Follow Paul Hickey in his creative journey
We often wonder what kind of people creators are. What do you need to step out of your comfort zone, leave the warmth of your corporate environment and start something new, immensely satisfying, often challenging, without the safety net of a monthly salary or a supervisor to approve your decisions. Well, that is where creation starts, and creativity flows.
Not everybody can afford to give up a well-paid job to just go and invent things, and some doesn't want or need to. Creators are working with Hubbe.rs who, besides a profession, or a full-time job have found something exciting and decided to make it happen.
1. An at home nail revolution
We met with Paul, and I could not hide my excitement over his invention-in-progress. For quite a while, Paul wanted to shake up the way women do their nails, more explicitly, having an almost infinite number of options from just one machine. Paint your nails for a Friday night? Why not match your nails with your dress? The office can't handle you turning up with neon pink nails on Monday morning? No worries, tone it down and in a minute create the perfect match for your corporate outfit.
There might be a few men reading this post and not finding the real depth of the genius of this, but I can guarantee, women will, and they will say absolutely love this idea.
And when we look at a business model that promises to make teenagers, moms, and grannies equally pull out their wallets, we are down to a promising business!
2. Let's find out about the beginnings!
UK born Paul is currently the head of digital at a PR & marketing agency. He is talented, passionate and loves what he does for a living. The idea of creating this fun nail polish project came to him a few years ago. He felt intrigued and saw not only the business opportunity in it but also the purely fun, playful side too.
3. We asked him how he started his project!
Living in China makes things more accessible because here we can experiment, test, and most probably find a factory where something similar has been made already. Searching for quality versus a price point is essential because my creation is targeting everyday women, more towards teenagers and young adults, but as well as the grownup crowd looking for a quick nail makeover for a special occasion or event. I want to create a machine for my color mixing that is affordable to people.
4. Why nail polish? Do you use it?
Apart from testing the quality and color of the nail polishes, I don't wear them. I had this long-time fascination with nail polish because I know that customization is a growing trend in all industries and the prevalence of nail polish creates a huge market opportunity. Even in today's China, it’s an affordable luxury that makes a difference in a woman's appearance. My idea started to formulate when I became conscious of this phenomenon. From that point onward I delved into details and found interest and passion for this topic.
5. How do you validate what you are doing?
Well, my friends and their friends are my best guinea pigs. I create for them. I test their taste; I buy piles of nail polishes: various colors, shades, with sparkles, shiny, matt, gel, regular, different price points, size of bottles...etc. You name it; I test them all. I research, I dig information about major brands, I follow their marketing campaigns. It is evident that the potential and demand is out there, it’s just about creating a brand and product that’s positioned correctly in the market.
6. What unique selling point you chose to have for this product?
First of all, I would like to create something that is new and different. An average woman owns over 20 bottles of nail polish. Those colors have an average 12 months shelf-life, although people often disregard that and use it longer. However, in most cases, the shelf-life is aligned with the time until the quality of the nail polish remains high enough to use.
Extreme weather conditions such as 40 degrees in the summer don't do much good for any beauty products, and nail polish isn't an exception either. People also get bored using the same color over and over again, unless it is the mandatory office nude, China red for special occasions or a holiday pink. There are many colors to try, but ladies don't really want to use them on a weekly basis. Those bottles never get finished, they throw them out at the next spring cleaning and probably will buy a similar shade for the upcoming Halloween, New Year's Eve or other various parties and occasions.
The second point is to make something that creates less waste. My idea is to only produce enough nail polish for one usage plus corrections. This way there is no need to pile up unused bottles or put unwanted, expired nail polish regularly in the bin.
The last unique point, and potentially the most important, is to create a community. I have many ideas that I think will help me win at this, but they are, for now, a secret.
Paul went through hubbe.rs product launcher to help him see what he still needs to do and Paul is now builing his action plan with hubbe.rs expert market place.