Here at MeeBox, we strive to bring together the finest nail products and polishes from all corners of the globe. So imagine how thrilled when we found out that a-England, a nail polish brand we drooled over during our weekly meetings, was on our doorstep, located at the heart of South West London. We first came across the brand when we searched high and low for a rich deep purple for our January 2016 box, Blackberry Margarita‚Ä¶ along came a-England‚Äôs shade, Elaine. The perfect addition to our box. From the moment we contacted Adina (the creator, director and mama of a-England) we developed a special relationship. It was hard not to! It was clear we shared similar interests; we both followed our dreams (which include re-locating from our home cities to starting a nail polish company), we‚Äôre both passionate about art and culture and have a love for fashion, and most importantly nail polish. Adina was officially our new BFF, which is one of the many reasons why we decided to nominate a-England to be the first ever nail polish brand to be part of our indie takeover, for June‚Äôs MeeBox, #Splash! our mermaid themed box. For our subscribers who were lucky enough to get their hands on a #Splash MeeBox, you‚Äôll notice that every polish name is linked to a story or a piece of art work, from English literature or an art piece, which are Adina‚Äôs passions lie. The box featured ‚ÄòGloriana,‚Äô a rich red polish, which is another name for Queen Elizabeth from the heroine of a Poem by Edmund Spencer called The Fairy Queen. Adina found inspiration to create this shade from a portrait displayed at Tate Britain. Then there was ‚ÄòThe Blessed Damozel' a deep metallic purple, with a¬†velvety finish, which Adina found inspiration to create from the beautiful haunting poem and painting of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (one of Adina‚Äôs idolised pre-raphaelites.) She states it represents beauty, depth, mystery and spirituality. Finally, the dazzling turquoise, 'Whispering Waves'¬†from Shelley's Poem,¬†which Adina describes as having ‚Äúa touch of hidden pink shimmer reminds the sea and its reflections under the sun‚Äù (perfect for our mermaid themed box!) With so many polishes in the market, we wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what are the inspirations behind this magical polish brand. Why did Adina, hailing from Milan, create a range dedicated to England, what were the inspirations behind the name of each polish? What better place to learn about a-England than a stroll around Tate Britain ‚Äì a place that Adina often refers to as her temple and visits to find inspirations for her collections. Dressed in black, with stunning jewellery and wearing an intense brown a-England nail polish, Adina walked us through the collections. ‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt know I wanted to start a nail polish company. I first wanted to design handbags made in Italy as they are the best, but I was unable to find a way.‚Äù Walking towards one of her favourite rooms in the Tate Britain, 1840, located next to the Sackler Octagon. Adina is instantly drawn to King Cophetua and the Begger Maid, a large piece created by Edward Coley Burne Jones. Something tells us that this room at the Tate has a lot of energy, that inspires the a-England nail polish range. Adina continues to talk about her successful career as a designer for the legendary Gianni Versace, before she arrived in London. "At 18, after completing my diploma, I was always designing. I used to talk about new designers and fashion. My grandma said 'Adina, you always speak of Versace. Why don't you call him?' It was the right time. His assistant answered the phone and said Gianni was free to see me. It was a Friday afternoon. I showed my designs. He said ok you can start tomorrow.So I ¬†started my job as a designer on Saturday." Since that very moment, Adina's career in fashion and design started including projects for ballet and opera costumers, however¬†she felt that something was missing and was not happy in Milan. Adina's biggest achievement to date was plucking up the courage to leave her life in Milan and move to London. "While I was in Milan. Everything is was a struggle. There was a piece of the puzzle missing. As soon as I came to London, I felt complete." Adina tried her hand in a few industries before starting her fabulous nail polish range, including a painting and decorating company. However, she always had a love and passion for creativity, England and nail polish and wanted to combine her interests. The time was now... "I've always loved nail polish. Many years ago, I used to paint with water colour my nails when there was only pink and red polishes available but they used to come out as matte and I would get so upset. I wanted them shiny!" Adina continues to walk us through the gallery and sharing the story of a-England. "Everything that inspires me is British. My background was fashion. I had this dream in the back of my mind for many years to have a nail polish brand. I spent a year working on the idea, which started with the logo - I wanted to have England in the title. Then came up with a-England." (Whilst Adina is talking about the logo, she shows us her stunning England tattoo on her forearm, which has the same font as a-England,) she continues to tell us the story... "I searched for a manufacturer. I wanted a British manufacture which Space NK helped me with to find a company. All the polishes had to inspired by this country (England)" a-England was born. "I had an idea which helped me a lot to do the first collection, inspired by the myth of King Arthur." On 9 January 2011 to be precise. And it proved to be a big success. Adina contacted bloggers from around the world,by trawling through the Internet and contacting them about her new range and they all started to buy a-England and promote the polishes. It's been non-stop ever since the launch... The range is now stocked in over 24 countries, including UK, USA, Sweden, France, Russia and Australia. This achievement was recognised by the UK government a few years later. To Adina's surprise, she received a letter from ex-Prime Minster, David Cameron, a few years ago which was sent to only 50 small companies, directed by women, that grew substantially within 5 years. As we left Tate Britain Adina finished the interview by stating "This is my way to ‚Äúgive life‚Äù is through to a-England shades. Born from beautiful inspiration and love. I consider them drops of love in a bottle" For more information on a-England and see the inspiring collection, visit www.a-england.co.uk We hope they will make another appearance in a MeeBox very soon...
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