September 2015 cover
September 2015 cover
The Archives

The Jamberry Invasion: Nailing The Competition With Style

We talk to Jamberry sisterpreneurs Keri, Christy and Lyndsey about their explosive nail business. And how it went from a side hustle to a growing empire.

September_2015_coverIf you have a Facebook account, you’ve no doubt, been invited to many a game or event that you have ignored. But if you’ve been paying any attention you might notice in the midst of all those games and local community events an invite that keeps popping up, and from different friends, frequently and without fail: Jamberry parties.

What is Jamberry you may ask? Simply put, it is a collection of vinyl nail wraps applied to the nail using heat. No fuss, no muss. But where did Jamberry start? Not out of some bigwig cosmetic company, already with a foothold in the nail industry, but instead from three sisters who were just tired of how expensive it was becoming for the upkeep of their nails. Together, Keri Evans, Christy Hepworth and Lyndsey Ekstrom, put their heads and nails together and ran with an idea. An idea the sisters never could have imagined would grow into the social media movement it has.

“After a pricey afternoon getting nail art at the salon, we knew there had to be a similar, inexpensive, in-home alternative,” explained Evans, the oldest of the sisters, “There wasn’t – so we decided to come up with it on our own. We played around with a few different materials before settling on a vinyl-based formula that’s resilient but gentle on the natural nail bed, as the basis for our nail wraps.”

In the midst of their venture, middle sister, Hepworth, had Jamberry on the brain, as it was the title of her son’s favorite book at the time. Having read it over and over again, Hepworth brought the name to her sisters and it was clear to all that it was a perfect fit. After all, “Jamberry,” by Bruce Degen is described as a story containing “exuberant, colorful pictures” – a spot on match to the designs the sisters work hard to put together.

“Our product hasn’t changed that much since our first initial wrap came off the press. Soon after we started the company we began producing everything in-house – creation, printing, packaging, etc. – which has allowed us to quickly make any tweaks necessary to keep our nail wraps of the highest quality and the best in the nail wrap business,” said Hepworth, who never saw the product taking off as it has.

“When we first started Jamberry, we were just trying to earn a little extra income for our families, and didn’t really plan to grow the company into what it is today,” she added. “Because our expectations were low, there wasn’t a lot of room for doubt. As the company began to take off and there was more pressure to succeed, we realized that we might need some help in navigating big business. We’ve been able to keep those doubts at bay by building up a team of incredibly smart, talented people around us.”

As the popularity and interest in their product grew, it soon became apparent to the sisters that they had more than just a little side business on their hands (literally) and quickly realized that their biggest promoter would be word-of-mouth and with that, came the social media explosion. 

“After we created the first nail wraps, we exhibited at a trade show and the response was just incredible. So many women wanted to host nail parties with their friends and it became clear that social selling should become part of the business model,” explained youngest sister, Ekstrom. “So we began signing up Independent Consultants to host parties and sell nail wraps in their home and through their own personal Jamberry websites, which has helped us spread the word about Jamberry quickly.”

jamberrySimilar to products like Avon and Scentsy, Jamberry employs independent consultants all over the country to spread the word about their product, demonstrating the process and giving away samples at in-home parties and online social events. The invites have been the company’s most effective selling point, appealing to many stay at home moms and women who are just looking for something extra to supplement their income.

“Being a busy, stay-at-home mom of a two-year-old and a 10-month-old, I was constantly short on ‘me’ time.  I spent my days doing dishes, finger painting, changing diapers, and cleaning up all sorts of unmentionable messes. I was lucky I got time to throw my hair in a ponytail, forget about time to do my nails!” said Jamberry Senior Consultant, Jessica Knoll, who signed up to be a consultant after trying a sample from a friend’s party.

“For me to be able to spend 15-20 minutes on my nails and have them look great for two weeks is just an amazing thing,” continued Knoll. “Jamberry is the best direct selling company I’ve worked for, and I’ve tried quite a few. They have an amazing compensation plan and an even better training program. You aren’t left in the dark on how to run your business, they are there to guide you and really want you to succeed.  My upline team is just amazing, and makes this the most fun ‘job’ I’ve ever had. And being as busy as I am with the kids, it is surprisingly easy to keep up with, plus it‘s really nice to get out every once and a while to meet new people.”

Since the idea took form in 2010, in just five years, the sisters have managed to create more than 300 nail art designs and grow their network to 30,000-plus independent sales consultants not only in the U.S. but also in Canada and Puerto Rico as well. The sisters plan on taking Jamberry further, as they’ve already launched an actual nail polish and hand care line; though their ultimate focus is on their wraps and the many different designs they’ve yet to unveil.

With its ever growing numbers, it’s probably a safe bet to assume you’ve got an invitation to the next Jamberry event sitting on your Facebook calendar right now. Whether you choose to join in is up to you, but you may just find yourself being inspired if you take a look. It, like all things, started as an idea. Perhaps adding a little color to your life might be the first step in going ahead with your own idea and if not, hey, at least your nails will look good.

Check out more articles from our current issue.

Photo courtesy of Jamberry Facebook

About the author

Tara McCollum

Tara McCollum, a New York native, currently resides in Houston, TX where she has learned to trade in cosmopolitans for margaritas, and white winters for palm trees, but has held stead fast to her great love for the Yankees. She currently works full time as a middle school English teacher and is a loving mother to a little monster named Dean, who reminds her to never give up on her dreams and encourages her to keep changing them, and often.

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