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November 15, 2021

Born on Instagram: How to Collaborate With Brands and Build a Community

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA

For entrepreneurs across the globe, Instagram offers a wealth of resources and inspiration to turn their passion into a business. Born on Instagram is a new series spotlighting brands that have used Instagram’s tools to build community, explore creativity and shape culture — forming the foundation of their success.

Owner and creative producer Gracie J., who runs The Editorial Nail (@theeditorialnail), credits Instagram as the home of her business. She’s been doing nails for nearly two decades now, working with big-name brands and celebrity clients. “As a creator and nail artist,” she says, “I strive to use my platform to showcase how nail artistry can be integrated in just about any aspect of life in and outside of beauty, as well as sharing educational tools that help my peers become better business-savvy entrepreneurs.”

With an editorial and commercial background, Gracie switches between being in front of and behind the camera as both a manicurist and a content creator. Her specialty is conceptualizing artistic content on nails that tell simple to complex stories, and her work expands into consulting, writing and content strategy gigs for outside brands. Below, she shares her expertise and how Instagram helped her get to where she is today.

How did you come up with the idea for The Editorial Nail?

I wanted to create a memorable brand that was going to shift perspectives on how we define nail art, especially in the editorial space, while also redefining editorial nails and giving space to how it exists in Black culture.

I managed to secure the bag with this handle at a time when Instagram was just picking up steam, so no one had taken it yet. What I love most about my brand name is [that] it’s a great play on words because the acronym is TEN — like 10 fingers and 10 toes — all nail-related.

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How was your brand born on Instagram and why was it the perfect place to launch your trendsetting take on nail art?

Instagram was the next wave of staple social platforms to have, so it felt natural. All the beauty gurus and influencers I was following for years were gravitating to Instagram, so I [was] like, let me try this thing. As [Instagram] evolved throughout the years, it was furthermore suiting the creative and entrepreneurial needs of my business.

How do you plan the content you create and share with your audience on Instagram?

I'm still figuring this out. I'm more of a free spirit, but I'm definitely working on creating a more structured way to support my work on social media. I just need to get on the consistency wagon.

What are some of the opportunities and collaborations that have come from being on Instagram?

One of my favorite collaborations I've done that came from Instagram was my content for SAVAGE X FENTY. When they first launched, I was sought out to create promotional social media content for them, and with the help of my photographer and videographer friends Joe Chea and Donnell Culver, I was able to creatively direct a one-minute visual showcasing their lingerie. I am still very proud of it, not necessarily because of the brand, but because I was able to prove to myself that I could do bomb stuff beyond my imagination. And I modeled it myself, LOL, still cringing.

How has The Editorial Nail created a community, especially on Instagram? Do you feel more connected to the world?

The Editorial Nail has created a community on Instagram by fostering a space that aims to support other nail techs and creatives in general through shared experiences, whether personal or professional. The upside [to social media] is that it allows people — who would otherwise have never met in real life — around the world to exist in moments where they feel seen and connected. When people come to my page, they know they're getting amazing works of art, maybe a few silly stories here and there, but most of all they’re going to leave having learned something!

image of a nail with jewels

How are you using Instagram as a toolbox for creativity?

I love being inspired by other creatives outside of my niche, so I find a lot of inspiration from watching them step outside of the box and their comfort zones when they create. It helps to remind myself to get out of my own way.

What’s next for you and The Editorial Nail?

I have a few cats that I can't let out of the bag yet but definitely expect something along the lines of accessories and hopefully co-launching with some of my favorite brands.

Looking to learn more about how Instagram can help you push your brand’s creativity? Browse our Instagram for Business blog for more inspiration, and check out our previous Born on Instagram spotlight with PRICK (@prickldn), London’s first cactus boutique.

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA