Founder of Nails Inc Expands Her Beauty Empire

Photo via Elite Business Magazine

Thea Green, the founder of Nails Inc, was credited with bringing New York-style nail salons to the United Kingdom. She is expanding her beauty empire by starting a new make-up business called Inc.redible.

Green, a former journalist of Tatler fashion, launched Nails Inc nearly two decades ago after being inspired by her trips to New York where manicures and nail salons are a commonplace.

“When I launched in 1999 in the UK manicures were really only for those ladies who lunched, and it was a sea of french manicures”, Green said. “Instead we wanted to offer a quick and inexpensive treatment for busy women.”

Since collecting £200,000 from angel investors to open the first store of Nails Inc on South Molton Street, in the West End of London, the chain has expanded to 60 stores, has a huge international division, and is completely self-funded.

While the business began with Nail Inc salons, about 40pc of its £18m sales currently come from selling polish after introducing innovative nail gels that include superfoods such as caviar and kale. Two years ago, Nails Inc also started a viral craze after introducing a nail polish formula in a spray can.

Green said that her passion for innovation of new products had driven her to start the new beauty business which would deliver new products to the market, including lip balms with real flowers that are suspended in a gel.

“We could have just matched lipsticks to our existing Nails Inc range of colours, but that would have been quite limiting and not exciting enough”, said the 41-year-old entrepreneur. “Instead we wanted to have wearable trends so women can be in fashion, without feeling foolish.

“Social media has made customers so much more knowledgeable about trends and products. As a result, it has made it very difficult for large cosmetic companies to keep up with trends as they are constantly behind. Instead, if you are launching new innovations, you’re the one driving the trend.”

Green estimates that the new beauty business will determine that about 70pc of sales will come from products, while 30pc of revenues will be from nail salons.

The business already has the support of online retailers Feel Unique and Asos as well as Boots in the United Kingdom and Sephora in the Middle East and the United States and H&M shops across Scandinavia.

Last year, Nails Inc generated £18m in sales and is currently on track to break even after investing in the launch of her new makeup line, Inc.redible.