Moms in Beauty: Olive & June Founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle and Her Quest to Nail the Perfect Manicure at Home
Meet Sarah Gibson Tuttle, the mom behind Olive & June, a trio of chic Los Angeles nail salons and complementary line of at-home nail care.
There's nothing like a fresh manicure to make you feel on top of your game. When Sarah Gibson Tuttle moved to Los Angeles after a 10 year career in finance in New York City, she saw the need for a beautiful and clean place for women to get manicures and pedicures. "Los Angeles had everything I wanted except for the perfect nail salon," says Sarah. "Seeing the opportunity to create a gorgeous space where women could expect and enjoy expert nail care on a regular basis, I opened Olive & June in Beverly Hills in 2013." Now with a four year old daughter, Noah June, and two additional LA salons, Sarah has gone onto create a genius at-home manicure box so moms around the country can nail a perfect mani without ever leaving their house.
Was there a moment when you realized you had a successful business on your hands?
So many moments! The daily waitlists and texts I get from friends to squeeze them in never get old. Doing an event three months after we opened with Drew Barrymore to celebrate her beauty line was surreal. I also remember the first time we were in a magazine - Lucky! - like it was yesterday and then being in the September issue of Vogue a year later was so major. When we sold out three times this year on our website and in two weeks at Target this summer - the love for what we are building overwhelms me.
The decor at Olive & June is amazing. Was there an inspo behind it?
Olive & June was designed by Brady Cunningham and Katy Burgess, the fierce duo behind Wall For Apricots. We wanted something that was as stylish as your best friend's house while feeling as inviting as your grandmother's living room. Basically I say yes to anything Brady and Katy want to do!
What were your pregnancy cravings?
Junk food. Candy, chips, fries, everything bad for me. That part was pretty fun!
What beauty products did you use during pregnancy?
The products are pretty much the same as I use now but I cut out retinol when pregnant and breastfeeding. I'm obsessed with everything Shani Darden prescribes for my skin and then I constantly moisturize my body. I think that's the reason I didn't have any major stretch marks after gaining almost 80 pounds.
What lifestyle/beauty changes did you make as a mama to be?
I was non-stop working so it was less of an enjoy-the-journey moment for me. I hope that if I ever do it again, that I enjoy it more. But either way, my daughter is my everything so I know it's worth every day of those forty weeks.
How do you make time for self-care now as a busy mom running a company?
More and more I think it's important to have an off switch. It makes you a happier human, a better boss and a better mom. I am obsessed with TV so it's my greatest pleasure to throw on my favorite pair of sweats and watch some bad reality TV.
How do you sneak in exercise? Any fitness tips to share?
Recently we've had so much going on with Olive & June that it's been harder to sneak in a workout. So I've been making it more social by going on hikes while catching up with friends. It's so nice to do something where phones are totally not present.
What are your best beauty tips / skincare secrets?
First things first, my nail tips: apply cuticle serum every day and top coat your mani every 2-3 days. This way your manicure always looks like you stepped out of the salon. And two skincare musts: Always, always sunscreen and don't forget to take your makeup off. It's one of the first things I do when I get home so I don't forget.
(The Poppy, Olive & June's patented universal polish bottle handle that makes painting your own nails easier)
How can a busy mama give herself a manicure and not have it look like her toddler did it for her?
Two words, The Poppy. Meet your new manicurist! This is our patented polishing tool that goes on top of any polish bottle and makes it easier to paint your own nails using both your dominant and non-dominant hands. If you can carve out 20/30 minutes of "me" time, having a fresh mani is an immediate pick me up and you don't even have to leave your house.
What compelled you to launch at home manicure kits?
After more than five years in the nail salon business and almost two years of learning everything about at-home nails, we introduced an at-home line in 2019 that is truly innovative. We looked to fill the void of what was missing in the at-home market and specifically for the majority of the country without salon offerings like Olive & June. Unless you have some sort of secret power, it's incredibly hard to paint your own nails! Enter The Studio Box which has everything you need to paint your nails at-home. We want women everywhere to always be able to have a perfect mani.
How did you research which elements should go into your at-home manicure kit?
I took a year off getting salon manicures to learn how to paint my own nails and develop an at-home manicure kit. Wow, did I learn a lot! First, it's really hard to paint your nails with the current products on the market. Polish bottles are designed for professionals to paint with their dominant hand. I knew that the key to making nails part of your beauty routine at home was to create the products that made it easier. The Poppy allows women to get comfortable with painting on their first try. I am so excited for women to do their nails the way they are doing their own makeup and hair.
What's the best advice you've heard about parenting?
When your child is absolutely losing their mind, refuses to listen, is acting like an utter alien - keep calm. It will never help if the parent gets upset too. And every time I want to lose it, I remember that advice and it's gotten me through some epic tantrums.
What are your favorite podcasts?
I love podcasts! The Popcast is literally hilarious, especially for Bachelor recaps. Second Life has the best interviews. Fat Mascara keeps me up to date on everything cool happening in beauty. Pivot is an awesome tech-y listen and Kara Swisher is the smartest. Oprah's Super Soul is like the best cup of tea. I could go on, I really love so many.
2020 is all about: more colors, the coolest collaborations and new products that our community has been hounding us to make. Beyond exciting.