Three Ways to Run a Successful Press-On Nail Business
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Press-On nails are no longer just a fun accessory we used to play with as a child -- They are the moment.
Luxury press-on nails have become the new go-to for celebrities and the girls that want flexibility with their looks. When the pandemic hit hard in 2020, press on nails provided a quick, temporary fix that worked in both nail techs and nail lovers favor. It easily became one of the many post-pandemic "things" that stuck, like curbside pickup.
A press on nail business can be EXTREMELY profitable whether you are a nail tech or not because of how affordable the materials & supplies are. Just be sure to stay on top of what's trending and what's next.
You have 3 options when deciding on your press on nail business:
- Design your own (custom)
- Purchase ready-to-wear (wholesale)
- A combination of custom and wholesale
You can decide which is best for you depending on how much time you have to set aside, creativity and experience.
Custom Nails: Designing your Own
If you are a current nail tech or very creative, designing your own will be the best choice. This will allow customers to get one-of-a-kind nail sets and the ability to request custom orders. The price goes UP with this option, yielding you high profits.
- EXCLUSIVITY. You won’t have to worry about hundreds of other press-on nail artists having the same design as you (wholesale nails), making your business unique. Add your own signature touch and get a higher chance of reaching celebrity clients.
- HIGH-PROFIT MARGINS. The more customized, the higher the price. You can make $100 or more per set if your work and marketing is high-quality. If your nails are quality and look good, you will get a ton of shares on social media and people will willingly pay the price.
Certified nail techs usually choose this, especially as a side hustle because they can put their artistry to work and charge the same prices as a salon. However, you do NOT have to be a certified nail tech to make really good, competitive press on nails.
Getting started, you will need a lot of start-up supplies. We already put together a list of the best vendors offering affordable, high-quality products on our press on nail vendor list here.
A few supplies you will need:
- Polish (acrylic or gel)
- Nail stand
- Nail accessories
- Uv light if gel
- Nail dryer
- Nail packaging
- Nail glue/sticker peels
- Nail file
- Nail tools
- Acrylic powder & complimentary products
- Find more supplies in our press on nails vendor list
You will need a lot of downtime to design your own, which is why most companies sell their nail sets as “made-to-order” or have a 7-14 day processing time. Because of the time spent, custom nails are priced closer to what you would pay in a salon, yielding a high profit.
Purchasing Wholesale Nails
Just as a clothing boutique would purchase from a vendor, you can do the same for press-on nails. Ordering wholesale is a great choice because it saves you money and you can get started on your business a lot faster. Wholesale nail sets often include:
- unbranded packaging
- nail file
- cuticle stick
- traditional clear sticky stickers to secure nail
- some come with nail glue
This makes it very easy for you to just add your logo or use the tools they supplied and place in your own packaging. Either way, it’s the most affordable route and great for starting quickly.
You likely won't be able to competitively price as high as a completely custom design set, but you will still be able to bring in a nice profit. Wholesale press-on nail sets are inexpensive, normally ranging from about $1-$10 depending on the detail. (Find a press-on nail vendor here)
The only disadvantage to the wholesale option is that you may run into is other businesses having the same sets as you (including next-day delivery Amazon). The good thing is, there are billions of people in the world—they will be new to somebody.
Mix of Both Custom and Wholesale Nails
With this route, you have many options for selling your nail designs. Here are just a couple of scenarios:
- Sell custom designs (made to order) and ready to wear sets
- Buy wholesale predesigned nail sets and customize them with additional accessories
If you are just starting out, we recommend buying wholesale and customizing them. We choose this because it eliminates the painting step. That is the toughest part if you are not a nail tech. Press-on nail accessories are very inexpensive, you can find some here. By adding a pom pom or flower here and a few rhinestones there, you can easily drive the sale price up for a customized set. The more customized, the higher the sale price can be.
Boss Tip: Always factor in time labor in your pricing. You deserve to get paid for your hard work.
Ready to get started with a press-on nail business? CLICK HERE