By Krysten Brenlla
The pandemic was a major game-changer, with business owners scrambling to survive amidst closed up shops.
However, one South Florida entrepreneur did not let the pandemic stop her from thriving – and her nails, along with nails across Florida, are thanking her.
Nailstry (short for nails and artistry), founded by local entrepreneur Aurelia Edwards, is a virtual fingernail sizing technology that uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to scan a consumer’s fingernails, giving the consumer the perfect size for their press-on nails.
Through the consumer’s camera, Nailstry’s technology measures the consumer’s fingernail width to determine their size and curvature. Its online marketplace allows consumers to size their nails while they shop for their favorite designs from more than 300 designers across the nation.
In addition to its online shop, Nailstry is also beginning to target businesses that embed the Nailstry technology into their online stores and websites, and nail designers who are looking to display what their designs can look like on actual nails.
“Nailstry is at the forefront of virtual fitting,” Edwards said. “And on top of that, we want to be that complimentary technology for those looking to see how their nails can look – it’s a completely different, personalized shopping experience.”
Before the pandemic, Edwards was a massage therapist based in New York and New Jersey, and would sell press-on nails in popup shops throughout the city.
However, when 2020 hit, the beauty industry completely shifted – nail salons closed, and consumers needed to be creative to keep their nails painted.
That’s when Nailstry was born.
“During the pandemic, we saw a shift in how consumers felt about press-on nails,” Edwards continued. “My team saw a boost in online searches for press-on nails, and the demand for these nails dramatically increased when celebrities and influencers began to do it themselves.”
With knowledge in the beauty industry and an entrepreneurial spirit, Edwards quit her job as a massage therapist, packed her bags, and made the move to South Florida – where she was born and raised.
“Being in South Florida as a minority in tech is a huge plus for me and Nailstry,” Edwards said. “I came to a fresh, new market in South Florida; I’ve been able to network, participate in local accelerator programs, and more – it’s been a great opportunity for me.”
Nailstry’s goals for the future is to continue targeting businesses and designers who are looking to embed the technology into their websites. They are also looking to add on new Nailstry subscription models for designers to display their design on the Nailstry platform, which according to Edwards, is cost-effective.
The company is looking to raise $1M in funds to continue enhancing their measurement-only application; attract new business customers; and continue building out their virtual fitting technology (using artificial technology) with other products outside of nails.
In 2023, you can catch Edwards at the 2023 eMerge Americas startup showcase – news they received after the company won the Alan B. Levan Center’s South Florida Innovation Day competition.
“As a Black woman in tech, South Florida is one of the best places to be – we’re so excited for what’s to come.”
To get your nails fitted, make sure to visit Nailstry online at http://nailstry.com/.
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