By now just about every nail fiend has come across the ‘hoodratism’ Kidney Stone Ale phenom, so I had to get word from the 23-year-old Nail Jerks x Chipped and Broke creator herself, Lila Robles. I mean literally, getting down to what’s really good in order to have a better sense of Robles intentions. What did I find out? She’s in the nail game to invest in her future. Her art exists as a contribution to nail culture, and you can see why Kid Sister, Chippy Nonstop, and more f*** with her after the jump.
Name Lila Robles
Name of Business Nail Jerks
Location San Jose, CA
When and why did you decide to work in the nail industry?
I loved getting fancy nails forever, but when I came across a t-shirt called NailsDid on MySpace my eyes instantly glued to the screen. It was as if everything that I loved and stood for was captured and silkscreened onto this shirt for me! Patrick Nagel infused ladies with the NailsDid touch and Hoodrat humor. I adored it! Later in that same year I discovered Mama which led me to finding out about M.I.S.S., the ultimate women’s urban culture outlet. This magazine was like no other: it had nails on calendars with sneakers, I was like damnnnn!! I emailed the editor Gabriella asking where I could get these nails done at to look just like theirs and she actually said they had to make them because no other salon wanted to do the outrageous nails they set out to achieve. When I heard that I was like oh my God, I have that same trouble too. When you get your nails done and you want the new new on the nail tip, the salon nail techs get mad. They wither, don’t know what you’re talking about, or they just don’t want to do it. This was a time before nail art really hit its prime. Like now you can go into a good nail salon and ask for what you want but before…it was a whole other ballgame. So I did what any other rational nail lover would do. I went to beauty school and did the manicurist license since it was the fastest.
Do you have a staff or is this all a business run by you?
Currently I do not have a staff, it’s all collectively run by me. Entrepreneur …maybe ;)
I started as an intern for M.I.S.S. and they let me help on their nail calendars. I worked on the calendar until they RIP’ed, maturing in their business and to be frank they had been there, done that, and onto new and better things. But I continued contributing to M.I.S.S. and ended up on the Nailsdid column.
How do you market yourself?
I wanted to do something so I created Nail Jerks a design, photography, nail collective. Nail Jerks brings culture to nails, redefines basic French tip manicures and uses nails as sign language. Nail Jerks is set to bring prints focusing on lifestyles and individuals. I’m gifted in the natural marketing department so it just flows. My work with Nail Jerks comes when inspiration for a print or photo come into place either by client or my own ideas. A lot of people want bling nails and I give it to them. It’s the Hoordatism. The way I market is to effectively communicate with my audience. I like making great visual that attract the eye period. The e online interweb has had a major effect on marketing. You can tap in and access so many people and gather more information faster and bigger then ever. If you’re not using the Internet for marketing or you don’t think that having a Twitter will not impact your business at all then you are totally under a rock. You have so many supporters out there you don’t even know it yet! Sometimes you just start and you invest in your future. When I get paid I’ll let you know.
Has your Tumblr pages performed the way you want it to?
I recently got over 1k notes and even hit Tumblr radar from an Instagram picture I linked to my Tumblr. I obviously do not have 15k followers but thanks to reputable nail gurus that reblogged my post I got there. And now I have more like 1k followers. Hashtags also make a difference.
Who are some of your clients?
I’ve worked on Kid Sister, Chippy Nonstop, Cult of Beauty, M.I.S.S., and various models.
Are you familiar with organic polishes? How hard are those to come across?
Organic polishes? Well I am a Whole Foodie and they do sell nail polish there but I’ve never seen organic.
Who are some of your competitors if any?
If you are doing your own thing then competitors don’t exist.
What does nail art mean to you?
Nail art means nothing but girliness in your own individual way. It is another form of expression and cuteness.
How would you describe success?
Success is when you are doing what you really want, and the creativity never stops, and you are never bored. Success is landing that client, or that gig, or even that stoke of paint in a fathered motion and doing it again and again and the excitement never ends.
What advice would you give to other nail entrepreneurs?
If you’re not bringing anything new to the table, don’t come [where] you aren’t welcomed. But if you want to be a “Nail Entrepreneur” then do it. Why wait? Because some other girl will pick up on a wave and run with your shit in your head and then it’s your loss. Don’t be a sorry ass.
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