A few months ago, an at-home nail art enthusiast named Ashley caught our eye with the stunning nail looks she occasionally sent to our social department’s Nail of the Day (send us one! NOTD@julep.com). She was submitting through Instagram, which gave us the opportunity to peek in on her daily visual musings. You can imagine the squeals around the office when we discovered that she lives here in Seattle.
We love having a chance to get to know our Mavens in person (by the way, know about our holiday popup shop coming to NYC?!), and spending a couple days with Ashley in the Julep office (she pitched in on guest nail tutorials during 10 Days of Tricks-and-Treats on Facebook) was beyond awesome. In addition to being a superb vernisseur, Ashley is a natural beauty — both inside and out. Getting to know her a little bit beyond her c-c-c-crazy cool Instagram feed gave us warm fuzzies that are a testament to our philosophy: Beauty is about connection, not competition.
SO, without further delay, take it away, Ash!
JULEP: When did you start experimenting with home-grown nail art?
ASH: I guess I started about a year and a half ago when I was working as a forensic case manager at an outpatient mental health agency. My coworker and I ran a beauty group titled “nails, not jail” as a means to engage our female clients who were less likely to attend traditional mental health treatment, and this became a space where we could gather to paint our nails, put on make up, chat and just do something to feel good about ourselves. Nail art became a creative outlet for me at home to disconnect from work and has continued to ground me throughout my otherwise hectic professional life.
J: How did you get so darn good at it?
A: Practice, practice, practice! It’s a little embarassing to look back at my first few “mani pics”, but it’s always been such a fun hobby for me regardless of the outcome. Especially when I first started experimenting, I would just try things out then take it off and start all over again for hours on end. Now I generally like the looks I create, but it’s still hard for me to keep a manicure more than a few days before I want to try something new.
J: What was your first Julep color ever? And what color/which colors are your absolute favorites?
A: I think my first color was America the Beautiful. My mom saw Jane Park speak about starting Julep and running a business and received the polish as a sample, which she then passed to me, and started a whole new level of obsession. It’s SO HARD to pick a favorite color and I seem to have a new one every month. However I always come back to a good neutral like Annette and end up scraping the sides all afternoon, having an “I’ll never let go, Jack” Titanic moment when I run out. I may have a few empty bottles in my drawer that I’m still working on getting rid of…
J: Any nail tips/tricks to share with your fellow color-loving sisters?
A: Don’t be afraid of manicure fails! Trying something and realizing how it doesn’t work is one of the best ways to find out what does work, and leads to new and interesting techniques you maybe wouldn’t otherwise discover. I am also a firm believer that pretty much anything in my house can be turned into a nail art tool of some kind; straws, silverware, plastic bags, even cats! Ok, maybe not cats, but they sure do think of themselves as excellent helpers.
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A great nail artist, and a cat lover? She’s our kind of girlfriend.
Thanks for hanging out with us, Ashley! Looking forward to many more nail looks from you in the future.
The Julep Maven team
Have a question for Ash? Got a favorite nail-art enthusiast you love to follow? Let us know, in the comments!