Ease back into a plush chair and let your mind wander. Your hands are precious, used daily and abused by dish washing soap, turning doorknobs, handshakes with other movers and shakers and much more.
For most women, getting their nails done is an experience worth carving time out of their day for.
The most time consuming aspect of the experience that requires cognitive thought is choosing the right color. Featuring 14 new, 5-toxin free shades for every occasion, Ariel Terry and Tauaishu Porter have started Breukelen Polished – a new nail polish line bottling “dopeness.”
The 10-year best friend duo’s accidental business is rooted in their love for not only getting their nails done but also their borough.
Trinidadian and Jamaican descendant Terry conceived the idea of starting a nail polish line after completing her degree in Kinesiology at Temple University in 2013 but let it fade away. “I think everyone goes into those life woes of just figuring out what you’re about to do because you can’t find a job, you got loans to pay and you got six months to make it happen,” Terry said. “Knowing entrepreneurs, I was just like I love nail polish, I get my nails done every week. That was my way of decompressing when I was home and I was just like ‘what if I made my own nail polish?’”
Like most other millennials, post-graduate life presents more questions than answers. Weighing the ideas of graduate school, GREs, taking time off and more 24-year-old Terry and Porter entered the realm of entrepreneurship after what was meant to be a typical nail salon visit.
Taken aback by the lavish salons décor, the two first considered the idea of owning their own nail salon in Brooklyn – even going the extra mile of researching nail technician schools.
“Tauaishu and I were at a beauty bar and the seats were decorated with hair dryers. Everything was beauty inspired and so I think I mentioned something about owning a nail salon and she was like ‘yo that would be cool.’ And I said we should really do that and we were both really hype. I was like ‘I’ve been trying to do this, let’s do a nail polish line and save the money up for that and then open up a nail salon.’”
The next couple of months, Terry and Porter — still working their daytime jobs of physical therapy aide and student, respectively — clocked in hours of researching feasible options that adhered to their timeline as well as their pockets.
“The most sensible option was to do our own nail polish line because once we open up the store it’ll be our brand in the store and to start off we’ll be going to other black-owned businesses and see how well it will do in the store,” Porter, of Barbadaian descent, said. “We went as far as Googling a private company and picking out the colors ourselves. As time went on we just came up with the whole concept of Brooklyn and how the nail polish names resonate with Brooklyn.”
Throughout their research process, the duo chose to utilize a third party armed with a vast arsenal of colors. Weeding out the colors that didn’t speak to them, Terry and Porter finally reached a consensus on 14 colors that invoked an emotional response from them. “We chose colors based on who we are, the colors more or less represent us and how we feel when we saw the colors,” Terry said.
After choosing colors, the team tackled another task: nail polish names. Keeping a theme that aligned with Brooklyn, names like “The Bois” — a rich blue with built in sparkle — or “Do or Die” — a lush red — the girls matched colors to prominent names, places, phrases and more that are so Brooklyn. Even down to the name, “Breukelen” is the old Dutch spelling of the borough. “We did some history on Brooklyn’s origins and found out the original spelling derived from the city in Netherlands meaning ‘Broken Land.’ Being two women from different backgrounds on this “broken land” united over the love of the same thing,” Terry said. “And our name colors go right along with the history of Brooklyn over the years.”
Most important to note is that Breukelen Polished boasts being a five-free toxin polish, something most don’t understand or are aware of. Many polishes contains toxins such as dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde. While mainstream brands label themselves as three or four free, Breukelen goes the extra mile of being five.
“Us being five-free is huge. The toxins that you inhale when you put on other nail polish you don’t even know – even seeping into your skin radiating into your body is extremely harmful what the long term effects can do,” Terry said.
“Nowadays people are on this organic craze, people overall are just trying to be healthier. Why not have a healthy nail polish on your nails,” Porter added.
While the polish bottles the mega-borough, Terry and Porter’s wider appeal is to every woman – whether quirky, chic or the Wall Street type frequently on the go.
“Everywhere has a different type of female, there’s not just one female that lives in a neighborhood,” Porter said.
“I think we also feel as though individually we embody those three types of women. We each have those qualities to us and so it wasn’t just one type of trait we wanted to reveal. We wanted to reveal all sides of us,” Terry added.
Aside from making Breukelen Polished just as popular as an OPI or Essie, Terry and Porter ultimately hope to open up their store – preferably in Bedstuy.
Get familiar with the new start-up via their Instagram page @BreukelenPolished and attend their official launch party July 18 at Therapy Wine Bar on Lewis Avenue between Macon and Halsey streets.