GingerKittyDesigns Interview – Nail Polish Jewellery Creator

By Inspirationail

Tracey Barker GingerKittyDesignWebsite & Places you can find my work online
Etsy Store: GingerKittyDesigns
Facebook: Gingerkittydesigns
Twitter: @gingerkittyd
Flickr: GingerKittyDesigns Photostream
Facebook store: Anything Goes

Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I am the grateful child of an AirForce veteran and a breast cancer survivor. I have been happily married for 12 years and am the proud mother of two wonderful boys, Ryan (10) and Dylan (7). My day job is working as a financial controller in the manufacturing field and I design my jewelry at night.
I have always love anything related to nail polish, cosmetics and fashion. For this reason, I have amassed a collection of over 300 bottles of nail polish.

Pendant - Essie Starry, Starry Night

I have enjoyed custom designing my nail polishes pieces for my customers, to match a special dress, prom gown or bridal parties gowns.

The only drawback is that I do not have access to all polish lines here in Rhode Island and I can not afford to purchase entire collections of polish. I try and select the polishes I think my customers will like the best from new collections.

Where are you located?
I am located in beautiful Warwick, Rhode Island, where I have lived almost all of my life. The state of Rhode Island (the Ocean State) is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay and we have sandy beaches and can drive to get lobster and crab straight off the fisherman’s boat.

GingerKittyDesigns Logo

You have a day job in finance so where/ how did you learn to make jewelry?
Many years ago, I decided to learn how to make jewelry as a way to hand-craft Christmas presents for my boys school teachers and daycare providers. I bought a few jewelry design books and once I started designing. I seemed to have a natural talent for it and I have never stopped designing. Several of the teachers I had made gifts for approached me and asked if they could buy some of my jewelry as presents. This was the start of Ginger Kitty Designs.

How long have you been making jewellery from nail varnish?
I invented the idea many years ago and spent quite awhile perfecting the idea. Once I established myself as a jewelry designer, I set out to combine my love for jewelry design and nail polish.

After hearing for years, online nail polish lovers describe nail polish as “jewel-toned” it occurred to me that maybe I could find a way to encapsulate nail polish inside jewelry.

nail polish jewellery

Where were you the moment you thought “Eureka! I’m going to make jewelry out of nail polish”?
I was giving myself a manicure one day, before going to a party with my husband and I keep thinking, “what jewelry am I going to wear with this outfit?” I kept thinking, “I wish I had jewelry to match this amazing nail polish I was applying and then I thought hmmmmm. The next day I started on my quest to turn the idea into a reality.

Most people do not know that the idea almost did not happen, originally the idea failed miserably. Nail polish reacts very strangely to any chemical and after many attempts I scraped the idea and put the project aside.

One day my oldest son Ryan and I were working on a project for school and he said “Mommy, what if we flipped it over and did it backwards” and it dawned on me that I had approached the nail polish project from the wrong angle.

Due to my day job within the manufacturing field, I am lucky to have vendors at my disposal that would not be available to anyone else.

Ginger Kitty Designs

I went back to the drawing board, worked with a local vendor and came up with a compound that did not alter or destroy the nail polish and my nail polish jewelry line was born.

Once you had pieces to sell, what did you have to do to get them on the market?
At first, I sold the pieces to friends and family. At the time, I belonged to a nail polish forum and I had shown the members pictures, received feedback and sold to the pieces in private sales. Once I had many successful private sales, I launched my Etsy store in January of 2009.

You have had a love of nail polish since childhood, did you ever see yourself earning an income from it?
I have such fond memories of sitting with my grandmother and filing her nails and applying polish for her. No, never did I ever think that I would ever earn an income this way.

Who knew that an obsession with all the pretty colored nail polishes would turn into an idea and then later become a business.

Ginger Kitty Designs

What was the first item you sold?
The first nail polish necklace I ever sold was for a friend’s daughter who couldn’t find a piece of jewelry that complemented her prom gown. She had the dress, shoes and nail polish all pick out – but no jewelry. She loved my other pieces and asked me to use the nail polish she planned on wearing to the prom and make a necklace. It was a huge hit and soon after I started receiving sales from other girls asking me to use a certain polish for them. Afterwards, I started to branch out into making rings, earrings and coming soon…..bracelets.

How many pieces have you made so far?
Oh wow, I have sold around 350 pieces and I have made hundred and hundreds more over the years. Now that I have expanded the line, the sky is the limit.

GingerKittyDesignsYou have been featured in August issue of Nails magazine, Congratulations. Where would you like to see GingerKittyDesigns in 2 years from now?
Thank you! It was a true honor to featured in Nails Magazine. I must admit that I have already far exceeded all of my original goals I had set for myself so I am shooting for the stars now.
I would love to see my pieces:

  • being worn on the cover of a magazine to accentuate a wonderful manicure
  • being worn by a famous celebrity
  • to have a piece of mine go down the runway at fashion week
  • have my pieces carried in many salons/ stores worldwide

    How long does it take to make an item from start to finish?
    The process actually takes a lot longer than you would think. The pieces I made for your company take approximately 5-6 days from start to finished product.

    GingerKittyDesigns water marble jewellery

    The pieces are “cured” twice during the production process.

    Who would you most like to make a piece of jewelry for?
    A celebrity! My dream would be to custom craft a piece of jewelry to match a beautiful outfit for a celebrity. I would love to see one of my large water marbled nail polish rings worn by Victoria Beckham, Rihanna, Keshia Cole, Chloe Sevigny, Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries), Drew Barrymore & Christine Bleakley.

    How do you use the Internet in conjunction with your nail business?
    I currently have my Etsy store online, I use Facebook and Twitter to market my jewelry line as well. I usually custom craft pieces to giveaway in contests for nail bloggers as well.

    Do you ship globally?
    Absolutely! I have customers in Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Hong Kong, Netherlands, India, Indonesia, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway


    What nail blogs do you follow?
    There are so many fabulous ones out there! To name a few of my favorites: All Lacquered Up, Scrangie, Polish or Perish, Vampy Varnish, LacquerLaine and Steph’s Closet (in no particular order).

    Where do you get your inspiration from?
    Now that I have released my new water marbled line of jewelry, I find myself looking at fabrics, colors in nature, magazine covers, fashion and of course new collections of nail polish for inspiration.

    I recently have been to a farm with my boys and I saw this amazingly beautiful peacock. My sons were collecting the feathers from the ground and I could not stop staring at the wonderful colors…purple, green, blue and yellowish orange. That will be the next piece I make because I can’t stop thinking about the color combination.

    What else are you passionate about?
    Beside jewelry design, my other passions include fashion, cosmetics, reading, art and crafts and my family of course.
    I can usually be found on a baseball field cheering for my boys. (I am the really loud one cheering) My boys are both wonderful players and each of them made it onto an All-Star team this year.


    Many Thanks

    Thanks to Tracey for answering our questions, sharing a little more about GingerKittyDesigns & a special thanks for the custom items she made for Inspirationail. We wish her good luck in launching her line of bracelets and hope to see GingerKittyDesigns on a celebrity near you soon.
    If you would like your salon to carry the line, email Tracey directly gingerkittydesigns [at] for more information on her discounted salon prices.

    Stay tuned for more interesting interviews with other fun & fearless members of the nail industry.

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