The perfect spooky chic nail polish and the creators who made it happen
Oct 12, 2023 – minute read
Oct 12, 2023 – minute read
On a sunny September morning, an old FedEx truck rolled down the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina to make some stops around town. Sound pretty mundane? There’s a catch. This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill truck and it didn’t deliver just any old packages. Painted black, covered in bats and decorated with holographic foil, this custom nail polish truck was created to kick off an iconic collaboration between two longtime YouTube creators, entrepreneurs and friends – Cristine of Simply Nailogical and Safiya Nygaard. They teamed up to launch a spooky chic limited edition collection of Holo Taco nail polishes just in time for Halloween and we’re holo ‘bout it!
Cristine launched her incredibly successful nail polish brand, Holo Taco, in 2019 and in many ways, it’s gone on to surpass traditional companies. That’s what makes this product collab so special — it’s truly planned, built and managed by two creators! After more than a year of mood boards, color palettes, team meetings, and product development, Cristine and Safiya came up with five nail polishes that perfectly combine Cristine’s holographic expertise with Safiya’s gothic aesthetic.
To celebrate the launch and help promote female entrepreneurs on YouTube, the YouTube Shopping team brought together 50 creator/entrepreneurs for a special fireside chat where Cristine and Safiya dove into how this collab came about, what the process was like, and why connection tops marketing. Here’s what they had to say.
Safiya: I would say for me it's a lot about the product itself. Does the product itself make sense? Do I have a good idea? Do I trust that person to make a product? For Holo Taco, my team and I knew that Ben and Cristine really emphasize quality. The product’s really good, the audience thinks the product is amazing, and so there was no issue. They've already experienced all of the customer service situations and they know how to deal with them. Also, Cristine understands the creator perspective and the pressure of having someone come to you directly when they’re unhappy with their order. You know what I mean?
Cristine: I totally hear you, and I think that's such a good cautionary tale to anyone who's collaborating with any brand or starting your own brand and dealing with manufacturers. As a content creator, your customer base is your audience, so it's really important that you make sure you're working with someone that you trust.
Safiya: We first started cooking up the idea when I visited Cristine in Ottawa a little over a year ago. She was showing me what they had coming up for Holo Taco and we were looking at Pantone swatches and painters booklets and stuff like that. We talked about a general idea and concept for a collection, which then gave us a basis to start just throwing spaghetti at the wall and talk through if we wanted this kind of color or that kind of color. From there, we started looking at prototypes.
Cristine: With Safiya, it was really easy to zone in on a color palette, general vibe and concepts, because you kind of had these ideas for what you wanted. What was really great about collaborating with you was that you have such core concepts in your creative content and you have these historical moments that your audience loves that we could add to the product.
Cristine: Anytime we launch a special collection, we make the packaging really exciting so that people get that full experience and then it becomes a collectible. With Safiya's box, it was really important for us to make that iconic keepsake that people are going to want to put on their bookshelves. It looks like a book — which is just totally very key to her gothic-esque branding — but we went through many prototypes for other ideas and options like a giant bat flap or recessed panel.
Safiya: We do a lot of naming of things just in content. We make a different color or a different thing and have to decide what to call it. Usually we just throw out names, but it's a little different when you're asking someone to purchase the name. I didn't come into it knowing what I wanted to call everything — except for potentially Brucie, which is a name that we've used in the past for a similar teal color. For example with our cool gray jelly polish, we had a few ideas and were between R.I.P. Bestie, Grim Keeper, Ghoulie Ghoul and Spirit Fingers.
Safiya: I think that our audience has definitely learned to expect the unexpected, so when they see we built a nail polish truck, they're like, “Okay, sure, let's watch it!” I think that that makes it a little more special and also makes it exciting for us, like “Oh, remember when we did that collab and then we drove that nail polish truck around and now we have that nail polish truck?”
Cristine: And it wasn't just a photo shoot and then leave situation! We actually did a meetup with over a thousand people and the line was there until 11:00 PM. It was just the two of us in the truck because there’s only two seats, so Safiya actually drove it to the meet up locations. I think the experience was powerful, not just for marketing reasons, but also for making the customer feel more connected. Even if you didn’t come because it was in Raleigh and maybe you live on the other side of the world, you got to see some of the other audience members who did and watch the launch video and feel like you’re a part of the experience.