We had the good fortune of connecting with Claire Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Claire, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with nail polish and seeing all the intricate and simple designs that can be displayed on hands. We do everything with our hands and believe it or not, not having manicured or simply clean nails, can oftentimes make or break your outfit. First impressions matter. I also have always had a passion for the advancement of Black and Brown communities and that was further fostered through my education at Howard University where my minor was Afro American Studies. I knew I wanted a company that was successful through my own merits, which is based on intersecting the nail industry and making other BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) brands profitable simultaneously through each purchase. Wet Slip was born in early 2020 during the pandemic while nail shops were shut down. Originally the plan was to open a storefront nail shop that only used products from BIPOC brands but with strategic and delicate guidance from my mentor, that plan changed to reflect the times we’re currently living in. A covid-19 safe alternative, Wet Slip Nails is a monthly curated at-home nail kit with 3-5 full size nail and hand care products from BIPOC brands.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I wanted to create a subscription box that was loosely based on a 19th century theme because that was originally going to be the decor of the nail shop. It has been a struggle but certainly a fun process experimenting with the display of the mailer and what the presentation will be once our customers open their first box. I don’t want to give too much away but one thing we can say is that if you loved watching Bridgerton, you’ll love Wet Slip.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am currently located in Washington, D.C., and during the pandemic some of the places that I love to visit are local restaurants like Ophelia’s Fish House for their amazing oysters, the Spice Suite to pick up a new seasoning incase we cook instead of eating out and any one of the beautiful parks in D.C. for some vitamin D.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that have helped me through the process seeing Wet Slip come to fruition. My parents, sister and brother-in-law have helped me shape me into the woman I am today whether if it was giving me a place to stay over the years to helping their spoiled baby-girl (sister) financially. The words of encouragement, the belief in my ideas and simply leading by example in their lives and marriages will always have a continued impact on my life and the decisions I make. My mentor, Maia Shanklin-Roberts, for gracefully beating it into my head to think outside the box. My photographer, Lily Ann Rivers Photography Last but not least, thank you to my Wet Slip Posse models.
Lily Ann Rivers Photography