There’s always going to be one other person who’s searching for what your searching for in the market; only one of you will have the courage to make it reality. That was Sara Ricklen. Discouraged by the lack of the perfect present for her mother, Ricklen took it upon herself to bring to life Pretty Please – a customizable lacquer collection befitting for every occasion.
Joining the nail world of Essies, Lippmans, and CNDs, Pretty Please’s added personalization doesn’t immediately trump the others, but adds an extra special touch. Making it all more worth purchasing, n’est-ce pas? Recently we chatted with Sara and got a little insight into this CPO (Chief Polishing Officer).
How did you get into the beauty industry?
My background is not in beauty so it was random sequence of events that led me to the position I’m in today. The idea for Pretty Please came to me when I was looking for a special gift for my mom during the holidays. I came up with the idea to name her a nail polish in her favorite color and decided on the name, assuming the product existed. When I went to actually order the gift, I couldn’t find personalized nail polish anywhere! After a lot of research and planning, I decided to create the nail polish myself. Once I got the idea in my head, I knew I had to make it happen.
Does it always pan out well for you when you have an idea and run with it?
Ha, no! Trial and error is a part of the process. You make a mistake, you learn and you move forward. I can be impulsive when I’m excited about an idea but I’ve learned that the best way to make any great plan come to life is to spend a bit more time thinking it through. If I sleep on something, the next day usually brings more clarity, a new outlook and often times, a better, more well-rounded version of my original thought.
What other ideas have you had?
I graduated with a degree in apparel design and had every intention of opening up a boutique for emerging designers and unique clothing brands in Baltimore, where I grew up. I wrote a business plan, met with banks, found a store front, and had an initial list of brands I wanted to work with. I ultimately decided after a lot of research that I needed more experience before moving forward as an entrepreneur. I moved to New York and gained that priceless experience I was looking for, but during that time my interests changed, the online shopping community expanded, social media had lifted off, and as a result of all these things (and then some!), Pretty Please Nail Polish was born.
I love the idea that a little bottle of color can impact so many things about a person’s style, image and mood. Also, unlike a lipstick, which you only see on yourself when you’re looking in a mirror, you can look down and enjoy your nail polish on yourself all day long! It’s also a great way to experiment with color without getting too out of your comfort zone. Neon nails? Yes. Neon Lipstick? Much harder to pull off.
What have been some of the most creative names you’ve come across?
My favorite name was “Worth the Wait” which was used for a baby shower being thrown for a women having a little girl after a handful of boys. I thought it was so sweet and fitting. We also had our first Pretty Please proposal this past fall. The customer named the polish “Marry Me Rachel”, and sure enough, she said “YES”!
Tell us about Pretty Please.
Pretty Please nail polish is created especially for you. You select a shade you love and give it your own unique name! The names are half the fun of picking out nail polish colors these days, and now you get to name a color you love after a name that means something to you – whether it’s an occasion, an inside joke, or a funny pun. The possibilities are endless!
Are nails the first thing you notice when you meet someone?
I do tend to notice people’s nails right away now that you mention it! But not to judge! People think I’m looking to make sure they have a fresh coat of polish or no chips but really I am always on the lookout for color inspiration or fun nail art ideas.
Any collaborations in the works?
I have a few new collaborations in the works but we are still “polishing” out the details. Stay tuned!