Sarah Gibson Tuttle is Redefining Self-Care, One Manicure at a Time
ThirdLove is a #ByWomenForWomen company, and we love celebrating strong women who are doing amazing things! Our weekly blog series, #WomenMade, is a chance to get to know some of these standout females who are creating products, services, and tech we love.
Sarah Gibson Tuttle is democratizing manicures through her company, Olive & June. A nail salon that grew to become a nail polish brand, Sarah wants every woman, no matter their location, budget or schedule, to feel the benefits of a great manicure. No longer restricting self-care to skin treatments and fitness routines, Olive & June is showing just how powerful a fresh coat of polish can be with their new line, Hustle. A celebration of strong women, each shade is named after a renowned female founder, including ThirdLove’s own Heidi Zak. Read on to learn how Sarah is changing the nail game and letting women know that it’s not so crazy to feel great about a well-colored manicure.
When did you start Olive & June?
We launched our first nail salon in 2013 and our product line in 2018.
Why did you start Olive & June?
We always knew we wanted to make polish, but we also felt like we wanted to make sure that people would truly use and enjoy it. How could we make it easier and better to do your own nails at home? How could we help make nails part of someone’s real beauty routine again? How could we empower women to paint their nails? We always look to innovate on every product we launch.
What was one challenge you overcame during the early days of Olive & June?
I always wish we spent less (I’m the one who has to fundraise ultimately!), but all missteps are lessons. I am proud to say we have learned and grown a ton in the past six years.
Was there anyone who helped pave the way for your business or career?
I have had a ton of mentors along the way, but our Brand Director, Crystal Meers, pushed our brand to be the most authentic and original it could be in the early days, before anyone was talking about “brand.” I am thankful to her every day for having that vision as it is critical in order to resonate with your community.
What are some of the ways women today can help raise and inspire the next generation of ambitious females?
Make time for the questions. It doesn’t have to be an in-person meeting or a call! Just answering a DM, a text an email – it can make all the difference for someone starting out. I remember everyone who helped me along the way even when they had very little time and I’m so grateful they did. Sharing hacks is invaluable.
Why is it important for established women to put time into helping the next generation of women who are looking to shake up industries and even start their own companies?
We need innovation. We need new ideas. We need original thought. Empowering the next generation of women (and men!) is the only way we get there.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Fierce, loving, curious.
What’s something most people might not assume about you at first glance?
I get very nervous when I do something for the first (or second or third!) time. I give off an air like “I’ve got this” and I absolutely hide my nerves. They are there!
What quality do you love most about yourself?
How much I love people.
When do you feel most beautiful and/or confident?
When my nails are painted.
When and where are you happiest?
With my family by the beach.
If you could give your younger self advice, what would you tell her?
Take a deep break. Surround yourself with people smarter and more creative than you are, they will push you to be the best version of yourself naturally.
What’s the top song on your playlist right now?
Sucker by The Jonas Brothers.
Why is it important to understand both the challenges and benefits of being outside the traditional workplace environment?
It may seem sexy to be an entrepreneur, but it’s the hardest work you’ll ever do. It has extreme benefits, most of all that I get to create and build every day. But it is a constant grind, a constant hustle every single day.
Do you think founders/disruptors/creators should take time to reflect on the pros, even if they’re constantly putting out fires?
Absolutely! The wins are what give us the strength to handle the lows.
What did success mean to you when you first started Olive & June? How has your definition of success changed since then?
The first moment of success in the salon was when we had a client who I didn’t know personally! Now, it’s about empowering women all over the country that I may never meet to paint their nails so that they feel ready to take on anything that comes their way.
Looking back, what would you have done differently?
Listened more before I tried to just immediately fix a situation. Given my team more ability to make their own decisions, even if it was a mistake. I too often tried to just fix it all and now I know to let the smart people I hire do their thing. I’m here when they need me.
What does your morning routine look like?
6 am gym, 7:30 am latte while my daughter and I color together, and then a full day of work.
What motivates you to keep going in the toughest of times?
I want to democratize something that women love: manicures. Women deserve to feel that fresh manicure feeling all year round, not once in a while. Giving women everywhere that happiness is my mission.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
Watching Netflix while I paint my nails. It’s calming and I get my reality TV fix.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Make sure you are all in. Starting a company is all-encompassing and can be very lonely as a sole founder. If you love it, you’ll enjoy every moment and the hard ones will all be lessons. If you are not in love, it’ll be a grind every single day.