Interviews

Five Minutes With: Nail guru and entrepreneur Samantha Sweet

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Nail guru and mumtrepreneur Samantha Sweet of beauty distribution company Sweet Squared has worked with everyone from Alexander McQueen to Louis Vuitton. Here Samantha tells The Beauty Inbox the secrets to her success.

On getting into the beauty business
I left home for four years and lived in Florida. When I eventually made it back to Yorkshire, my mum was desperate for me to stay so offered me a job in her nail salon. Nails were still a really new treatment then (early Nineties) but my mum was a pioneer of nail enhancements. She figured if she got me working for her I’d stay – and I did! That’s was my foray into nails.

On the idea for her company Sweet Squared
My parents’ originally had a company Designer Nails in the mid-Eighties. Later, my husband Sam and I started Sweet Squared and won the CND contract. Since 2007, we have literally worked night and day to create what is now a multi award-winning distribution company.

On her top nail products
Easy! CND Shellac - it changed my nails for the better. My own nails are naturally long and almond in shape. They simply wouldn’t be the way they are if Shellac hadn’t been invented. It changed the industry. Also SolarOil – it’s the best natural nail oil in the world for conditioning and hydrating nails.

On working backstage at London Fashion Week
It’s crazy! There are a lot of egos backstage. You may have 31 models with 31 different looks and it’s our job to make sure that the correct look is matched to the correct model (who all arrive at different times from different shows).  It’s tough! But we get it done every time – for 10 minutes on the catwalk! It’s OTT but a whole lot of fun. And we are creating the next season’s must-have nail styles.

On her most memorable campaign
Alexander McQueen was breathtaking and magnificent; Louis Vuitton in Paris was chic; Moschino in Milan was artistically before its time. Now we are working with this crazy talented fashion duo Vin & Omi. I adore them. Working with people like that elevates us and makes us more creative – they’re like artistic mentors.

On the 2016 nail trends
We are seeing a return to that short ‘active length’ in bright fuchsias, greens and blues and classy tapered almond nail shapes in summer pastels.

On her proudest achievement 
Winning the CND contract and growing S2 with my husband and our team. Creating two beautiful, smart, kind boys and finally, marrying Sam. It’ll be 17 years in two weeks – he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

On the best advice she’s ever been given
Don’t believe the hype! So many in our industry turn into ego-monsters, becoming divas and demanding – but why?  Because they won a nail competition or two?  People need keep it real – we do nails. It’s not rocket science.

On advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs
Believe in your whole heart that you can do what you see in your head. Have a great mentor and team around you. Be prepared to forgive and move on – do not hold grudges (it’s truly bad for your health). Be thankful for everything you have. Finally, don’t ever neglect family!

- as told to TBI

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