It isn’t just the polish names that are Pure Michigan-inspired — Northern Nail Polish is all about environmental responsibility.
TRAVERSE CITY, MI — Michiganders take pride in their appearance. The state has been abuzz for weeks now about if and when beauty parlors, barbershops and nail salons will reopen as Michigan re-engages the economy.
But ‘Ganders don’t need to wait for nail salons to start filling up their foot baths again to get a fresh set.
And one Michigan woman had the foresight to enter the industry almost a decade ago.
KC Springberg started mixing and bottling her own vegan-friendly nail polish after learning about the toxic chemicals that can be found in many popular store brands like formaldehyde and methyl methacrylate, which are already banned in most states.
“One should never have to sacrifice health for beauty,” Springberg told The ‘Gander. “The heart and soul and reason for me to even become an entrepreneur in the first place has always been to make products that are great quality, cleaner and better for you than the conventional, has low impact on the beautiful environment … and to support local economy and other small businesses.“
Northern Nail Polish gives beauty enthusiasts of all experience levels a safe, environmentally conscious alternative to typical nail polishes. And there’s no need to compromise your creativity.
Springberg first focused on producing glitter nail polishes. At the time, the industry was wild for the trend – and so was she.
But health and beauty trends are equally important when it comes to Northern Nails’ mission.
“I read an article about how toxic nail polishes were,” Springberg said. She wasn’t previously aware that the toxic chemicals used in mass nail polish formulation couldn’t be absorbed through the nail and into the body. “During a study, it was shown that chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde had in fact gotten into women’s bodies and showed up present in blood tests after applying conventional nail polish.”
She decided that she could make a better product that demonstrated care for consumers inside and out. After about a year of “playing around making nail polishes” for herself, Springberg’s friends and family encouraged her to try selling them.
“I am really shy,” she said, “so I began online. After a couple years, a friend and I started to attend craft shows together, and then I was approached by a handful of local shops. People loved my safe formula and the colors that are inspired by local Michigan things.”
Her Etsy shop has sold over 6,000 bottles in its first five years of business.
Springberg said she uses nature for inspiration. Many colors found throughout the state are the basis of Northern Nails, and her product line now features over 100 colors unique to home.
Each color is mixed by hand and named for a Pure Michigan destination. Customers delight at fun colors like Torch Lake teal, Cherry Festival red and glittery, purple H.O.M.E.S.
The brand’s environmental consciousness goes beyond what’s in the bottles. Northern Nail Polish takes meticulous care to use eco-friendly packaging and shipping methods.
“Using more cardboard packaging was also a new switch for us,” Springberg wrote on the company’s blog. “This can easily be recycled, and if it happens to land in the garbage, it is biodegradable. We have invested in boxes in all shapes and sizes to accommodate different order sizes.”
Springberg uses some of the proceeds from her business to offset her small carbon footprint by planting trees in Australia through One Tree Planted.