All That Glitters
Offering unique products like glow-in-the-dark glitter, plant-based glitter and custom color creations for local schools and sports fans, Glitter Over NOLA has quickly claimed its place in New Orleans’ increasingly competitive costuming marketplace.
Since New Orleanians are always looking for a way to add a little sparkle to any event, it’s not surprising that the local marketplace includes several home-grown companies geared toward providing costumes, wigs, glitter, sequins and more. While many cities may just costume on Halloween, here we have an almost insatiable customer base looking to celebrate football games, school spirit, parties, Carnival and practically every holiday on the calendar.
Launched early this year, Glitter Over NOLA is New Orleanian Tara Vicknair’s custom, small-batch face and body glitter company, and one of the newest and fastest growing glitter cosmetics accessory companies around.
It’s a venture Vicknair said was born from her own needs.
“To be quite honest, I wouldn’t say I had inspiration to start a company at all,” she said. “I was having a king cake party and I was also being a cheapskate and didn’t want to pay $20 for a product that I thought I would only use one time … silly me. I knew I wanted to have some Mardi Gras-colored glitter for the party and I consider myself to be pretty crafty, so I figured I’d give it a shot to see if I could make it. I had told my friends at work that if it came out, I would bring them some, too.”
Marketing for Vicknair’s idea began immediately and organically with friends and family, but quickly grew thanks to social media.
“I had zero intentions of ever selling product or adding to the glitter trend, but a few of my friends at the party asked for some, so I gave them what I had and decided to make a few more batches. I decided to throw it out on my Facebook page and Facebook (Marketplace) to see if I had any takers.”
Vicknair said her husband initially laughed about her glitter hobby, that is until the orders started coming and didn’t stop.
“So here I am today,” she said, “the girl behind the glitter.”
Despite a small staff, Glitter Over NOLA is available at eight boutique locations across the area and frequently sells out in hours after new colors and glitter combinations are posted online.
Currently filling orders out of her home, Vicknair relies on the business management skills she learned both from watching her parents’ operate their own business, as well as her own position, albeit in a different setting than most new cosmetic entrepreneurs. As a day job she works at the Mid-City Veterinary Clinic, a workplace that she said supports her entrepreneurial efforts.
“I have always felt that I have pretty good business skills,” she said. “My parents ran their own exterior remodeling business my whole life, so I always remember things that they would do,” she said. “Also being in the management line at the veterinary office has taught me a lot about customer service and business management in general.”
Glitter Over NOLA is on trend in a big way, reflecting both a national and local sales wave. According to style reports from publications and online news site including The Hollywood Reporter, Popsugar and Glam, the 1990s body glitter trend is making a comeback, especially due to festival fashion showcased on social media at events like Coachella, Bonnaroo, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Locally, the glitter trend surpasses festival season, with customers buying products year-round to celebrate their favorite schools and teams during fall football season, parade season, holidays and even a night out with friends. Glitter Over NOLA is unique in its wide range of colors and styles.
“Last time I checked it was well over 50 [color combinations]. I have come to the realization that I have a slight problem,” Vicknair said. “I absolutely do custom orders and I enjoy them. At this point, I have most of the colors people would need, but I am always excited to work with the customer to make sure they get exactly what they want. There is nothing better than seeing smiling, glittered faces.”
New Orleans-inspired color combinations include “Carnival,” “Audubon” and “Brass Band,” while school-inspired creations are available for Chapelle (“Chipmunk Spunk,”) Mt. Carmel (“Cubbette,”) and Brother Martin (“Crusader,”) and many more. There are also creations designed for LSU and Saints fans.
Glitter Over NOLA is a carefully curated business, made by hand by Vicknair — using a cosmetic base and mixing in different color combinations — along with her network of family and friends, for now at least.
“I have free labor, paid with friendship and love. My husband, Zach, is my delivery boy and label applicator. My friend Megan is my event girl; she comes with me to any craft shows or special events that I do. She also is one of my glitter models. Also, for my work family at the vet [clinic,] I keep their glitter supply full because they are my walking advertisement. But honestly, for the most part, I do pretty much everything — including ordering, mixing, social media, photos, website, shipping and packaging and jarring.”
Shimmery cosmetic lines from international lines like Burberry and Sephora run the price gamut — from $8 for a pack of metallic “freckle” tattoos to $12.99 Unicorn Snot body gel, to pop star Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty $42 glitter pom powder.
Glitter Over NOLA prices range from $12 to $15 in stores and online. In addition to color combinations, several selections set the collection apart, with a Disney-themed “Mickey” ear glitter for mega-fans, colors that glow in blacklight, regular glow-in-the-dark shades, and three eco-friendly, biodegradable plant-based combinations.
“Sales have been great,” said Vicknair. “I would say that my biggest seller has probably been my Mardi Gras-inspired color, “Carnival,” and following that would be “Fleur de Saint” and “Tiger Pride.” To be quite honest, I haven’t sat down and looked at what sold the most because all of the colors have been successful in their own way.”
In addition to local boutique and online sales, Vicknair brings her creations to markets and craft fairs, with the dream of one day opening a brick-and-mortar location.
“I would LOVE to eventually have a little shop, but for now, I am just thankful for how things have been and excited for what may be in the future.”
Where to Shop
Glitter Over NOLA
Nola Gifts & Décor
C & S Pharmacy
All About Face
Home Malone (both locations)
Miche Designs & Gifts
Destrehan Plantation Fall Festival, November 9 & 10
Other Colorful Companies
More local businesses focused on New Orleans’ costuming and parading dress up include:
The Crayon Case – colorful kits, palettes and accessories. TheCrayonCase.com
Native Nail polish – locally inspired nail colors and palettes. NativeNailPolish.com
Voodoo Makeup – corn-, soy-, gluten-free, vegan and organic for face, eyes and lips. VoodooMakeup.com
Elektra Cosmetics – microfine glitter, body balm and primers. ElektraCosmetics.com