When Tenoverten opened in 2014 in Tribeca, it was strictly a nail salon. Within its first year, however, it began to develop products — “clean” nail polishes, to fill a need in its service-based business. It started with just six colors.
“They were our alternative to the other, not so chic-looking clean nail offerings that were out there [at the time],” said Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder and head of brand at Tenoverten. The brand’s website states, “It’s not about ‘clean’ or even ‘non-toxic.’ It’s about better.”
Partnerships soon followed. The brand opened a now-closed location at the Parker Meridien hotel in midtown Manhattan, and with that came a polish in the hotel’s signature orange hue that was sold both at the hotel and on the brand’s e-commerce site. In 2012, SoulCycle approached the brand to create a yellow polish, which was available via SoulCycle studios and Tenoverten’s sales channels. Eventually, the brand’s leaders realized they could take the reins and choose who they wanted to collaborate with, Abramcyk said.
To date, most of Tenoverten’s partnerships have been with like-minded brands. One of the most successful has been a longstanding partnership with the maternity brand, Hatch. It came about because pregnant women were constantly asking about the safety of Tenoverten’s services, Abramcyk said. The two brands collaborated on colors together, too. The brand has also worked with mega-brands like Barbie.
In 2021, after Covid shut down all but one of its locations, in NYC’s Financial District, Tenoverten rebranded, emphasizing a focus on at-home nail care and redesigning its packaging.
As of the latter half of this year, the brand has a new guiding principle for its collaborations, centered on female creators. In June, the brand launched a trio of nail polishes with sandwich shop Edith’s Brooklyn, with quirky names inspired by Edith’s dishes. Among them is “Iced Cafe Every Day,” inspired Edith’s cold brew swirled with tahini and oat milk. Then, in September, it teamed up with the American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancer, Isabella Boylston, to launch a foot and bath soak dubbed The Recovery. And most recently, earlier this month, it launched The Travel Manicure Kit, in partnership with photographer and influencer Jamie Beck. It includes three of the brand’s nail-care tools and a custom color.
“We really love this idea of [working with] people who are working with their hands and feet that can actually benefit from using our products,” Abramcyk said.
The Edith’s partnership came about because Edith’s founder and CEO, Elyssa Heller, was a Tenoverten client herself. It was Heller’s idea, based on the fact that her customers often take pictures of themselves holding an Edith’s sandwich with their nails in the shot.
However, Abramcyk and her team approached Boylston and Beck, based on the fact that both are hard on their feet and hands, respectively. Their use of the products would tell a strong story about caring for one’s hands and feet. “They want something that’s easy to do at home and easy to take on the road,” Abramcyk said.
For Boylston, a foot and bath soak made sense as baths are a part of her recovery practice. “I only work with brands that I truly love and have products that I believe in,” Boylston said. “Tenoverten’s products are luxe and I love their conscious brand ethos. I am thrilled to have gotten the chance to create a product that helps me in my day-to-day life.” The Recovery has so far been successful. In addition to being offered as an in-salon treatment — as part of the $64, 45-minute Recovery Pedicure — the soak has been the brand’s top-selling product since its launch. Tenoverten’s engagement on Instagram increased 35% during the product’s launch week, thanks, in part, to Boylston’s 635,000 Instagram followers, with whom she shared her new co-created product.
Likewise, Beck, who shares her life in Provence with her 374,000 Instagram followers, stressed the importance of working with brands that she uses in her real life and admires. “Ever since leaving my life in New York to move to the South of France, I have learned to appreciate the beauty of nature — so much so that I did away with high-maintenance manicures and embraced all things natural, including my nails. Keeping them clean and tailored is the secret to beautiful natural nails,” Beck said, pointing to her inspiration for the kit she co-created with Tenoverten. The kit also features a silk rose lining printed from one of her photographs celebrating the natural beauty of Provence.
Abramcyk has not yet settled on the brand’s next collaborator, but a runner is high on her list, she said. “Not to shame runners’ feet, but runners come in and they’re like, ‘I’m so embarrassed about my toes.’ … Runners’ toes get gnarly — fungus is a real thing, and it’s so hard to get rid of. I’ve always dreamed of doing a treatment with someone who has struggled with that.”