Homemade Nail Polish Makes Sisters Rich!

Names: Anna and Sarah Levinson.
Nationality: American.
Ages: Anna, 20. Sarah, 18.

'Foolish' small business idea: The sisters enjoy wearing nail varnish, but couldn't find the colors they wanted. After mixing their own shades of varnish, friends and classmates liked the colors so much, the sisters realized they had a good business idea.

Start-up Capital: Cash from $27,000 of stock - which they'd been given at birth - was added to a loan from their grandmother (loan amount not known).

How small business idea was Launched: In 1995, they started the company, RIPE. A small boutique ordered the vibrant pastel shades. Next, a larger store ordered 100 bottles.

Anna and Sarah Levinson mixed and made the nail polish themselves, they also filled bottles purchased from a local beauty supply store and used hand-made labels. Macy's ordered thousands of bottles of RIPE nail varnish.

Sales: Each bottle sells for $7. Just one year in business and anna and sarah levinson had sold more than $150,000 worth of product.

Earnings: The business soon topped over $1million-a-year.

Sisters Anna and Sarah, from Los Angeles, began their small business while still at school. They both loved wearing unusual color nail varnish, and invariably ended up mixing their own shades, because the shops simply didn't stock what they wanted.

Friends, classmates and even shopkeepers, asked the girls where they bought their nail varnish. So, they decided to cash in stocks worth, $27,000 which they'd been given at birth, and start-up their own company, producing bottles of nail varnish in the colors they were always mixing up for themselves. Their grandmother gave them a loan, to top up their funds and RIPE was officially born.

Today, Macy's and other top stores stock their product. The girls have come up with over 60 shades of polish, retailing at $7 a bottle. The polishes carry exotic names - emerald forest, raisin, buttercup, shark and meteor, are just a handful.

Their customers range from young trend setting girls to funky grandmas. Celebrities also like to use RIPE. Tori Spelling wears cumulus and Demi Moore's favorite shade is kelp. Now a line of lipsticks have also been introduced. Anna and Sarah Levinson have turned painting their nails, into a $million business.

Back to the top of this 'Anna and Sarah Levinson - Nail Varnish' page