Interviews. Meet India Williams. The Beauty Entrepreneur Whose Organic Vegan-Friendly Nail Polish Line Stresses Self-Care.
Originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, India Williams is a Chicago, Illinois-based corporate finance lawyer who is also the founder of Rooted Woman, an organic nail polish company. The line features bold, timeless hues, in a variety of styles, with names like “Unconditionally Loved” and “Healed.”
Can you tell us a bit about Rooted Woman?
Rooted Woman is an organic and vegan friendly nail polish line that prioritizes faith and self-care. Rooted Woman was created to encourage and empower high-achieving women to slow down and experience restoration. What first inspired you to launch the brand? The brand was birthed in some respects out of Rooted, an online blog that was created to encourage professional women. I found the courage to start Rooted Woman when I got really sick after slogging through being on call 24/7 for two years practicing corporate finance law. I took time away to heal and restore, physically, mentally and spiritually. During this time, I devoted myself to self-care and the art of rest.
What makes Rooted Woman nail polish unique?
Rooted Woman was created to encourage and empower other high-achieving women to slow down and experience restoration. We believe that self-care and professional success are not mutually exclusive. Rooted Woman was created with a specific demographic (high-achieving women) and with a specific purpose (self-care) in mind.
I received an email from a dear friend that serves our nation in the armed forces and by teaching elementary school. She’s the quintessential high-achieving woman. During one of our email exchanges when we were discussing a major life decision, she said to me, “when I give things to God, I am “cloaked in [His] peace”- did you see what I did there? #RootedWoman.” It really warmed my heart that one of my dearest friends used one of my nail polishes to gently challenge me to surrender my fear.
While I was blessed to be a party to this particular moment, other moments like this are what make Rooted Woman unique.
We love that Rooted Woman emphasizes self-care. What motivated you to make self-care and self-love a major part of your message?
The courage to start Rooted Woman was found in the depths of my own self-care emersion. This may sound a little nutty, but it wasn’t until I took time to really get in tune with my body that I realized that I really love coffee! I’ve been drinking coffee for years, but I never gave thought to it being any thing other than a jolt of much needed energy. I wasn’t very mindful or intentional. But during my restoration time, I found that I have a strong affinity for Italian dark roast, (usually decaf, if available) with a splash of almond milk, a spoon of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. When I look back, it’s funny that I didn’t even know what type of coffee I liked until I became ill. I stopped fumbling through life in the dark. I turned on the light and I started really taking in experiences and learning more about me (and who I hope to become).
Rooted Woman is as much about self-care and self-love as it is about the nail polish. We hope that the nail color will be evidence that you’ve taken time for self-care and that you’re not just going through the motions of life. Let’s turn on the lights and paint our nails together!
Did you find it challenging to launch a new business while having a legal career?
Yes! Balancing two completely different careers has been a challenge, but I’m not alone in this. I have a wonderful team and support system. My mother started out in the trenches with me. She’s an awesome encourager!
Because my mom is such a fierce planner, she was great at helping me to get the right team. Thanks to my mom and a few dear friends, I have a phenomenal design/creative team and an outstanding strategy team. I’m blessed that the majority of my team is composed of women. I love that women empowering women is painted in every facet of Rooted Woman!
I’ve learned to set boundaries, personally and professionally. My mornings are sacred and I protect them as much as possible. I spend the first hour of my morning, armed with my coffee, reading, meditating and praying. My first “hour of power” is a technology free zone. I also try to shut down work for the night by 10:00pm so that I can unwind and get ample sleep.
Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs?
Never stop daydreaming! It took me a year to find the courage to start Rooted Woman, but a business is an entity. It continues to develop and grow as you dream.
Write down your dreams and then start charting a course to achieve your dream in measurable ways. I had a business plan, monthly/yearly goals and a business bucket list when I started Rooted Woman.
As you prepare your business plan, you’ll begin to get a sense of what expertise you’ll need. When you do, surround yourself with a team of people that are strong where you are weak and that really believe in you and your dream!
Do you think that beauty products can play an important part in sending positive messages to women?
Absolutely! I think that beauty products should not only enhance outside beauty, but also the beauty that is within. My hope is that as women we will be more mindful, even in the beauty products that we use, and we will use them in a way that goes beyond what’s on the surface.
For example, what if, when you glanced down, you were reminded, that like the Rooted Woman color that adorns your nails, you are “Forgiven.” What if, every time you typed out an email response, you were challenged to practice forgiveness toward others?
What colors/shades do you recommend for the upcoming spring/summer season?
Honestly, we want to move beyond the “trends” of colors/shades for a particular season. If the color/shade that you’re wearing represents more than just a pretty tone, then you’ll find the value of keeping it around in any season (of life and fashion).
What are some product lines or releases that we can expect in the future?
We’re working on another collection. As a company, we’ve decided not to adopt the seasonal release concept. The collections are based on themes and they’re not released or created seasonally. The theme for the next collection is “A Time for Everything.” We’re super excited about this collection!
Does Rooted Woman offer any opportunities for partnerships?
Yes, we welcome opportunities to partner with women’s groups, churches, and retail stores.
Are there any other areas that you would like to see Rooted Woman expand to in the future?
No. We want to be really good (dare I say great) at creating a meaningful intersection between nail polish and self-care.