3-FREE NAIL POLISH THAT COLOURS EVERY MOOD
Story by Diana Baba
Image from Cheeky Monkey (“Try It On”)
Cheeky Monkey is a Canadian-made brand of ethically produced polishes that come in colours like “Hangover”, “Get Wet” and “Stagette”. With such outrageous names and a cool spin on their marketing (you can “try on” their polish colours online on hands giving the peace sign – or the middle finger), we had to know more about this fiercely funny line.
Plaid caught up with founder Andrea Pahn to find out more about the line, which also happens to be non-toxic and free of formaldehyde, toluene of DBP (it’s also cruelty free).
What got your creative juices flowing to create Cheeky Monkey?
I always enjoy socializing and making people laugh. So my friends and family got used to asking me what colour nail polish I was wearing . I always had a smart ass comment and always got a laugh out of the person I was talking to (I would say I was wearing “hot slut” – and rename another brand’s polish). So my creative juices and inspiration came from cocktail parties and also my friends – I would push the envelope and think about what outrageous name I could put with my polish at that time. I started thinking nail polish should make your hands look great, make you feel happy and also the names should make you laugh – that is how Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics was born.
If you were asked to share your story, what nail polish name best represents the story? Can you share your story with us?
This is a hard one to answer – I think a person’s mood dictates what the ”favorite” of the moment is. I think the name that best describes me at this moment is a new colour that is coming out called “Ball Buster”. There isn’t a real story to go with it yet – but it will read something like… ‘She did things on her terms and along the way she worked hard and played hard and loved her life!’
If you could choose your top three colours what would they be?
My top three colours are “Raunchy Bitch” [a dark blue], “Hangover” [beigey green] and “Nail Me” [deep fuschia]. Hands down these colours I could live with forever!
Do you believe the concept behind Cheeky Monkey has helped women loosen up and get ‘cheeky‘ within their daily routines?
I can only hope women get the joke and cheeky fun behind my line. Nail polish is meant to make a woman feel good and give them a perk. The woman who wears “Cheap Whore” is probably the furthest thing away from that – but giggles at the thought of wearing such a colour – not to mention that the colour is gorgeous! So to answer the question – yes, I do think people are loosening up.
Did you always envision on building an interpersonal relationship between your clientele and nail polish by creating an outlet for women to share their ‘True Colours’ and stories based on each polish’s name?
Yes! I love the idea of finding out I am not alone out there! Interaction and sharing is what makes a great community. Life isn’t a cake walk, but for women to share their fun stories makes life fun. One women’s fun may not be another woman’s idea of fun, but hopefully you can laugh and appreciate the different perspective.
What do you find most appealing about getting involved with your clientele at a personal level?
I really enjoy getting to know women who are living life to the fullest. I do enjoy the funny stories but I also love getting to know that as women we are all similar in the fact we try to live the best life we can.
If you could pick a muse for Cheeky Monkey, famous or not, who would it be?
I love Drew Barrymore as Cheeky Monkey’s muse. She is quirky fun and beautiful.
What drew you to choose nail polish as the main product for Cheeky Monkey cosmetics?
I used to be a pastry chef and could never have my nails painted. As soon as I left that field I felt excited to wear polish again. I have short soft nails, and nothing makes me happier then to put polish on and make my hands lady-like. It only seemed natural to choose nail polish.
What do you enjoy the most about creating nail polish?
Hands down (pardon the play on words) I love picking the colours. A woman’s nail colour can make them feel anywhere from a vamp to a lady. So when we are developing nail colours for each season I get very happy and excited to play with the new lines!
I see “FishNet Stockings” as one of the names of the nail-polish. Have you personally rocked fishnet stockings within your wardrobe throughout the years?
I most definitely have worn the polish “Fishnet Stockings”, but I can honestly not remember wearing fishnets on my legs! Maybe it’s time I took a trip to the lingerie
The Cheeky Monkey website has given a platform for women to discover and interact, working as a tool that allows them be proud of who they are and express freely their true self. Have you always been an advocate to empowering women?
Always. I really think there are enough negative and nasty people (both men and women) out there that are waiting to take the wind out of another person’s sails. I believe it is much better to see the positive in another person. I also believe everyone has issues in their lives – how they choose to deal with these issues is really what empowers a person. Stand up and roar – don’t sit back and shrink.
For people who don’t know, Cheeky Monkey is involved in a couple of partnerships and sponsorships. Can you tell as a little about Cheeky Monkey Marathoners, and how that came about?
I think this question relates right back to [your previous question about empowerment]. I believe encouraging people (mostly women) to enter and compete in sporting events really does bring a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics has also sponsored teams for Storm the Ten, mountain bike races, and various other running races. It really came about when some of my friends planted the idea.
What’s the best advice you can give young entrepreneurs who are working towards establishing unconventional products or brands into the mainstream market?
My best advice is to focus on your message and your branding – and when people tell you they don’t like it…don’t think it will do well… or generally don’t believe in you – you persevere and keep your goals in sight. Being an entrepreneur is a lot of blood, sweat and tears but every gain is worth it in the end.
Have you always liked pushing the envelope and challenging yourself throughout your life?
I truly believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I like pushing the envelope and getting people to open themselves up for fun and laughter. Challenges are part of life and should be looked at as growing and learning experiences.
Do you have any future plans of expanding Cheeky Monkey into other cosmetic products?
I am in development for hand creams. I also would love to develop a lipstick line. We will see what comes next!
Where would you like to see cheeky monkey cosmetics in the future?
World domination! I want people to lighten up and enjoy life. If I can get Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics to empower women all over the world I would be tickled pink!