As the coronavirus outbreak shuttered nail salons across the country, nail products—much like coveted grocery store items—flew off store shelves. Polish removers, dip kits and even UV nail dryers have seen an increase in sales over the past two months.
Rather than making frequent stops at the salon, manicures and pedicures are now being held at home, possibly for the first time for many. That’s where Manassas-based nail company Peppi Gel comes in, co-founded by Tiffany Sisouphonh and Megan Merkosky.
The four-year-old company specializes in at-home dip nails and nail kits, selling everything from neutral dip colors such as “satin sheets” to glittery, stand-out shades like “Hott Mess Express.”
“The pandemic for us came with a lot of responsibilities that we weren’t prepared for as a company and individually,” says Sisouphonh. “Due to salons closing and women wanting to keep their nails colored, this gave us an unexpected increase in revenue that our Peppi team was really unprepared for.”
But it was good news overall, allowing the company to reach more at-home nail painters, selling a new line of spring colors and providing five new positions at the company, with the opportunity for growth.
“We love a good learning experience to help us grow and evolve into a company women would be proud to be a part of,” says Sisouphonh.
We caught up with the co-founder to discuss her tips for treating yourself to manicures and pedicures at home and more. Highlights from our conversation are below.
In addition to adding five new job opportunities at the company and increased revenue, how has the company navigated these uncharted waters?
We have been able to provide care packages to some of our “Peppi Babes” (Peppi Gel’s fans) on the front lines of the pandemic. We have been able to host a positive community for our Peppi Babes to enjoy and share their passion with other women. Our social media platforms have grown, which is amazing, most especially for our Facebook group where everyone can share their Peppi nails, talk nails and learn from one another. Overall, it has been a learning curve for us to work through, but we are grateful at the end of each day.
What would be your advice for those looking to do their nails at home, especially beginners?
Since salons have closed, we would say a large percentage of women are doing their own nails, even for their first time. Our best starting advice for Peppi Gel is to watch our tutorials. There are so many tips and tricks and to see them visually is a huge help for most. We do weekly Facebook Live tutorials so every Peppi Babe can hop on and learn how to perfect their Peppi nails.
We have so many tips, but our best ones are:
- Take your time. This is your time to relax and do something for yourself.
- Have good lighting. The better you can see, the better your applications will be.
- Watch our tutorials and join us weekly on Tuesdays streaming on Facebook Live to ask questions.
- Most importantly, just have fun!
What makes Peppi Gel polish fun to use, and especially a fun way to treat yourself during the global pandemic?
Peppi Gel is so much fun! Being able to be in the comfort of your own home and expressing your creativity through your nails is just a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Not to mention, it’s very cost effective. Each manicure (or as we call it, Peppicure), breaks down to about $2 each. So if you mess up, no biggie. You can do them again without spending $50-plus at a salon.
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Did you see the new colors we released last week?!? They are all a MUST have, but if you could only pick one, which one would you add to your collection? 💅 . . #PeppiGel #PeppiBabe #Vegan #DIYNails . . . . #DipPowderNails #DipNails #DippingPowderNails #DipPowder #NailInspo #FreshMani #Nails #NailDesigns #AtHomeMani #NotPolish #CuteNails #VeganPolish #NailsLove #IDoMyOwnNails #DIYNails #NailItDaily #AtHomeMani #Nailfie #NoDryTime #NailBoss #IDoMyOwnNails #Nailfies #PinkNails #NailQuotes #DipPowderSystem #PurpleNails
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Peppi Gel released a new line of colors for the spring season. What do you love about them?
We recently released 13 new colors that are just stunning. We have so much fun with color releases. We like to do naming contests and have Peppi Babes name our colors. We love this because it is a way to add a bit of everybody’s style and personalities into the brand. It is important to us to include them. We have more upcoming colors releasing soon that we are overly excited about as well.
What’s been the best part of owning and operating Peppi Gel at this time, and having the community of fans who use the products?
The best part for us is just being involved in something so positive. At the end of the day, happiness is what matters to us, and for some women that means pretty nails, which we can relate to. It’s really cool to be a part of something like that.
Is there anything else readers should know about mani/pedis at home, self-care or Peppi Gel at this time?
Doing your own nails at home does come with a learning curve. Just remember to take your time and that by doing this, you are investing in yourself. The best nail compliments come with the response, “I did them myself!” It’s truly a great feeling of pride.
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