In case you hadn't noticed, nails are having a moment. A rather stretched out moment-I mean how long's a piece of string-but a moment for sure. So when a little birdy (that may or may not go by the name of Twitter), told us Urban Outfitters had hooked up with Boom Nails, our hearts did a little collective jump. Boom Nails, aka Miss Emma Zentner-responsible for clashing nail patterns back in issue 72-is a babe, and her knack with a nail pen simply beyond.
Originally from Kensal Rise, she studied an Art Foundation course at Camberwell College of Arts before moving to Bristol to study Graphic Design at UWE. It was in her second year she ordered her first nail art pen, and since graduating last year she's done nothing but scribble on peoples nails. Her first collaboration with Nail Rock-two sets of dandy nail wraps-are available exclusively from Urban Outfitters. We grabbed five minutes with the lady herself to talk 2012 and beyond.
So how did you get into nails?
I had seen nail art being done elsewhere, and just absolutely loved it. I started looking on nail blogs and wanted to try it myself, so I bought a nail art pen. I didn't even know what I was looking for at the time, but I typed 'nail art pen' into eBay and it came up with thousands of results. I bought one black pen and it all went from there.
We last saw you at the Clash office way back in February. Since then you’ve been, everywhere, by the looks of things. What’s been your highlight of 2012?
It's been an amazing year! I think there have got to be two major highlights from this year. The first was taking Boom Nails to it's first festival! I had a tent in the Louder Lounge (the VIP area of V Festival). It took a hell of a lot of work and planning, but it all proved to be completely worth it, and the nails seemed to go down well. I had four amazingly talented girls helping me paint nails, and we had the most brilliant weekend - we were flat out busy with huge queues the whole time which was incredible.
The second highlight would be my collaboration with Urban Outfitters and Nail Rock. The nail wrap products have just hit the stores which is very exciting! I also have a pop-up nail bar in Urban Outfitters starting from this Friday the 30th! It's something that's been in the planning stages for a while, so am incredibly excited about that.
You painted One Direction nails for Gemma Cairney at Radio One; how did that come about?
I did indeed - that was a pretty unusual request! One Direction were co-hosting Radio 1 shows all throughout the day, so I was asked by the producer of Gemma Cairney's show if I could do some 1D inspired nails. I thought it was quite a good challenge, so got to work! I painted (very simplified!) portraits of the band members' faces on nails, and Liam from 1D managed to tell who was who, so I was happy.
And of course, you’ve just hooked up with Nail Rock for Urban Outfitters...
Urban Outfitters got in touch with me earlier in the year, and we had a few meetings to discuss ways in which we could work together. Nail Rock nail wraps are hugely popular, so we thought it would be the perfect collaboration. Nail Rock have the experience in making great quality wraps, I came up with the designs, and they are being sold exclusively in Urban Outfitters stores all over Europe!
How did you choose which styles to use for the wraps?
It was a long process! We had lots of ideas about what would work well, but in the end it came down to designs of mine that had already proven popular with customers. We wanted each set to be quite different - so the Aztec pack uses pastel colours, whereas the mixed animal print pack is super bright, with some amazing gold metallic. I hope they go down well!
Exciting! So what's next for Boom Nails?
There's already some exciting stuff in the pipeline. Boom Nails has a pop-up nail bar in Urban Outfitters starting this week! It's in the White City Westfield store and we'll be taking appointments there every day between the 30th November and 9th December. We're taking advance bookings as well as walk ins, so make sure you drop by and get your nails did!
Who’s nails would you most like to paint in the whole wide world?
Beyonce, no doubt. Ultimate Queen B.
And what’s your most prized nail painting possession?
It's got to be the humble black nail art pen. A simple tool, but with a bit of practice, the possibilities are endless!
And lastly, when was the last time you left the house with bare nails?
Surprisingly actually only about a month ago. Don't get me wrong - it is rare, but occasionally it happens. It feels weird though, I don't feel like me without my nails done.
Words: Zoe Whitfield
All photos from boomnails.blogspot.co.uk.