Festivals, parties and parades – or just a random Wednesday. They’re all the perfect time to sparkle, and one local resident has handcrafted the perfect accessory for any occasion.
Tara Vicknair, a Destrehan native and now Montz resident, whipped up her first batch of face and body glitter last year on a whim.
“I love to host parties,” Vicknair said. “My husband and I were having a king cake party at our house … you know the ones where everyone brings a different king cake and you all just live your best life … I am a very ‘theme-y’ person and I have to go all out when I do stuff, so of course I needed all things purple, green and gold.”
When she decided she wanted face glitter for the party, she took matters into her own hands.
“I didn’t want to pay $20 for a small jar of something I thought I would only use once or twice … funny thought now I know,” she said. “I decided to see if I could make my own and voila … it came out great.”
When her friends at the party asked where she got it, Vicknair gave them the extra jars and then made more.
That was in February of 2019. Almost immediately after the party she began selling her glitter creations on Facebook, and she was selling wholesale to stores just a month later.
Glitter Over Nola was born.
At the time, Vicknair was working as the lead receptionist and assistant manager at a New Orleans veterinary clinic.
“Did people think I was crazy?,” she said of starting her sparkly side business. “Yes … well I mean not necessarily crazy, but my husband Zach had several good laughs about me making ‘that glitter stuff’”.
She said Zach literally laughed out loud when she told him she had put the glitter products on Facebook Marketplace to sell.
“Now we make jokes about me being a glitter mogul,” she said laughing. “Of course from the very beginning he has supported me 100 percent, I just don’t think he expected the outcome to be as it has been.”
Vicknair now glitters as her full-time job, which keeps her busy and gives her flexibility as a mom to 12-year-old Matthew and 5-year-old Ryan. She has no official employees, but said she has plenty of help from friends and family.
“My husband and oldest son are my delivery boys,” she said. “I have two amazing friends, Megan and Natosha, and my of course my mom, Ida, who have helped me work my booth at craft fairs and events.”
Glitter Over Nola offerings currently stand at well over 50 color combinations and range in price from $5 to $20. Vicknair’s products are currently stocked at Luling’s Cherry Lane Boutique, as well as a variety of stores in Metairie and New Orleans.
Customers can order via social media pages and the website – www.glitterovernola.com – and Vicknair said the site features exclusive products such as Mini Jar Mix & Match Sets and Glitz Lip Kits.
“Getting messages from customers saying how great the product is or pictures of glittered faces with uplifting messages about my product is so gratifying, even more because I know that I did it on my own,” Vicknair said. “I hand mixed each batch of glitter and filled every single jar … everything to do with my product is done by me in some way, down to the label.”
And while the coronavirus pandemic may have slowed down business and production, it also inspired a new product launch for Vicknair – Glamitizer, a hand sanitizer with glitter in it.
“Everyone was buying up all the sanitizer and nobody could find,” she said. “I happened to already have a main ingredient, so I got some other stuff and gave it a whirl … of course since my business is literally all things glitter, I had to make it sparkly.”
Vicknair’s friend suggested she call it Glamitizer.
“How could I not?” Vicknair said. “It just fits so well.”
Vicknair said the most surprising thing about starting her business is being recognized by strangers in public.
“I’ve gone places and had people stop me because they recognize me from my social media posts or saw my picture in an ad,” she said. “We went to a restaurant and I was wrangling the boys out while my husband paid and a lady stopped him to ask if his wife’s name was Tara and was she the ‘glitter girl?’”
From wearing the glitter to sharing posts on social media, Vicknair said her friends and family have been extremely supportive.
“I am a really lucky person, and so very thankful,” she said.