Restore Blank, a subscription-based, nontoxic nail polish company, releases a new color each month representing the cause that a portion of the profits will benefit. This month, the color yellow was chosen to bring awareness to infertility. “(I want women) who feel like they’re the only person in the world going through something (to know) that there’s a community of women here to listen and we’re painting our nails to stand with you,” owner Natacha Cabrera says.
How did you get the idea for Restore Blank?
My friend Alyssa got really sick in 2011. It started with her trying to curl her hair and her arms would fall. Her muscles stopped working, and she found out she had myasthenia gravis. She’d been a nail-biter as long as I’d known her, but because she couldn’t bite her nails anymore, they completely grew out. She prayed one day, and God told her: “If I was able to restore your nails, I can restore your body.” Then the doctors did a scan and found a cancerous tumor next to her heart. The night before her surgery, a few of us girls went to the hospital and painted her nails purple. While the surgery was happening, I painted my nails, posted a photo of it on her Facebook wall, and (invited others to do the same). Within a few hours, nearly 100 people had done it.
What does Restore Blank mean?
Restore Blank came from the idea of being able to fill in the blank with (your own) word for whatever the cause is that month. For example, Restore Hope, Restore Courage. I let each person fill it in either for themselves if they’re going through something or for someone else.
How did you start the company?
I think there’s a huge fear of starting your own business; it’s a vulnerable spot to be in. For a long time, I just talked about it. In 2017, I was working at a tech startup. My cousin had spent the night and woke me up before work and said, “So when are you actually going to start this?” I told her I’d spend an hour on it after work. When I showed up to work that day, I was laid off. I now had the severance and the time to do this, but I didn’t realize how much money it was going to take. I got a part-time job after a few months and really went for it and looked into getting nail polish.
How do you select each cause?
At first, I wanted to highlight a different rare disease each month (in honor of Alyssa, who’s now cancer free). But after I was diagnosed with endometriosis and my friends didn’t know what it was, I realized that there are a lot of (common) women’s issues out there that women don’t know about. When we first launched in October 2017, I decided to focus on domestic violence. I want to bring more conversation to (issues) that no one really is talking about or is having a hard time talking about.
Prism Boutique at The Lab in Costa Mesa