We had the good fortune of connecting with Mandy Retsuko and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mandy, how do you think about risk?
I feel like for a lot of my life, especially growing up, I was constantly taking risks and looked at risks as a way to get something new/better out of life. Like the saying goes, you really do miss 100% of the chances you don’t take. When I started my Trinkitz nail business, I feel like I took a risk with the pricing of my nail sets and with how extra my designs were. I was a new nail business and my first nail sets were starting out at $130+. A lot of the popular press-on nails I saw being sold were mostly 2D or with painted gel art. Selling my nail sets for this much and selling nail sets with unorthodox designs felt like a risk because I didn’t see many others doing it. But one thing I knew was that even though I was a new nail business, I definitely wasn’t new to nails. I’ve been doing nails for years and I knew not to undersell myself. Taking this risk set the tone for my brand and every time I sell a set, the risk definitely feels worth it. It’s up from here.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As of lately with my art I’ve decided to primarily focus on nails. Years ago I used to be very interested in makeup and taking photos but now I feel like I am exploring a new chapter. I feel like what sets me apart from others with my art is my ability to try new things and do a great job at it. Going into the press on nail world, I didn’t see enough of the nails that I liked. The nails I saw were mostly 2D and with painted gel art without all the extra-ness and charms. My nails are known for being big and extra and of course very kawaii. I take much inspiration from 3D Japanese nail art but most of the time I really just sit down at my work desk and just create organically. Planning and launching my trinkitz nail sets in August of 2020 took a lot of preparation. I do everything myself when it comes to trinkitz: making the website, making the nails, packaging the nails, shipping out the nails, designing the branding, running my social media page, and whatever more it’s going to take. Of course it’s never easy when it comes to this art shit but I’d much rather do this than a 9-5. Overcoming the challenges had everything to do with my faith in the universe and just believing and knowing that everything will always work itself out, and that with the pain are many many lessons to learn from. I always remind myself that progress is never linear and progress always has its setbacks. It’s easy to doubt yourself but it’s all about remembering that as much as things could go wrong, things could also go right. Not caring about what others are doing and focusing on my art is always the answer from what I’ve learned.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since we are still living in a pandemic, it’s difficult to really plan out the things we could realistically do in comparison to what I’d normally do pre-pandemic. So to make this sound more interesting, I’ll answer this as if I would’ve pre-pandemic. If a good friend was visiting the area, first we’d chill at the house and catch up with our families and whatnot and then we’d go out to a park in Houston and have a cute picnic or something. Then we could go to the museums or to some cute restaurants we haven’t ate at before yet, as of lately I’ve really liked the restaurant Lost and Found. Then we’d probably meet up with more friends and then go party or hangout and chill or something! I really just go with the flow. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout my mom and my friend Q (@qui.yasuka & @idunnoqnails). My entire artistic abilities stems from my mother and I can’t thank her enough for always encouraging me with any kind of art I’ve dived into. I grew up in a nail salon where my mom worked for a long time to take care of me and I can’t thank her enough. My friend Q is the person that I thank for my whole nail journey. She was the first person I’ve ever seen do out of the ordinary nails and I was and still am immensely inspired by her. She pushed me to do nails years ago and I wouldn’t be here without her.