Up Close & Personal with Lisette Valence-Jeffers of Inspurrrations Nail Polish

img_5489Name: Lisette Valence-Jeffers
Location: Lebanon, Oregon
Birthday: May 3

Who is your favorite superhero and why?
I’m going to go with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, not your traditional hero, but I like her attitude, how she doesn’t need a special outfit to ware to kick some butt, and all of her friends are there to help and support her.

If you were singing at Karaoke, what song would you be singing?
I love to sing but I’ve always been to nervous to sing solo. But if I had to do it probably anything by Madonna, before I started loosing my voice from steroid inhalers, I sounded kind of like her when singing.

Top 3 favorite songs of the 90s?
Anything from Depeche Mode, Erasure, New Order or The Cure. I was sort of a closet Goth after High School.

Favorite childhood toy?
My 3 Cabbage Patch Kids, Ingrid Dolores, Ramsey Skip and Inga Dorenna. I didn’t play house or school with them, my Cabbage Patch Kids were in a band with my friends Cabbage Patch Kid that lived down the street. They had instruments and everything that we made from other toys or household things we found. And the best part was I had a radio that recorded onto blank tapes, yes tapes I’m that old, and we would record us playing with the dolls and switching over to the radio and pretending the music on the radio was our Cabbage Patch band! I still have the tapes. LOL

Describe yourself in 5 words
Organized, sensitive, funny, guarded, and sarcastic. According to my husband my funny and sarcastic are the same thing.

What are your top 3 favorite things to do? (Outside of making polish and filling orders…lol)
I love to cook I’ve often thought about teaching cooking classes at my church. I’m noticing more and more young girls don’t know how to cook and go out to eat for all their meals. I’m also a big fan of TV/Movies, I rather have the TV on then listen to music. A lot of times when I post video on my Instagram I’ll say what’s on in the back ground because you can here it on the video. I also love costuming and sewing, I don’t get to do that much anymore because now all my free time is spent running my business. About 2 years ago my family and I went to Comic Con in Portland Oregon and I made steampunk Alice in Wonderland costumes for everyone, If you go to my Facebook page you can see the costumes there.

When and why did you decide to start a nail polish line?
In August of 2015 I knew my job was moving 2 hours North to Portland and I wasn’t sure when my last day was going to be. On a Friday I was looking on Pinterest at nail polish ideas and found a beautiful color, I clicked on the picture and it took me to someone’s Etsy page and she said that she made hand mixed nail polish. That absolutely blew my mind, I had no idea that was a thing and I had never even heard of “Indie polish” by that weekend I had researched, bought my first start up set of polish making stuff, and was super excited to dive into this world. On Monday I was told that would be my last week of work. After lots of praying and asking God and my husband and some friends what I should do, what I should name the company, how could I be different then every other brand, it literally came to me while I was driving home for the last time from my job. I already knew I wanted to have cats in it some how, I was listening to a Christion song on the radio and thought the name of the song would be a great polish name but I quickly realized that I could get into trouble with copy right laws for stealing someone’s name, but the song was named after a bible verse and I could use the verse as a name. That’s when I got the idea about finding verses that are inspired by the color. And then the name just came to me Inspurrrations! It had all of my favorite things inspiring bible verses, cats and nail polish, and as an added bonus I get to spread Gods word in a fun and nonthreatening way. I was on my way, I officially started my brand on September 15th 2015.

What makes your brand different?
The bible verse, I name each polish after a verse and I tie a tag onto the bottle with the verse on it as well. Most people don’t even realize that there is a bible verse and some people get super excited and search to see if there favorite verse is a color. I’ve had people tell me they save the tag to use as bookmarks in their bible or even tape them to their mirror so they can read it every morning while getting ready.

What is one thing you’re willing to share that your customers would be surprised to know about you?
When I was in my 20’s I was in a renaissance reenactment group called the SCA, that’s were my love for costuming and sewing came from. I also have a degree in Interior Design.

What advice/tips/best practices would you give someone wanting to start their own polish company?
1. Know what your getting into before you start. No matter what it is do a little bit of research. Two months after I started I did a GIANT show in Portland for Christmas, I’d never been to this show and up until this point had only sold at churches or other small venues in my area. This show killed me, both physically and mentally. Everything I had been doing, was not working here, at all, resulting in me losing tons of money. 2. Be open to change. The same event made me realize my display was to much to look at and people were confused by it so on day 3 of this 6 day event I packed up my display and just lay the polish on the table. I thought this was going to be a horrible idea but it turned out for the better I found a display that worked better and was easier for me to haul, set up and take down with out making a ton of trips to the car. 3. And know your worth. Calculate everything that goes into making a bottle of polish but especially your time. Don’t go into business not paying yourself for what you are doing, this is work, this is your job and your business you deserve to get paid for it.

Besides your own, what other brands do you own/wear?
Before my own I only wore Sinful Colors. I still sneak into Walgreens and take pictures and swatch some on a piece of paper so I can try to dupe it. LOL But right now I only ware my brand, you cant advertise to the check out lady, or a coworker if you have someone else on.

What is one of you favorite collections or polishes you created?
All of them have a little special story for me, but probably last summer when my parents came to visit, my mom and I stayed up late inventing colors then spent the next 3 days making, bottling and labeling. It was great having someone to help me but also having her around to talk to, and stay up late gossiping, like we did when I was younger and still living at home.

How did you come up with your company name and logo?
I wanted to use a cat and a bible because they reflected what I was about. I actually found the two pictures separately and combined them my self to design my own logo.

If you weren’t in the indie polish business, what’s another product you would have liked to create?
I had been considering sewing cat and dog toys to sell. Whether you love cats or dogs one thing is for sure, people are crazy for their pets and will spend money on them!

Any spoilers that you care to share about future collections, products, etc?
Yes! If it’s not already out when this gets published my mom has come up with a line of one of a kind nail polish bottle canvas art. She is using Inspurrrations nail polish to hand paint the pictures, they will be posted on my website to purchase and they can be personalize with your name, salon or nail account name.

In 10 words or less, what would be your brand slogan?
“The best little polish you aren’t buying!” At least for now, LOL. I got this from a magazine cover talking bout the show Gilmore Girls years ago, the article went on to say how great the show was but it’s popularity was moving slowly. I feel the same way about my polish, I have a lot of repeat customers and everyone of them tells me how much they love it, how fast it dries, and how chip resistant it is. I’ll get there one day, but for know my popularity is moving slowly. LOL

What do you love most about being an indie polish maker?
Getting to be a “mad scientist” in my kitchen, trying to figure things out especially when trying to dupe colors.

What other brand (just 1) would you like to collaborate with?
No one in particular. I would like to be a part of a combo with wax melts and bath bombs, we all come up with an idea that looks the same, for example blue and purple with glitter. So you can have a treat yourself day, melt the wax in your bathroom, drop in a bath bomb and paint your nails.

Favorite nail art technique?
I am master of none! I just paint my nails and add some sort of glitter topper over it. I would like to be able to stamp and I have several plates, but dang it, if I cant get that stupid stamper to pick up! 

What is your greatest accomplishment to date with your brand?
On St. Patrick’s Day this year, one of my nail polishes was featured in a manicure in Nail it! magazine. That was super exciting for me, I was bummed to find out while I was at work, no one there shared in my excitement, but my family did so that was great.

What is one challenge you’ve faced in business and how did you overcome it?
Living in a small farming community. Our post office is closed on Saturday, most people around here are farmers or gardeners and painting there nails isn’t something they do. So I’ve had to go to shows in much larger cities to get really good sales, and repeat business.

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