Spurred by Covid-19 lockdowns, many have turned to social media and YouTube videos to perfect their DIY beauty treatments at home. And the nail art industry hasn’t been an exception. From amateurs looking to increase their Instagram following to those starting their own online nail-art tutorials, the online nail industry is thriving.
When Russian nail educator and influencer April Ryan decided to create a fake copy of her hands to use in social media videos, she had no idea it would be her first step to becoming a millionaire. Three years after launching her first pair of silicone hands, her nail business Red Iguana hit $3 million in sales and is on course to reach $5 million in 2022.
Starting from a concern about the impact of overexposure to Ultraviolet light from lamps used to harden polish, April’s silicone hands have changed how training is done in the nail-art industry. So how has April become such a force? Here are the three key pieces of wisdom April says changed her life.
Forge Your Own Path
When it comes to making your own way, April believes that perseverance and action garner results.“I recommend that anybody who has a dream stop thinking and start working on it right now,” she says. “Start to educate yourself and find information on how to get started. Look at government websites to learn about setting up a business and search for online tutorials about what you want to do.”
Born in a tiny Russian town that didn’t even have a beauty school, April worked her way up to eventually own a chain of three nail salons. A mixture of determination and talent helped her become a pioneer and set a trend in the American beauty industry. She leveraged opportunities and resources to educate herself, create credentials and take action to make her dream a reality.
In 2014, she decided she wanted something bigger. Despite her zero-level English, April’s expertise in nail artistry landed her a job in a salon in Beverly Hills. During her downtime, she took to social media like a cyber native, capturing a community of professional nail technicians and amateurs. Her endorsement was consequential, and soon she was building a business that is today on course for serious international success.
Improve An Existing Industry
As a nail-art expert, April was not impressed with the training hands on the market. In her view, they were not aesthetically pleasing and of poor quality. The initial concern arrived when she had to make five Instagram videos a day using her hands to display different products. Many nail products require the use of Ultraviolet light which with overexposure could be damaging to the skin.
April decided she would make a copy of her own hands to use in the videos. Research and development to create a prototype led her to a high-quality producer in Los Angeles. Six months later, April had a set of silicone hands that perfectly mimicked her own and changed how the training process is done for the rest of the nail beauty industry.
“Innovation is a huge part of making it in the business world. After all, no industry is already perfect. As such, whatever is your niche, analyze its existing processes and find areas for improvement,” April advises.
Build A Community
While Red Iguana grows at a clip with hundreds of products, April has deployed her extensive experience as an influencer to promote her company – which has over 400,000 Instagram followers.
April has harnessed social media to her advantage. When it comes to building an online community, she emphasizes the importance of trust. “I worked with companies producing a range of nail products, and I would try them all. I would not promote a product that I didn’t consider good. I only endorsed the best products so my followers trust me,” April added.
It was 2018, and with her social media community to promote her product, demand for her silicone hands went through the roof. Red Iguana silicone training hands and fingers are now distributed in five countries and have become the hottest item in the world of nail art.
Getting Things Right
Overcoming the challenges of growing up in a small Russian town, April stands as an inspiration. She has grabbed every opportunity that has come her way to build a successful business. Today, she participates in expos and various educational activities to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. “I believe there’s always a piece of the market to take,” she says. “You will always have your piece of cake. You can always be the best at what you do, even if you’re not the first.”