‘I quit my 6 figure salaried London job to start my own nail care business’ – My London

A former finance worker is planning to shake up the nail care industry – an industry, which she believes, hasn’t seen any significant developments in over 40 years.

It was back in 1954 that a dentist called Fred Slack accidentally broke his own fingernail, and decided to create an artificial nail from dental acrylic to replace it. Then, in the late 70s, Dr Stuart Nordstrom created the current version of powder and liquid seen in acrylic nails today. Since then, not much has changed.

In the modern-day, as life becomes more hectic, finding the time to get your trusted manicure is becoming harder. That’s why Gina Farran, who was born in Lebanon, decided to leave her six-figure salaried job in the finance sector to shake up the nail care industry. Leaving that money behind and starting your own startup could be a daunting task, but Gina is determined to show why it was the right decision.

Gina grew up in Lebanon surrounded by women who would constantly get their nails done, so she believes she knows what a great manicure looks like. After leaving university at 21 and moving to Elephant and Castle, south east London, to embark on a career in finance, Gina found that finding time to get a manicure on top of her hectic schedule was hard.

READ MORE: ‘I turned down a £200k job and now I run my own award-winning cocktail business’

The 30-year-old told MyLondon : “After I started my career in investment banking, I just could never find the time to get a nail salon. The more I looked into the industry the more I realised that not much had evolved. The nail polish my mum uses and the one I use today are pretty similar. I wasn’t convinced this was the best way to continue.”

After spending five years working in Dubai and London, Gina started to feel burnt out, and was ready for a new challenge. Throughout her time working, she had missed numerous appointments, whether that be at the nail salon, or life in general due to the unpredictable hours of work in the finance sector. This all led to her feeling inspired to start something innovative.

Glaize is toxic-free, cruelty-free and Vegan. It hopes to revolutionise the nail care industry
(Image: Handout)

She said: “I decided to leave my job a couple of months before the pandemic started. Of course, at the time I never knew what was coming but after spending five years in the sector, I couldn’t see myself staying there and knew it wasn’t for me anymore. The only thing that excited me was a startup. Leaving a well-paying job was terrifying but I knew I needed something different.”

After thinking of what was next for her, Gina had a ‘lightbulb moment’ while walking around a park. She wanted to combine her love of a good manicure while also revolutionising the industry.

That is what led to her creating Glaize.

The process is relatively easy. Clean, peel, stick on, file down to your preferred shape
(Image: Handout)

Glaize is the first and only nail care brand in the UK to use state-of-the-art computer vision technology to create custom-fit-stick-on gel nails. The nails are laser cut to the exact shape of someone’s fingers using patented technology, which allows the nails to be fitted at home, rather than in a salon.

“I wanted to create Glaize so you could get a great manicure wherever they are. I wanted to simplify the process of getting a great manicure without needing to get to a nail salon. Current nail colours are reliant on plastic and petrol chemicals – ours are toxic-free, cruelty-free, vegan and kind to the planet”, she continued.

As well as the sustainability in mind, nail artists are able to license their designs to Glaize and receive a commission for every sale made of their designs.

She was tired of missing appointments due to the unpredictability of her hours. Now, she wants to make it easier for everyone to get a great manicure
(Image: Gina Farron)

Another challenge for Gina, and getting Glaize started, was finding the funding. As a female founder, getting venture capital funding is substantially harder than if she was a man. A report by Extended Venture s found that all-male teams received 68.33 per cent of capital funding and only 2.87 per cent of all-female led teams received the same.

Gina said: “As an Arab-female founder raising the money was hard. They are a tiny portion of where the money goes when it comes to startups. Through the pandemic however and mainly over Zoom, we’ve been able to raise over £500,000 of venture capital money.

“It’s a stressful process trying to raise money for a startup as there is a lot of scepticism. It’s also a challenge trying to raise money while running the business. You get a lot of nos before you get a yes.”

Glaize will be releasing 15 colours in a variety of on-trend colours and designs
(Image: Handout)

Gina’s love of manicures, and growing up around women who appreciate the care it takes, is a benefit for her when it comes to Glaize. She believes this gives her an insight into what the customer is looking for as she can relate to the products she’s selling.

She continued: “I think it’s really important when building a business that I need to be a very big user of the product. If not, that means I can’t add value to it.

“I’m poorer now than I was two years ago but I felt like this was something worth doing – I’m a big believer in breaking life into chapters. I’ve had the chapter where I worked in banking for five years but I wasn’t happy or fulfilled.

“Now I’ve got this chapter building Glaize. I’ve poured my heart and soul into it but if it doesn’t go well I will pick myself up.”

Glaize hopes to launch on March 1 and orders of the sets are £13.

I’m Ayokunle (Ayo to most) and I’m a Community Reporter at MyLondon covering community stories around London and positive human stories. I started in October 2021 and since then I’ve covered a range of topics spanning all of London.

Three stories in the last month that I’m particularly proud of are:

I was born and raised in Hackney and I came back from living in Sydney, Australia in 2020 which was a positive but stressful experience (Due to Covid). I do love London but as you can see, I needed to get out after being here for so long and the grey skies.

You can contact me at [email protected]

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Source: https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/i-quit-high-flying-london-23127103

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