Hollywood's Nail Guru, Deborah Lippmann, on How to Blend Your Passions to Navigate Two Careers at Once and Become a Reluctant Entrepreneur


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"Either do it or shut up about it" is the phrase that would ultimately lead Deborah Lippmann on the journey of a lifetime to create an eponymous empire in the beauty industry. So if you are someone like Deborah who can't stop talking about a passion, unconsciously, you are ready to go and do it. You just have to find the courage to bet on yourself.

Hands down (no pun intended), Deborah Lippmann is the leading authority in the wildly competitive nail category. Established in 1999, Deborah Lippmann was founded on an ethos of quality meets care. Informed by her years on the red carpet, fashion runways, and editorial, the award-winning brand reflects her ultra-high standards in terms of product performance. It is crafted to nourish and support nails and skin. Time and again, she's broken new ground and pioneered innovative practices in both the editorial and brand arenas. Her business is a family affair, working with her husband and brother since its inception.

Deborah is the go-to manicurist for an awe-inspiring list of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong'o, Laura Dern, and Lady Gaga, to name just a few. She also enjoys stellar fashion cred through her backstage magic for such houses as Chanel, Balenciaga, Dior, and Versace. But it's in Deborah Lippmann's eponymous brand, that her creativity and business acumen truly shines. She has been crowned a "mega-manicurist" by Vogue and "one of the best manicurists in the country" by Allure.

But Deborah never gave up her first dream to be a jazz singer. She has a degree in music from Arizona State University, has recorded three albums, and has her own iTunes and Spotify channels. Deborah has performed in numerous New York City clubs, including The Carlyle, Feinstein's, and The Rainbow Room. She has sung the national anthem multiple times at Madison Square Garden and recently for the Minneapolis Twins.

In this episode, Deborah shares how she navigated her true passion as a professional jazz singer– a lifelong love and also began a journey that would lead to building a luxury nail brand. We discuss the intimacy of her business, how to build authentic relationships and the secret to her longevity and success. Plus, the behind-the-scenes of what it's like working with Hollywood's biggest stars during award season!

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