Siána Scott, 31, started her journey of launching BEAU Polish in 2017, dreaming of having her own nail polish brand. Earning her Level 2 nail technician qualification, she quickly realised though that she didn't enjoy it as much as she thought she would, but instead discovered her love for colours.
“I realised that I couldn’t get the crazy colours as a nail tech that I actually wanted,” she says. “I’m just crazy about bold colours and that’s how my brand was born.”
Scott’s mission is to “create colours that make people happy, give them confidence and help them to express themselves by using their hands as a canvas because we might be restricted in other ways”.
She says that the brand, which was eventually created in 2019, is all about love and connection and with each product being 'handmade with love'.
The founder chose ‘BEAU’ for her brand name as it is short for the word 'beautiful', but also relates to the French masculine name of Beau.
“That was intentional,” she says. “Because of the inclusivity that I’m working towards. It’s just a bit of colour on your nails - if you’ve got nails, you can paint your nails. It doesn’t matter how you identify and how you feel about it; it’s always been marketed as a feminine product, which I entirely think should not be the case. And it's starting to change because a lot of celebrities who identify as male are doing it now."
“At the moment, I am building the foundations of creating a brand that I want to elevate to help people in need as much as possible,” she says.
Organisation is key
Scott, who has a background in both product development design and media and communications, is running the business all by herself with the help of her family, who she says have been really supportive.
“My mum helps me tie the little bows onto my products and she comes with me to markets on the weekends,” says Scott. “When I had a really big order, my whole family chipped in and helped me as well, so that was really lovely to have that support.”
When asked how does she cope, Scott, who works full-time in licensing, answers: “I just have to be really organised. I have to make sure that I set myself realistic deadlines because my day job is the one that's currently generating most of my income, so that needs most of my focus. But if I don't have a diary and plan things in, it’s going to fall apart. So it's just all about the planning.”
“If I get to a point where I’m trying to make a decision, I always look at my brand values again and make sure that I’m staying true to them. That’s a key thing for me.”
The founder says BEAU Polish’s values (BESI - Boldness, Equality, Sassiness and Integrity) are an extension of herself and she makes sure that the brand is inclusive from the language it uses to the charities it donates to.
One of the charities Scott donates to is Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline, which is a safe space for people to discuss their sexuality, identity and sexual health as well as their emotional well-being amongst others.
She created the light orange polish with glitter, ‘Love Hue You Are’, using the 1978 Pride flag colours, wanting to make a nail polish that would encompass all of the original six colours. She says it is like “having the pride flag on your fingers and that’s where the idea came from”. Moreover, 50% of each purchase goes towards the Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline.
At the moment, the brand offers over 60 nail polish colours as well as cuticle oils. Scott also added in a ‘Be Who You Are’ whipped soap to further support the charity as she wanted to find another product which everyone could use.
“Unfortunately, people still think that nail polish is for women - but soap is more gender-inclusive if that’s the word we want to use.”
Different skin tone swatches for cruelty-free and vegan-certified nail polishes
In terms of representation, BEAU Polish provides different skin tones for their swatches.
“There are millions and millions of different shades and tones, so I just tried to put on as many skin tones I possible could,” she says.
Scott says the feedback has been positive with people being able to see how a certain colour can look on their skin. She feels that although people are appreciative of this, she needs to do more in that area.
“I’m working on finding people from all different genders to help me with this because I want to be more inclusive,” she says.
Later this month, BEAU Polish nail polishes will be certified vegan by the non-profit organisation 'Vegan-Friendly' along with the formulation being cruelty-free. Scott has also been working on making sure the brand’s carbon footprint is low by sourcing everything locally.
“All my bottles are sourced from the UK, my nail polish suppliers are from the UK and all of my ingredients are from the UK and so is my labelling,” she says. “A few bits are from Amazon, but in terms of how far and wide my ingredients come, it’s not that many miles and it doesn’t come from China.”
All of BEAU Polish’s products are free from harmful ingredients including formaldehyde and fragrance as well as being compliant with UK and EU cosmetic safety laws.
How the colours come to life
“My structure is spring, summer, autumn and winter,” says the founder. “I bring out new colours every season and have a specific theme for each one.”
In spring, you can find soft pastels, neons in the summer and more earthy colours in autumn, while winter is focused on glitters. Scott chooses a theme that’s “kind of trending, but also relevant to me in terms of how I’m feeling about the world” and works with a mood board to swatch colours.
“One of the themes two years ago was Africa and in this case, my younger sister helped me and she did a fantastic job,” she says. “She created the mood board for me to gain a bit of work experience and then she swatched some colours out of it and I made them.”
Last year, she launched the DUSKI collection inspired by her love for retro gaming. Inspired by beach parties and summertime fun, the brand recently revealed five new vibrant polishes, perfect for the warmer weeks ahead.
Starting the business and next steps
Scott says that the hardest part about starting a business by yourself is staying motivated and “not becoming disillusioned with your vision”.
“It’s very easy in the beginning to compare your journey to somebody else’s who is already 25 steps ahead of you and two or three years into their business.”
She stresses the importance of not becoming blindsided by that as well as not being upset when your product isn’t perfect.
On the other hand, she enjoys being able to work for herself and doing whatever she wants.
“(I like) being my own boss, setting my own boundaries, and actually being able to do projects that I am close to and really enjoy,” she says. “At work, you can ask for those projects, or you can get a job with those projects, but it's not as easy as just getting up one day and being like, ‘I'm gonna do this today’. That is the most exciting part for me - I actually get to do what I want.”
Scott is currently looking into getting into a smaller and more niche area. “Gaming is a huge thing for me and I really enjoy it," she says. "So I’m working towards creating products that gamers like."
In the next five years, she would like to expand and have her own studio. She is also looking to work with small, disenfranchised communities and charities. “That’s something I’m looking at - to generate some kind of workshop and teach skills, as many skills as I possibly can, using my business," she says.
“It’s about giving back to the community and just seeing how my business can do that.”