Talk about a personality to match her talent. Simcha is literally one of the brightest, bubbliest and most talented people I know. She is unique because her nail art is hand painted - not applied - works of art. She oozes personal style and has done the nails of every celeb you can imagine, plus countless editorials and fashion shows. I've known her for years now - she is and has always been the definition of hustle and kindness - it's impossible not to fall in love with her and her designs! Her infectious personality is evident even in a written interview...
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’m from outside of Miami. Second and last kid. I’m Jewish. And now that I live in NYC, I’m so much closer to my childhood dream of being Fran Drescher.
What was your gold lining that lead you down the path to this point in your career?
Obsession. I started a Tumblr to blog my nail art and talk to other nail artists around the world. We’d share techniques and drop looks and generally cheer each other on. I wanted to be the best I could be, so I went to beauty school to perfect my technique. But while I was even just in school, I was getting professional offers to work as a nail artist. So, I started thinking, nail art could really be my life and job. The minute I graduated, I began saying yes to every offer and working with a close-knit group of private clients and of course, posting it all on Tumblr. It was a lean time financially, but a rich time creatively. Eventually, I was working beyond full time on my nail business.
What was the inspiration behind the name Miss Pop?
Of course, I love pop art and pop culture, and I often borrow from their iconography for my own designs. But my name is actually for Iggy Pop. I just love his attitude. He’s someone who is happy playing his old stuff, playing his new stuff, just being himself. I’ve seen him live five times and he has the most amazing energy. His last album, Post Pop Depression, was one of the most insightful commentaries on our culture.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different. I work on a different set, with a different team, for a different magazine or brand every day. Or it’s Fashion Week. Or I’m hosting a mani bar. Never a dull moment!
What is your creative process like? Who or what inspires you?
I sketch stuff when I’m out and about. And then I like to sit and paint in my studio, riffing on press ons, listening to my favorite records.
How has the space changed since you first started?
Social Media has given nail artists like me an instant platform to share any and all of our designs. With that kind of broadcasting power, it has given many artists, like me, the opportunity to enter the traditional beauty and fashion industry.
As someone who has started their own business, what is the secret to your success?
Just do it. You’re going to make mistakes. Let yourself learn from them and move on. There’s no perfect way to go about anything. Come up with an idea you believe in and go for it!
What has been the most exciting moment in your career to date?
Last season, I was backstage at Moschino and this incredible violet feather cocoon covered in fluttering butterflies walked down the runway. Everyone and everything stopped to watch this incredible creation walk. The music swelled, the butterflies looked alive, and it was the most beautiful shared moment with everyone at the show—a rare, amazing, goosebumps kind of moment. I’ll admit it made me cry with joy. I couldn’t believe that nails had gotten me to that moment. I had watched runway shows as a kid on VH1 and I had never imagined actually being there. But there I was, backstage at my 50-somethingth show. Then, I wiped those tears and kept checking the nails. It was just a perfect, fleeting moment celebrating fashion at its highest art. I told Jeremy Scott, when I die, I want to be buried in that dress because it’s so fabulous, I want that to be my lasting impression.
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
That’s what friends and family are for. I’m not the kind of person who can hide their feelings. I’m an open book. Luckily, I have a supportive partner, Mr. Pop, and amazing family and friends.
In your life and in your line of work, how do you define success?
I don’t think I’ll ever feel successful or done. It’s just not my nature. I like the excitement of every possible day. What’s next?
What quotation or saying inspires you and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Do you think Lady Gaga is afraid to fail? It’s not famous, it’s just what I think.
What characteristics do you admire most in creative women and men?
That old fashioned giving every task 110%. Also, I’d say compassion. There are a lot of talented, successful people, be one of the nice ones.
Is there anything exciting coming down the line we should keep an eye out for?
I drop all my ideas now on insta: @MissPopNails.
What are some of your go-to spots in NYC? Pita Palace for the best falafel, Emily’s Pork Store for the best roast pork sammy, and Lucien, when I want to spend more than $8 on a meal
Name three women who inspire you the most? Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Laurie Henzel, and Solange
If you could invite anyone over for a home-cooked meal, who would it be and what would you make? I leave cooking to the professionals. But I’d love to dine with Terri Gross.
What is your philosophy on self-care? What would you say is your number one self-care tip? Do your nails. I mean, obviously. But really, my hair, my make up, my outfit, I don’t really see those all day. What I do see is my hands. Nail art is the beauty I do for myself.
What is your sign? Gemini
Minimalist or maximalist? Both. Because Gemini.
What do you collect? Miniatures, red nail polish bottles from around the world, and accessories.
Dream dinner party guest? Mark Ronson. Mr. Pop would be in heaven showing him his record collection.
Recent discovery? Tata Harper.Her skin care products are so hydrating and magical and natural.
Favorite Apps? Waze, Gif Keyboard, Kira Kira, Instagram, Facetune.
Do you have any daily practices? How do you incorporate these practices into your everyday life? Coffee. First thing. I’m also a phone-talker. I call everyone, all the time.
So next time you're in the area, head in and make your debut to see what you discover!
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