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Meet Lenora Barbour: Baltimore entrepreneur 'Nails’ colorful business

Ursula V. Battle | 6/12/2015, 7:02 a.m.
Baltimore entrepreneur Lenora Barbour always loved working with colors. She also enjoyed making jewelry and creating various forms of artwork.
Lenora Barbour (middle) operates Lenora Nail Colors with the help of her mother Dorothy Barbour (right) and sister Florence Barbour (left). (Courtesy Photo)

— Baltimore entrepreneur Lenora Barbour always loved working with colors. She also enjoyed making jewelry and creating various forms of artwork. Barbour decided to apply her creative talents to her entrepreneurship desires and thus, Lenora Nail Colors was born. Barbour “painted” the picture of how the Baltimore-based nail polish brand company started.

A manicure done at Unitas Nails located in Ft. Washington, Maryland features one of the company's popular creme neutral polishes “Flo to the Joe.”  The polish's name originated from Florence Barbour's love for coffee.

(Courtesy Photo)

A manicure done at Unitas Nails located in Ft. Washington, Maryland features one of the company's popular creme neutral polishes “Flo to the Joe.” The polish's name originated from Florence Barbour's love for coffee.

“My mom tore the rotator cuff in her shoulder and needed surgery,” recalled Barbour. “At the time, I was working in corporate America. I began to think about wanting to be home with my mom because she needed therapy. I started looking on the Internet to see what I could do. I discovered there were very few women who had a nail polish brand. I did the research, and looked at the good and the bad.”

Barbour added with a laugh, “I decided to leave my full time job and start my own company. I talked it over with my mom and sister, and they stared at me like I was crazy.”

Today, Barbour 39, operates Lenora Nail Colors with the help of her mother Dorothy Barbour and sister Florence Barbour.

“We got an on-line store in January,” said the Baltimore native. “That was a big step. My mom gives me good advice and wise tips, while my sister Florence keeps me up to speed on what the younger people want. They also help me to name polishes.”

She added, “My mother and Florence have played a huge role. When you own and operate a business, you have to have positive, realistic people around to help keep things going.”

Lenora Nail Colors offers 30 highly exclusive and trendsetting nail lacquers. They include glitter, creme, glossy and shimmer finishes. The company also

offers a two in one top/base coat nail treatment that adds brilliance and protection.

“All of our products are‘5-free,’ said Barbour. “The formula is free of the dangerous toxins, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, Camphor and Dibutyl phthalate. We are also proud to say that our products are manufactured in the U.S.A., never tested on animals and vegan. In addition, this polish has a shelf life of two years and the brushes are shaped for easy application to your nail.”

Barbour talked about the company’s nail collections.

“The Maryland Collection is one in which we pay tribute to Maryland,” she said. “The Collection consists of Purple Pride, Ocean City and Inner Harbor Nights. We want people to know we are paying tribute to Maryland, and want Marylanders to support the line. We are hopeful the Ravens Cheerleaders will wear the ‘Purple Pride’ polish one day.”

Barbour talked about the importance of exquisite nail colors.

“A lot of women get excited about nail polish in general,” said Barbour. “Women love shoes, bags, and cosmetics. Polish is like an accessory or a purse. A manicure is something a woman has to have. Having your nails cleaned and polished looks great. This also makes a woman feel good and gives her confidence.”

The creative entrepreneur says her ‘colorful’ business also gives her an opportunity to apply the pastels of a favorite pastime to the canvas of a viable business.

“I always loved to paint and work with colors,” recalled Barbour. “I started painting when I was in my early twenties. I always loved mixing colors and making jewelry. Painting artwork with acrylic has been a passion for years. Mixing cool and warm colors on a white palette to create a new visual piece is very enjoyable. I feel the same about Lenora Nail Colors - it can speak to you without words.”

Barbour says the nail polish is affordable and generally runs about $8 a bottle.

“Our goal is for our clients to fall in love with our lush collection. We are constantly researching current trends via the Internet, fashion magazines, television and most importantly our loyal customers. It is our mission to continue to offer safe, fun and affordable nail polish to everyone.”

According to Barbour, the nail polish is being used in the following nail salons: Unitas Nails in Ft. Washington, MD; Nails at Joanna's on Pikesville, MD; and Creatively Yours Nail Salon in Parkville, MD.

Lenora Nail Polish can be purchased online at www.lenoranailcolors.com. For more information, call 410-599-6325.