It is not often that you get to meet the founder of a company as famous as CND. Professional Beauty talks to Linda and Jim Nordstrom, the co-founders of Famous Names, a nail company that promises to change your world.
First, can we talk about CND and your part in this world famous company.
“I cofounded CND with my dad and my sister and my brother,” says Jim Nordstrom, Co-Founder of Famous Names. “We started the company in 1979 and the genesis of it was my dad, who was a dentist. The very, very early nail techs were using dental products because there weren’t any nail products available. They needed something to use so they ended up using this material that was used for front tooth fillings. My dad was actually selling the tech but the government outlawed it because it was causing a high instance of pink eye because the vapour pressure was so strong it was irritating the eyes. Clients were also getting soft tissue infections. So my dad went about creating a marterial which was safe and worked with nails.
“Jim’s dad created the first ever safe acrylic nails,”adds Linda Nordstrom, Co-Founder of Famous Names.
Did you have any idea the extent to which it would take off?
“We had no idea,” says Jim Nordstrom. “I was pre med so I loved chemistry. I wanted to be a doctor but my dad talked me into taking a year off to help start Creative and I never looked back. I never even applied [for med school]. It started in our garage and then it took over our house and then we moved out. I remember talking to my dad about formulations; it was all really fascinating.”
Linda, can you tell us about your career in nails?
“I was a cosmotologist doing hair. Then I ended up switching over to doing strictly nails. It was always a passion,” says Linda Nordstrom. “I was offered a job with a distributor selling Nexxus Hair products and Creative Nail Design. In the first year I was there, I met his sister [Jan Arnold] and she swooped me up and I became an educator. I worked with CND for many years as an educator. Then I opened the first nail salon in Rhode Island, called Nail Only Salon, and it was an instant success. Jim and I got together and I worked with CND until our first daughter was born.”
And now you have decided to do it all again with Famous Names…
“At CND we came out with one new product every six months – one product at a time,” says Jim who is applying the same philosophy to Famous Names. “It is why we called it Famous Names, because any product we bring out, we want it to be a famous name.”
“I was a stay at home mum and loved every minute of it and then 6 years ago I thought let’s do it again,” says Linda. “We looked at the industry and thought about what can be done. We brought out Lumos [ high-shine, fast-drying top and bottom coat for natural polish] and then we straight away went onto creating the others.”
Has starting a new company been a challenge?
“Even with our background – I was the Co-founder of CND and ran it for 20 years – even despite that, it is really hard to break in with a new company,” says Jim. “We wanted to come up with something that is unique, original and ground breaking so we actually had this meeting four years ago and that when new came up with the concept of curing inside the nail.”
Which became your nail strengthening system, IBX…
“IBX – it is really what has put us on the map,” says Jim. “We worked on it three years and it has created a really new professional nail category. It is a nail strengthening system, which works in the nail, rather than on top of it.”
How does IBX work?
“If you go back I nail history, every strengthening product has gone on top of the nail. What we did is put together a system which goes up into the upper layers of the nail plate,” says Jim Nordstrom. “We do that by using penetrating oils like avocado and jojoba and the use of heat… to cure it into the nail plate. It forms what is called an inner penetrating polymer network and that network toughens the nail.”
What does it look like when it is cured in?
“Nothing; it looks like your own natural nail,” says Linda. “When you are putting something inside the nail, you are actually building it up. When the nail is really thin, you can actually see through it, you can see the red of the nail bed – when you get a single treatment of IBX in there, it will brighten up the nail. I wore acrylics for years and years and years and my nails were a mess; so when we started with IBX, I started using it and now they are so strong. I do a treatment on my nails once a month to keep them this way.”
You also have Dadi’ Oil, which has a cult following. Can you tell us why?
“Dadi’ Oil is an award winning nail and skin treatment,” says Jim. “It has won Reader’s Choice Award in Nail Pro and Nails Magazine every year since we launched so we’re fingers and toes crossed that we win again this year.
“Dadi Oil penetrates into the nail plate and into the surrounding nail tissue. It is 100 per cent natural and doesn’t have any synthetic oils or ingredients,” says Linda Nordstrom. “Dadi Oil has avocado oil, which is a penetrative oil and high in vitamin A and D. Then there is extra virgin oil because it is a natural anti-inflammatory. Jojoba oil is another penetrative oil. And there are 21 essential oils in there so the smell is divine.”
What about your new product Cinnatize
“Cinnatize is out latest product,” says Jim Nordstrom. “It is a broad based sanitiser cleanser to prepare the natural nail plate for any service – whether it’s gel polish, acrylic or natural polish. It is a synergistic blend that will remove long chain oils, small chain oils, moisture… It’s also a PH balancer, which will optimise the nail plate. We use cinnamon extract so the clients love it because it smells great – and it doesn’t leave the chalky white on the soft nails. It has been out four or five months [since we launched this] and EVERYBODY bought it when they saw what the ingredients do.”