Phinger Nail Polish
Frankie with a P-H has a signature nail polish. It's kind of magical. Here's how it got him an invitation to do a TEDx talk.
In college, Frankie was a punk. Among other unconventional stylistic choices, he wore glitter nail polish. Upon graduation and entering the workforce as a community organizer, he stopped, following Saul Alinsky's advice to blend in and become familiar the groups he intended to serve.
A decade later, embracing his undergraduate degree and returning to the world of design, Frankie began wearing glitter nail polish again. It brought him joy, if subtly. It felt genuine to himself. The return was short lived; he soon retreated in the pursuit of blending in at the hospital system that had hired him to support clinical innovation and improve patient experiences.
At the start of 2022, Frankie set an intention for the year: to share more of himself. The glitter nail polish came back off the shelf and into regular use. Though business interactions took place primarily on Zoom, a glint could be noticed from time to time. It mattered not. The choice was made. The authentic was embraced.
A client of Frankie's company noticed the nail polish at an in-person event. "Do you have kids?" she asked. It was the most logical explanation. A pause.
"Nope," he said, grinning nervously. "I'm an artist."
She offered a welcoming smile. It was a moment of worlds uniting. The buttoned-down-blue-shirt Frankie, who prized professionalism and reliability, and the P-H-with-a Frankie, who cherished nonbinaryism and experimentality. He gave her his website URL. She ordered his book.
A month later, she reached out. "I'm in charge of recruiting speakers for a TEDx event. Would you talk about your art?"
Voilà, he was in. He'd been bold, he'd taken a risk, he'd shown up as his true self. He wrote drafts, solicited feedback on the iterations from a dozen friends, and delivered the talk at a film studio downtown. This talk exists now because of it.
"So," perhaps you're wondering, "is this Phinger Nail Polish actually magical?" YMMV. See for yourself.
Or perhaps we should say, see yourself. And share yourself with the world. 'Cause you know what's actually magical?