Nail salon owner Thu Thach has joined the growing list of locals who have taken a clever idea and made it a reality with Bandboxed, her line of nail lacquers that are vegan, cruelty free and non-toxic. We caught up with Thach to find out more about her background, the inspiration behind the line and what differentiates it from other brands.
What brought you to Sarasota?
The winters were becoming unbearably cold in Philadelphia [where Thach used to live], so I was in search of a warmer climate. A client of ours knew that Tampa was on my radar, but gently suggested I also visit Sarasota. I will always be grateful to her because I instantly felt how special it is. There was this overwhelming sense of peace. Moving here continues to be one of the best decisions of my life.
What is the meaning behind Bandboxed?
"A bandbox is a decorative parcel used to safely store hats. Back in the day, there was a saying that if one looked very polished and put together, they looked like they stepped out of a bandbox. So we decided to turn it into a verb. Wear one of our shades and you’ll be bandboxed."
What inspired you to create Bandboxed?
"Having been in the industry for almost 20 years, it was a natural progression. My sister and I opened our first salon in 2007. A few years later, I became a board certified nail technology instructor and shortly thereafter we opened a trade school. Developing a nail polish line was a lofty dream that we'd previously never considered because we knew it would be a huge undertaking. In 2018, we finally decided to go for it, and we are ecstatic to have officially launched our first collection early this year."
What sets Bandboxed apart from other brands?
"It was very important to us that our formulas were 10-free, vegan and cruelty-free.
"During my first encounter with 'clean' polishes, I noticed that they typically had more of a muddy consistency, which led to longer drying times—and, in turn, the polish would chip fairly quickly.
"Our goal was to create beautiful shades that not only was easy to apply, but passed our vigorous test of durability.
"Also, we strive to be an inclusive brand. We make it a priority to ensure that every color we develop well and universally compliment an array of different skin tones. In addition, our entire line is made here in the U.S."
Where can we find the products?
"Our polishes can be purchased at my nail studio, Bandboxed SRQ, which is by appointment only as I am the sole nail specialist. It is located at Salon Lofts in Sarasota. You can also visit us at www.bandboxed.com, where our collection is available for purchase. There's also a feature to designate pickup at the loft for local orders.
"By the way, we are currently working on fun and vibrant shades for our upcoming summer collection."
What inspires your work? Do you have a business mantra?
"I have always been a very timid person who lives safely in my comfort zone. One mantra that is inspiring to me, and has been incredibly beneficial in my professional life, is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is where you’ll experience growth. Whenever something seems intimidating or impossible, I always make sure to remind myself of that."