The Woman Behind the Color — Sera

by Emily R | 0 comments

A few months ago an email came in to our Julep Beauty Advisors and quickly went “viral” around Julep HQ. The office got a little bit quiet (a feat for us–believe me) as computer screens across the room displayed the same thing: A letter from a woman named Sera. There’s no way to properly summarize Sera’s letter, so here it is in its entirety (note: settle in, and grab the Kleenex).


Subject: One sunny day…

Because of how much I love being a Maven, I wanted to tell you a little story about how a simple product, like nail polish, could be at the center of a very treasured moment.

I am pretty much home-ridden due to medical problems and have had to let a great deal of things go in my life. I had to give up a career, traveling, and most of my hobbies and interests. When I found Julep, I found a way to reconnect with that strong personality I have inside me, and I am able to express myself in a simple and yet profound way. Getting the emails and deliveries lifts me up so much, I feel reconnected and I am able once more to be a vibrant member of a sisterhood of fashionable, beautiful women.

The most touching example of what Julep means to me happened very recently. I learned that an 86-year-old friend of the family had never had a manicure in all her life, so I packed up my extensive Julep tools and went to her house. I gave her my best amateur manicure, with all the trimmings and trappings. She was elated to see a colour with her name on it (Donna)! I was forbidden from putting it on her fingers (I have yet to meet a woman over sixty who can be coaxed into blue fingers…..don’t ask me, I don’t get it). So she let me put Donna on her toes and picked Joy for her fingers.

For me, the afternoon was a lovely link in a chain of memories. For her, it was a way to be appreciated and pampered, and to appreciate the connectivity of women.

Donna passed away 11 days later. What struck me then, and still, is that I was able to give her something precious, and yet it turned into a treasure for me.

At her wake, I learned that the day after our lovely afternoon Donna was rushed to the hospital. The nurses removed her jewelry, makeup, and attempted to take off her nail colour–but she refused. Refused! She told them it was her first manicure and she was never taking it off.

I realized that what we as women can share with each other is a vast and precious thing. Something as simple as a manicure, or a nail polish with your name on it can be imbued with so much meaning, power, and dignity. What Donna was trying to preserve wasn’t really her manicure, but our togetherness.

I approached the casket to bid my friend farewell. I saw her hands crossed over one another, and there were those Joy covered nails. I know her toes were still her namesake Donna. I like to think of her taking that experience and those two beautiful colours into eternity with her, as bittersweet as it is.

Julep was an integral part of the experience that we shared on that sunny summer afternoon. Thank you for that, and all that you do.

Miss Sera H

Is there something in your eye? Yeah, ours too.

The emails started flying around Julep. “Do we write her back?” “Can we make a Sera?” “What color would she be?”

I’ve been lucky to share an email exchange with Sera over the last few months. She’s funny (like, super funny, re-read-her-emails funny), warm, open, curious, passionate about equality and social justice, in love with a terrific man (12 years strong!), and unshakably optimistic in the face of life-altering circumstances that robbed her of her career (police officer), and personal passions (gardening, volunteering, and so much more).

Sera & Brent

Sera & Brent

She’s an amazing woman. And we are stoked to present this color in her honor.

Beautiful Sera--June 2014 "Three Wishes" Collection

Beautiful Sera–June 2014 “Three Wishes” Collection

Dear Miss Sera:
Thank you soooo much for reaching out to us with your story. True beauty is in connection, and when amazing women like you allow us a peek into your life, into your connections, it gives us a good reason to hit “pause” and connect/reconnect with each other, and with what we do here. We LOVE having you as a Maven. You help make our hard work worthwhile!

Oh, and remember how you said Jean Harlow would be a great name for a metallic polish? You were totally right. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

We’re proud of your gorgeous color, and hope you love it like we do.
Team Julep
p.s. the early reviews are stellar!