Tiffany Burriss loves nail polish. Her infatuation helped fuel her dream of opening Studio 85, an artsy accessory shop in Bloomingdale.
Burriss founded the shop with her two older sisters, Tammi Allen and Tamika Myers. The sisters grew up in Anacostia and wanted to pay homage to D.C. by creating a space for residents to shop locally.
There are three nail polish collections, one called the “District of Columbia” collection that’s gotten recent buzz. The colors are vibrant, and each is cleverly named with a nod to the District and the city’s lingo. “Mambo sauce” is an undeniable coral and “Big Chair Brown” is a rich copper. Some other shades are U St., Bussin and Bama.
“The nail polishes were a collaboration with my sisters – all of us grew up doing each other’s nails,” she said. “The other girls on the block would even want us to do their nails, too.”
From there, the sisters would brainstorm potential names and colors for nail polishes. In 2009, they realized the strength of their idea and finally sat down to finalize their plans.
Studio 85 ultimately opened in October 2011 and sells apparel such as vintage T-shirts, jewelry and accessories with an emphasis on featuring local designers. Much of the store’s decor, like the artwork and photography, is courtesy of local artists and is for sale.
The sisters are no strangers to pursuing creative goals. Burriss is a former makeup artist. Allen is a former hairstylist and Myers is a singer/songwriter. Burriss, CEO of the store, said her parents had a lot to do with their passion for the arts. Her father is an artist who specializes in painting, sketches and woodworking. She said her mother was fashion-forward and because of that, “we know how to throw it together” to create style.
Studio 85 also rents out its storefront for art shows, book releases, album release parties, open mikes and “mancave nights” — a night dedicated for men with televisions set up for sports and video games.
The store will also host its first social forum this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The topic is relationships. The idea was a brainchild of Studio 85 and Glamm Hair and Lash Bar in wanting to create conversations for the newly booming Bloomingdale neighborhood on topics from finance to DIY events.
Burriss has found success with using social networking as a way to connect with other businesses and artists in the area. She feels blessed by the positive reaction.
“I think D.C. likes the fact that we are from D.C., we have been doing something specifically for our city. It’s for locals, by locals,” she said. “My ultimate goal would definitely be seeing our concept translated, where we can inspire people to make an everything place in their town.”
Read more on The Root DC