My Small Vegan Business: Dystopia Nail Polish

18 months ago I was in a bad place. I had everything I’d ever wanted: a family, a career in teaching and a roof over my head. Yet I wasn’t happy. That’s what led down to the rabbit hole of indie nail polish. Coming home from work and doing my nails was a way to relax, a reward for getting through the day. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy teaching; in fact, it was my dream job and I was, and am, deeply passionate about education. But the combination of a demanding job and caring for my autistic teenage son (my lovely Connor, see my ‘About Me’ page) was becoming too much. The world of indie nail polish was a welcome distraction. I became fascinated by these amazing people who created their own brand of nail polish and shared it with the world. As a lifelong creative, I soon started to have ideas of my own and decided to try my hand at making my own nail polish. Imagine my surprise when I was actually able to bring my ideas to life! And that’s how Dystopia Nail Polish was born.

My best seller: charity polish Baby Berry, in aid of Pregnancy Sickness Support UK. Image by @mollymoosnails on IG.

I officially opened Dystopia just over a year ago, on 3rd February 2019. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve enjoyed every minute. It is by no means a big business, but it has gone from strength to strength and I have built up a loyal customer base who I interact with through my Facebook group, The Divas of Dystopia. I release new products at the end of every month. Collections I’ve released include a multitude of themes from gothic fiction to female singer-songwriters. I also release a new charity polish every three months, where I donate £2 from the sale of each bottle to a specific charity.

My second charity polish in aid of Ambitious About Autism, image by @nailastrophic on IG.

I like to release as wide a range as possible, and include many polishes with special effects such as thermal, which change colour according to temperature, and magnetic, which gives a special streak of colour when you hold a magnet over it while drying!

Magnetic polishes are popular for their gorgeous special effect. Image by @jemzxo on IG.

I even release limited edition polishes to celebrate special occasions, such as my one year anniversary polish Funk-Fetti (pictured below)!

My one-year anniversary special edition polish, Funk-Fetti. Image by @cehobson on IG.

It was a no-brainer for me that the business would be 100% vegan, having been vegan for four years when I started Dystopia. This hasn’t been as much of a challenge as you might think, in fact many indie nail polish brands are exclusively vegan. Most suppliers state which, if not all, of their products are vegan, so I can easily source vegan pigments, bases etc to make my polish. And of course, my polish is only tested on humans!

I also have a range of stamping polishes which can be used to create awesome designs like this. Image by @withnailsandi on IG.

Indie nail polish is a huge deal over in the US, but over the last few years it has also become big business right here in the UK. In fact, this September will see the UK’s first ever PolishCon, at which I’m proud to say I’ll be holding a stall! If you want to stay updated and see brand new products every single month, please follow Dystopia on Facebook or Instagram!

Published by Sara Walker-Phillips

Hi, I'm Sara (pronounced Sarah). I live in Stoke-on-Trent, UK with my partner Steve and my two sons, six-year-old Frankie and fourteen-year-old Connor, who has autism and severe learning difficulties. I am a huge food lover and have been vegan for five years.

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