From engineering to ‘Pinky Pops’

WHEN Brid Nash went on a family holiday to Spain, she expected to come back a little tanned and relaxed but not with a business venture.   
The Milford mum-of-three was enjoying family time in the sun with her husband, Paul and their three children Flynn (12), Darcy (11) and five-year-old Riley in 2019 when she thought of a unique initiative.
Fast forward to today and Brid is enjoying an entirely different hobby alongside her day job as a software test engineer, with the creation of ‘Pinky Pops Nails’ –  a mobile painting service for children’s events and parties.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Brid told of the reason she started her venture.
“In 2019, my family were on holiday in Spain and I was standing in a queue with my two daughters who were getting their hair braided when I when I spotted two other young girls getting their nails done. When we returned home two weeks later, my thoughts of setting up nail painting for kids just would not go away after I saw how much joy it brought to those two girls in Spain.
“As a Software Test Engineer in Pramerica/TCS,  it was the opposite of my day job but I’ve painted my own nails every week I’d say for 20 plus years, so that was a starting point and I believed I could do it.
“Two days after we came back I asked Darcy, who was nine at the time, to come up with a catchy name for a girl that painted girls nails and hence Pinky Pops became part of our family.”
Brid ordered non toxic nail polish that was suitable for all ages, tables and chairs, and her husband started designing the brand.
Despite a pang of nerves, Brid’s first outing was in Callaghan’s Bar in Churchill on July 20, 2019.
“I was so nervous that day but everyone was so nice. I was trying to put on a brave, professional face and hoping I would get at least a few customers when in came a lovely family from Churchill who said they couldn’t wait to see Pinky Pops Nails and were rushing to get their nails done, and thankfully others followed. My other festivals around Donegal that summer got easier once I knew my idea was working.”
Things very much progressed and in September of that year Brid got her first party booking with a family in Dunlewey.
Brid’s self funded venture was doing well, but then lockdown arrived.
“I found myself in the same boat as many others with things having closed due to Covid-19. Everything stopped because of lockdown but it also provided me with an opportunity to think about how I could develop the brand a little. So, added to my nail painting I developed Pinky Pops Surprise Box in October. These boxes contain things all girls love including note books, lip gloss, claw clips, a make up bag and sweets.”
The boxes were mostly sold in Donegal, but Brid said her customer based also expanded to Sligo, Mayo, Louth and Dublin. Following on from the success of the boxes at Christmas time, Brid is continuing with developing the brand.
“The boxes were not planned to only be a Christmas box but a surprise box for any time of the year. It just so happened that when we came up with the idea in October orders followed, and by chance it was in time for Santa.
“This little venture will continue and is available for any time or occasion of the year, with the contents of the boxes modified to suit. The boxes will be available for Valentine’s Day and for girls birthday parties.”
Brid’s hobby is completely self-funded. She says the best part of it all is that it involves her whole family.
“My husband Paul does the design works, and the name of Pinky Pops was dreamt up by daughter Darcy.
“Feedback from parents has been very good, and that means a lot,” said Brid.
“The plan for 2022 is to keep going as it’s something different, the whole family is involved and it’s fun.”
Brid said she believes it is important for children to feel good, and particularly now.
“I love to see children smiling and happy. Pinky Pops Nails came from this.”

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