I’m going to take “dinner” to mean “date” because I’ve always been the boy crazy type. So, I’d pick Tom Hardy, who is probably a bit of a jerk, but I’d really love to be his arm candy for a night. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who I’m sure is a perfect gentleman. Bruno Mars, who I’m positive would be utterly charming (I mean, those eyes, that smile, that voice!). Zac Efron, because, um, why not? And, finally, Garth Brooks. Yes, I know he’s like twice my age, but he was the first concert I ever went to and even to this day, I adore his music (even though I don’t really listen to country anymore). The charisma he has on stage is enchanting (and those blue eyes! lol)

If you had to lose one of your 5 senses, which would it be and why?
I’ve always had a slight fascination with being blind. Not that I would ever really want to be blind, but if I really had to choose, I think that this the one I’d go with. Which is also kind of weird because a lot of the stuff I do on a daily basis (like making nail polish) is really dependent on having sight. Maybe, I just like the idea of the challenge it would bring. lol

Favorite/ideal vacation spot and who would you take with you?
Anywhere with a warm sunny beach and clear sparkling waters. I’d probably take my boyfriend or my mom.

Would you rather have the ability to fly or the ability to read people’s mind?
Read people’s minds all the way! I am afraid of heights and have only recently gotten over my fear of flying in an airplane. Even if I was in complete control of my flying abilities, I’d probably pass out mid flight! haha Plus, being the introvert that I am, I’d love knowing what people were really thinking.

Do you have any hidden talents or traits?
I was a baton twirler (majorette) for my high school. I could twirl three batons at a time and I also twirled fire! I’m a little rusty because I don’t practice regularly anymore, but I can still do a lot of the moves I used to do! I was also a professional ballroom dancer for 3 years before I started making nail polish. 

Best gift received? Best gift given?
The best gift I ever received was for my ninth birthday. My family never owned horses or even knew anyone who had them, but for some reason I was that crazy child that was just absolutely horse crazy. Like, I talked about horses every single day since I was able to talk. In fact, I distinctly remember going through a phase when I was probably 4 or 5 where I’d ask my parents every night when they tucked me into bed if I could have a horse, or more accurately, why couldn’t I have a horse. lol Eventually they gave in and gave me a month’s worth of riding lessons (one a week) for my ninth birthday. I framed the certificate and everything! They thought that if I finally got on a horse I’d be afraid of horses and shut up about them. But they were wrong! It only fueled the fire and a couple years later I did actually get a horse. 🙂
The best gift I ever gave is probably not as exciting. I like to knit and crochet and a couple of years ago I made these really pretty crocheted shawls for the women in my family (I literally had to start in August!). I gave one to my boyfriend’s mom and she literally squealed when she opened it up and saw it, she was so excited! I’ve never incited that kind of reaction from a gift I’ve given before, so that was probably the best gift I ever gave!

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear/use?
Femme Fatale, Tonic Polish, ILNP, A England

What is one of you favorite collections or product you created?
My favorite collection that I’ve created was my Sea Water Shimmers collection. I was actually trying to make nail polishes that gave a mermaid effect without having to use a separate powder or polish to create it. I did not quite get that effect, but I fell in love with the colors that I did come up with. It took a lot of experimenting to figure out which shimmers would stand out against which colors, but it was well worth it!

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
I started out coming up with a bunch of ideas for my company name. I knew that I wanted something that was feminine, sophisticated, soft and elegant. Something classy, but also girly. I had a whole list of names, but nothing was really what I wanted. They fit the criteria, but I also wanted something that felt personal to me, without being unrelatable to other people. So, I thought about something that I felt defined me – surprisingly it’s something that I don’t really like about myself! I’m one of those people with fair skin and I have a tendency to blush at just about anything – when I’m embarrassed, nervous, panicked, excited, crying, upset, angry and the list goes on. It’s incredibly annoying, but it’s something I’ve dealt with my entire life and that I feel is kind of specific to me, yet happens to other people probably more than I’m giving them credit for. But, a blush can also have it’s upside. I thought about all the good examples of when people blush, like from your first kiss, when you receive a really sweet gift or someone compliments you on your dress. And it’s all of those feelings from those sweet blush’s that I was wanting to invoke in my company brand, and so “BLUSH Lacquers” was decided.

Besides your current business/company, what other product you would have liked to create?
I don’t know if this counts, but I’ve always wanted to be a fiction author and plan on pursuing that at some point in my life as well!

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
For everyone who loved Sea Water Shimmers, their will be a very similar collection coming up in either January or February! I’m still finalizing some things with it though and I’m not sure of the exact release date. I also have plans to add top coats to our line and potentially some non-nail polish, but nail related products for the future.

Favorite nail art technique?
I can’t do it to save my life, but I love the look of watermarbling! 

What is your greatest accomplishment to date with your brand?
Reaching 1,000 sales in our Etsy store! I was pretty excited about that!

What do you love most about being a business owner?
Nobody tells me what to do, I make up all the rules! (And, I can sleep in every morning 😉

Happy Belated Birthday Victoria and congratulations on 1000 sales, that’s an amazing accomplishment. We wish you much continued success and look forward to seeing what Blush has in store this year!

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Interview: Britt Pearson of BBP

Interview: Britt Pearson of BBP

Here we are 3 days before 2017! It feels like we just stepped into 2016, man, oh man! I am wrapping up this years Indie Maker Interview series with one bad bitch, Britt Peason. Britt Pearson of Bad Bitch Polish is one of my favorite makers because her polishes are all so beautiful and unique….just like her.

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Name: Britt Pearson
Location: Oceanside, CA
Birthday: January 13th

Holiday traditions? If so, what are they? If not, what would be one you’d like to start?
We don’t really have many traditions. When possible, we like to stay home and have quiet days to ourselves- they happen so rarely! My toddler is 2, so we’re just starting to decide what traditions we’d like to do as a family. It’s a lot of fun to decide what kind of memories we want to make over the next few years.

If you could have dinner with any 5 past or present people, who would they be?
This is a hard one! Terry Pratchett (a scifi author with a sneaky snarky sense of humor), Carl Sagan, Marie Curie, Claudette Colvin (she was actually the first one to resist bus segregation in Montgomery, not Rosa Parks), and maybe Marilyn Monroe (who wouldn’t kill for her confidence?).

What cartoon character best represents you?
Have you ever seen Invader Zim? I often feel like Gir- running around, doing a zillion things at a time all while being a bit (or a lot) random. I wish I had his energy though!

Favorite/ideal vacation spot and who would you take with you?
Anytime, anywhere that’s at the beach is my ideal. I’d love to go on a vacation with just my spouse- I know that sounds so expected, but with our busy jobs and parenting, we’d love some sleep and relaxation together!

Favorite 90s TV show or artist/song?
The Fresh Prince

Do you have any hidden talents or traits?
Hmmm. I read very quickly- speed reading classes are pretty cool! I can be pretty crafty when I have the time, too. 

Best gift received? Best gift given?
Books, by far. I have jewelry I’ve been given that I love, self care items, etc, but there’s something about a stack of unopened books that make me happy as a clam!

Extra Fun Fact
Super cheesy, but my husband carried a note from me in his wallet for years.

When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line and what makes your brand different?
My nails hate nail polish. Hate. Like they chip and have tip wear within 12-24 hours hate. I loved painting my nails, but had about given up because it wasn’t worth it to have it turn into a mess so quickly. I don’t even remember how, but I discovered indie polish about that time. Indies like my nails better than commercial brands. I started down the Google rabbit hole to find out how people could make their own polish, and the rest followed and here I am!

What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
BBP is not my only business. I also run a business creating shaped sidewalk chalk that are used mainly for party favors & stockings. It’s a lot lower key than polish, so it’s a nice change of pace sometimes!

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?
Wear, almost nothing. I spend too much time testing new colors to really have time to wear any, mine or otherwise. I have colors from tons of other brands, though. Most of what I have is from other SoCal brands because we all love to trade goodies at The Indie Shop in May & November- brands like Envy, Bliss, Nvr Enuff, Squishy Face, Ever After, Sea Lore, Lolita Lacquer… The list goes on! If you check the lineup for the last three events, I probably have something from all the brands- plus some others that I’ve gotten at other times. I love indie polish and someday I’ll have a chance to wear it all. 😉

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?
I have a line of extreme holos that are launching in February that I’m super excited about. That’s probably my current favorite- I don’t think I could pick an all-time favorite. (I’m bad at picking all-time favorites, they really depend on my mood!)

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
If you can’t guess reading by now, I’d guess you haven’t been reading this. 😉 Crafting in some form always tones down the anxiety and lifts my mood, and I love binge watching things when I get a chance.

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
I didn’t. No, really. Those are actually all due to my marketing department (aka my husband).

If you weren’t in the indie polish business, what’s another product you would have liked to create?
We’ve toyed seriously with bath bombs & body care but we just don’t feel like we have the time right now. Maybe in the future we’ll try it again? Who knows! We love coming up with new business venture ideas, whether we implement them or not.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
I’m calling 2017 the year of TV and holo. 😉 Fandoms and holo lovers, get ready! I’m sooo ready for it to be January so these gorgeous shades can start coming out!

In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?
Be a badass today. You’ve got this. 

What do you love most about being an indie polish maker?
I love getting out in my lab and just experimenting without any agenda. Owning my business gives me an excuse to do that as often as I’m in the mood to do it.

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Interview: Mariah Jonckheere of Great Lakes Lacquer

Interview: Mariah Jonckheere of Great Lakes Lacquer

Welcome back everyone! It’s that time for the month again! Time for another Indie Maker Interview! YAY!!! Mariah Jonckheere is with a women that needs no introduction because she and her brand speak form themselves.

Having never been to Michigan, I’ve never had the opportunity to visit its Great Lakes but when I see the polishes Mariah of Great Lakes Lacquer creates, I immediately think prestigious, pristine, tranquility and alluring. Mariah does a remarkable job creating beautiful polish that puts you right in the middle of her inspiration. So it was only natural that I bring her to you all in a different way, behind the scenes…up close and personal. 

But enough of hearing me blab away, lets jump right into the fun!

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Name: Mariah Jonckheere (Jacobs) 
Location: Lansing, MI
Birthday: October 27th 

Fun Fact
I have four kids. I dunno if that is a fun (or she’s insane) fact or not.

Holiday traditions? If so, what are they? If not, what would be one you’d like to start?
resents on Christmas Morning. Other than that, there aren’t any traditions. I’m not one for them very much.

If you could have dinner with any 5 past or present people, who would they be?
My grandfather (father’s side), Stephen King, Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder

What cartoon character best represents you?
Ezma crossed with Sandy Cheeks?

Favorite/ideal vacation spot and who would you take with you?
Bora Bora and all of my family and my best friend.

Favorite 90s TV show or artist/song?
All the Star Trek’s for TV, you can’t make me choose a song. Sorry. LOL. But I would have to say that Nirvana, Green Day, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Matchbox 20, and Alice In Chains are probably high on that list.

Do you have any hidden talents or traits?
I can wiggle my nose up and down like a bunny, move my ears, and raise both eyebrows together or separately.  

When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line and what makes your brand different?
In 2014. It was the sort of thing that I kept wanting to make changes to polishes that I was buying. So I started making my own. I feel like I try to put me in every color I put out.

What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
I have lots of gray hair.

What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own polish company? 
Read and read some more. Don’t ask questions, just research and read. Then buy some supplies and start mixing. And mix some more. And read some more. And take lots of notes. THEN ask questions.

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?
Pahlish, Darling Diva, Anchor & Heart, Glisten & Glow (HK GIRL 4EVER), Ever After, Supernatural, and Tonic.

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?
Leaves In The Lake and Leaves In The Sand. Washed in Holo. A december limited edition coming up and a few protos I have sitting and waiting right now

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
Fish, swim, be outside, especially in the summer.

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
It seems really easy. Thinking of what was important to me, what was me, what I wanted to share, it just came naturally.

If you weren’t in the indie polish business, what’s another product you would have liked to create?
Bath and body. I love making scrubs, bombs, and bubble bars most.

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
Thermals are Coming.

In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?
Fluidly flowing, like water and lacquer.

What do you love most about being an indie polish maker?
The community and being a part of it. The friendships and relationships that you establish beat any kind of negativity that comes around, hands down.

What other brand (just 1) would you like to collaborate with or have already collaborated with?
Scofflaw Nail Varnish

Favorite nail art technique?
Stamping or gradients.

What is your greatest accomplishment to date with your brand?
Still being open! It’s tough out there.

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Interview: Mardi Carruth of The Howling Boutique

Interview: Mardi Carruth of The Howling Boutique

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!!


Name: Mardi Carruth
Location: North Richland Hills, Texas
Birthday: March 8th

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!

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Disclosure: The questions above were sent to the featured maker (FM) for review and response. The FM was advised they could omit responses from any question they were not comfortable with answering. The responses are directly from the FM and have not been altered in any way, shape or form. The comments and responses expressed in this interview are those of the FM and the FM alone.

Interview: Morgan Langley of Sweetpea Polish

Interview: Morgan Langley of Sweetpea Polish

Good morning y’all! Have I told y’all how much I loooooove doing Indie Maker Interviews? No? Well I do! Why? Because I really feel like I get a better understanding of the brand AND maker on both a personal and professional level. Plus, I’m a very curious person by nature….ok, ok, I’m nosey…lol, but curious sounds better! As I continue on my blog journey, many segments may come and go but interviews, both Swatcher Spotlight and Indie Maker, will be around for a while….oooooorrrrr at least until I get all the willing indie makers/brands to participate…lol! When I send out the questions to the makers and prepare the blog to go live, I imagine that I am sitting on a stage, like on a talk show and all the readers who stop by (you), are the live studio audience. So now that I have painted the scene, I want you to picture it too.

 Queue theme music….and in 5…4…3…2 anndddd action!

Good Morning Queens! We are back we today with a new maker, and by new I mean new to the blog, so please, let’s give Morgan Langley of Sweetpea Polish a hand. (insert applause here). 

Good Morning Morgan! So happy you stopped by to hang out with us today. We are very casual here, so make yourself at home and let’s chat.


Name: Morgan Langley
Location: Guntersville, Alabama
Birthday: June 14

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud? When was it?
My chorkie puppy being pitiful on Oct 29th

Stranded on a desert island, what 5 things would you must have?
Clothes, soap, music, someone to talk to and shoes!

What cartoon character best represents you?
Oh that’s a tough one, lol hmm…I’d have to say Lois from family guy lol.

Relaxing soak in a bubble bath or hot, steamy shower?
Hot, steamy shower!

Favorite 90s TV show or artist/song?
Wow another tough one, hehe, I can’t pick just one..Angel (tv show) Married with Children and hmm South Park

If you were an animal, what would it be and why?
A bird, so I could travel all over the world.

Best gift received? Best gift given?
The very first present my boyfriend of 3 year now got me my first rose for valentines day! And best gift given would have to be when I sent a nail care package to a nail friend who is having family health problems. I know it brightened her day so much. There is no better feeling in the world.

When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line and what makes your brand different?
Around May my nail polish addiction was taking over all my money. So I decided to make my own. Then got addicted to that haha and here we are. I believe what makes my brand stand out is amazing customer service. I would love to build a great personal relationship with my customers.

What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
Well I haven’t always been this happy and bubbly person I am today. I use to suffer from depression. But I brought myself out of it with the help of my family and my amazing boyfriend!

What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own polish company?
Research research research! Also don’t be afraid to reach out to other makers. Most are very willing to help out others.

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?
Drip Drop Nail Paint. (haven’t got to try many unfortunately)

Describe yourself in 5 words
Caring. Crazy. Honest. Spastic. Sleepaholic

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?
It would have to be my Seedling Collection. My first collection holds a special place hehe.

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
PlayStation 4, Horses (if i had one 😞) and spending time with my family

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
The name was so tough to come up with. But I finally decided on Sweetpea because that is my pet name from my amazing boyfriend. The logo is a hummingbird because my grandmother passed not long before I started selling and she loved hummingbirds. And then purple is my favorite color!

If you weren’t in the indie polish business, what’s another product you would have liked to create?
Jewelry but really I’d love to train horses hehe

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
New collection (Southern Belles) is hitting the shop on December 1st.

What other brand (just 1) would you like to collaborate with or have already collaborated with?
I would love to work with Radioactive Unicorn!

(Shouting) You hear that Radioactive Unicorn, hook up with Morgan and give the people what they need….A DUO!!!

Morgan, or should I call you Sweetpea, thank you so much for stopping by and allowing us to get to know you a little better. On behalf of myself and all the Queens, we wish you much success on the new collection and all the future releases.

Queens, if you haven’s ready checked out Sweetpea Polish, be like Nike and ‘JUST DO IT’!

That’ll do it for us today, I wish you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! Be sure to come back Friday after all your shopping for another S&R of the upcoming Monthly Awareness Polish Box (MAPB) and next week we’ll end November with a S&R and Indie Maker Interview with…..it’s a surprise!!!

 

Disclosure: The questions above were sent to the featured maker (FM) for review and response. The FM was advised they could omit responses from any question they were not comfortable with answering. The responses are directly from the FM and have not been altered in any way, shape or form. The comments and responses expressed in this interview are those of the FM and the FM alone.