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Rising Stars: Meet Michelle Robinson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Robinson.

Hi Michelle, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
After my mom’s experience with cancer and radiation, we learned about cancer fueling toxins found in a product we use weekly-NAIL POLISH. I became inspired to incorporate my love for research, my healthcare and education experience, and my love for serving others into providing healthier nail polish. Coupled with a desire to create a successful business legacy business; “DEMIblue” was born.

It has become my mission to provide education through the offering of my nail polish products and healthy manicures. I aspire to contribute to my community in a way that empowers healthy lifestyle practices and saw a significant need in the nail care industry.

In recent years, we have been warned to avoid the “Toxic Trio” when using cosmetic products. These ingredients include Formaldehyde, Toluene, and Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP).

Formaldehyde, used as a hardening agent in nail polish, is a well-known carcinogen, while toluene is used to create a smooth finish and DBP is used to create a chip-free coat, have both been linked to developmental defects.

DEMIblue is a 10-Free nail polish product that has eliminated the “Toxic Trio” along with Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide, Triphenyl Phosphate, Acetone, Parabens, Fragrances, Animal-Derived products & Phthalates. Ours is a Vegan-Friendly formulation.

DEMIblue vegan-friendly and is a call-to-action, catering to health-conscious customers seeking a healthier alternative to conventional nail polish products. Our collection includes 24 alluring nail polish colors and a complete line of nail treatments that range from nail strengtheners, tops coats, base coats, deep nutrition products, cuticle and nail oil pens and a Soy-based non-acetone nail polish remover. Each enriched with vitamins and nutrients that promote natural nail health and growth.

We also offer a complete collection of vegan-friendly nail polishes specially designed for little girls. “DEMIblue” For Girls is a 10-free formulation and offered with the safety of your little ones in mind.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Starting my business was by far not an easy journey. I sacrificed a lot of time and money to bring my brand to life. I worked through losing my primary source of income working in the field of education when the company I worked for abruptly closed their doors. I often felt like giving up on my goals when times became rough. I also battled the misconception in the nail industry that often claims clients cannot have healthy natural nails without the use of enhancements; however, I knew the vision I had was far bigger than my personal problems and any myths created by the nail industry. My products and services are validated by a health-conscious community seeking change.

I would advise anyone who is starting their own business to continuously remind themselves of their WHY? This has helped me stay intentional in my efforts towards a successful business. One should surround themselves with like-minded individuals for moral and professional support, create SMART and SHARP goals, and Keep going!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
DEMIblue reflects a love for my family, tradition, legacy and community. The brand was inspired by my mom’s personal experience with cancer and radiation; however, the name of my business was inspired by my granddaughter, “DEMI” and my favorite color “blue”. I wanted to ensure that not only could my mom and women who were seeking healthier nail polish products could obtain them but also that my daughters and granddaughter did not have to worry about the toxins found in other brands and had a better option in DEMIblue.

One of the things that set my business and brand apart from others, especially in the nail industry, is that we are invested in the community, near and far. Not only do we sell products and offer services to customers, but we invite the community into our decision-making practices through the development of focus group events, networking events and customer surveys. We allow women, men, and children to collaboratively provide input into the products and services we offer. We host focus groups in the efforts to collectively name the colors of our nail polish products and experience salon-like services prior to their roll-out.

We give back to our community by providing FREE mobile manicures twice a year to women who have undergone and completed radiation treatments. We partner with organizations and businesses to offer on sites manicures to increase our presence in the community as an advocate for health and self-care. NOW WHAT NAIL SALON DOES THAT?

In 2018, we were featured in the Christian print publications of eLations Magazine and was an on-air featured business. We had our first live on-air presence on Fox 2 News and was highlighted in the Fall edition of Swing Magazine’s – Ultimate Guide to Beauty in St. Louis.

In 2019, we were featured again on Fox 2 News, we were honored to share our “WHY” on one of St. Louis popular Podcast – “Testimonial Tuesdays” with JpCEO and 92.9FM radio. We hosted a featured segment with the “Real JR” and Bubbling Brown Sugar from 99.5FM Radio and served as an Entrepreneurial Mentor for the TeachHer Initiative founded by St. Louis Public School’s Educator and advocate Tammy LaChelle Robinson. We were featured vendors and presenters at over 35 St. Louis and Atlanta Summits, Workshops, and Expos and are expanding our brand into Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 2020, we were winning founders of the UMSL DEI Accelerator, awarding our brand with a $50K non-dilutive grant. We were winners of the Beauty Brand Award of the year – Detriot and were featured on Tabitha Browns “Very Good Monday” with our Soy remover and best-selling Vegan-Friendly Nail polish. We continue to be featured in multiple print publications and podcast.

How do you define success?
For me, success is seeing what God’s purpose for me manifest. Being able to see my vision come to life and impact those it is intended to. Breaking the generational curse of financial instability and creating legacy in business and family.

Pricing:

  • Nail Polish $15
  • Nail Strengthener $12
  • Deep Nutrition Nail Treatment $15
  • Top Coat $10
  • Hydrating Base Coat $15

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Head Shot images: Miranda Munguia Nail Swatches: Shae Banks and Neeles Nails Product Photos: DanaLynn Photography

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