Dispatches from The Fashion Informer: At Work With Ginger + Liz

THE DESIGNERS: Ginger + Liz
VISITED: April 2012
WHERE: The Nail Suite by Lisa Logan on Strivers’ Row in Harlem

Lauren David Peden swung by The Nail Suite (the soon-to-launch Harlem nail salon helmed by celeb manicurist Lisa Logan) to talk shop with Ginger Johnson and Liz Pickett, the charismatic masterminds behind Ginger + Liz, the original non-toxic, vegan-friendly nail lacquer collection that’s all the rage with high-profile style setters.

“We both have this habit of starting the day with a little yoga or meditation, a healthy breakfast and a Louise Hay affirmation,” says Ginger, as she sits at the nail bar giving herself a casual – and perfect – manicure using G+L’s neon pink Goin’ Back to Cali.

After their separate yoga/meditation/affirmation routines, the two touch base via phone or email to make sure they’re on the same page as to what needs to get done that day before meeting up with the rest of the G+L team at their Flatiron District office.

“We don’t have a huge backing investor, so we’re really involved with everything,” says Ginger of their divide-and-conquer approach. In addition to designing and naming the nail lacquers – including this season’s Never a Dull Moment (electric yellow), Dancehall Queen (tangelo/melon) and Unconditional Love (a green/greige) – and attending “a lot” of meetings each day, the dynamic duo also oversee their own Twitter and Tumblr with the help of their social media manager, and even jump in on customer service calls. “Our customers are very active and very into the brand,” says Liz.

“We wear so many hats during a day,” she adds. “We’re hands-on in every aspect of the business. Then if we’re lucky and not completely exhausted, we’ll go out to an event or have cocktails with some editor, retailer, or beauty blogger friends, just to stay abreast of what everybody’s doing.”

“So we’re, like, on our way to the event changing shoes in the car, an ironed shirt hanging up in the back,” says Ginger with a laugh. “Our work has become our social lives.”

When it comes to renewing their energy after a long day at work, Ginger likes to hang out on her couch with Luxey (her Peekapoo), watching movies and enjoying a wine and cheese platter (“I’m a home goods junkie!”), while Liz prefers to read books, clean her house (“It makes me feel like all is right with the world”) and take long nature walks with her Bichon Frise, Bella.

And these ladies certainly earn their downtime. In the coming months, they plan to release G+L fast-drying nail drops, a healthy nail revitalization “in-between manicure” treatment, fun nail art kits, cuticle oil pens, and – hallelujah! – an odorless polish remover.

“You can be chic, but you don’t have to sacrifice your health,” says Liz, glancing at her freshly manicured mitts. “The two aren’t mutually exclusive.”

The proof is in the polish.

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.

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April 27, 2012