Pam Rodgers is evolving.
She’s gone from nurse practitioner to CEO of Stella Chroma, and in that time, turned herself from a nail biter to a nail queen. After finishing the heroic, all-night-study-and-sweat-fest that is NP school, Rodgers broke herself of the neurotic habit, and the world of nail color opened to her.
“Nursing school will turn even the most hardcore nail biters around. As they grew, I wanted them to be pretty.” Her first employer had less strict rules about nail color than your average hospital, so she began to experiment.
Those experiments became Paint Box Polish in 2012, which Rodgers rebranded to the more trademark-friendly Stella Chroma in 2017. And they’re not just bottling bold colors over in Richmond, IN. Stella Chroma uses minimal plastic packaging and the company donates a portion of quarterly sales to nonprofits that promote STEM careers to young girls. They’ve previously donated to GirlStart, IGNITE Worldwide, The Scientista Foundation, and Black Girls Code. Rodgers is proving that there’s nothing small-town about the cruelty- and toxicity-free nail and hand care products she sells, and there’s nothing conservative about the shades either. (All the polishes are five-free meaning they don’t contain Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor.)
“Nursing school will turn even the most hardcore nail biters around.
As for her own beauty rituals, Rodgers prefers to keep it simple, skipping the weight of sticky foundation in favor of a clean face with a good facial oil. She’s a devotee of wearing bright polish colors like Axe Fight, and that boldness is reflected in the glitter, foil, and chrome shades of her line. The new fall trio just hit shelves, and New Day is her fave. When asked about the rumors that the pink-and-white French mani was making a comeback, Rodgers was clear.
“Oh hell no. But funky colorful ones? Oh yes!” Rodgers is partial to the abstract art trend, recommending Lindsay at Neat Mobile Nail Salon as her go-to mani guru. Stella Chroma’s shades make for the perfect one-step backdrop to show off killer nail art like stamping and water decals.
Aside from a fresh polish, Rodgers admits she, like many women entrepreneurs, isn’t always as vigilant in her self-care outside of her morning shower.
“I love to take a bit of extra time in the morning to let the hot water run over my shoulders and the back of my neck. It’s where I hold all of my tension.” It’s a 60-second vacation everyone from business owners to new moms can relate to.
Next time you’re in the market for a little bottle of self-care, pick up some Stella Chroma. You’re not just “buying local,” you’re multiplying opportunities for women and girls. And maybe an eventual spa day for Pam Rodgers.
Want more info on the meaning behind 5-free and other non-toxic nail lacquer terminology? Check out this post by Into The Gloss.