Amanda Bernard struggled with biting her nails for years. When she searched for a product that might be able to help and couldn’t find anything that worked, she did what women entrepreneurs do best and came up with a solution herself. Bitter Gold, based in Toronto, Canada, is an odorless nail serum that strengthens nails, heals dry skin and tastes bitter, keeping users from biting on their nails. Bernard faced numerous challenges in getting her business off the ground but now she’s focused on bringing her product to a bigger market.
Amanda Bernard’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
For as long as I can remember I have been biting my nails and picking at my skin surrounding the nail. I would often spend hours subconsciously picking at the skin around my nail, sometimes to the point where it would bleed and get infected. Every time I would get motivated to finally break the habit and stop biting my nails, I felt like there was no product that could possibly help me. Eventually, after vast research, a lot of help and testing numerous new-age beauty techniques I have developed a new product called: Bitter Gold.
Bitter Gold is made up of a special formula that produces a bitter taste that is long lasting and tastes so bad you won’t want to put your fingers in your mouth. Bitter Gold also has Silica and Biotin to strengthen and harden the nail as it grows, along with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E that heals the dry skin surrounding your nail. Since Bitter Gold protects the fingernail from damage it also promotes nail growth.
My definition of success would be working on something that I love doing while helping people. I want to create a product that customers are proud to own. Bitter Gold was meant for woman to start loving their real nails. I struggled with accepting my nails for such a long time. I do not want anyone to feel the way I use to feel.
My biggest success to date was the launch of Bitter Gold. When I first started I did not realize how hard it was going to be and how many obstacles I was going to hit. At the beginning I told everyone I was going to launch in 6 months. One month before the big launch, one of my manufacturers backed out. It was a horrible feeling, because I was looking for a Canadian manufacturer and since my company was small a lot of manufactures did not want to work with such a small amount. At first, it took me quite a bit of time to adjust to the news. I had to step away from the business before I lost my mind. After a few days and with a fresh mind, I consistently pushed forward. I kept making calls to all the manufacturers I could find on google located in Canada. I would make calls in between classes in empty classrooms. Eventually I got a hold of a company located only one hour away from me, who turned out to be a better fit for Bitter Gold.
“It has been a difficult ride, but I kept pushing forward and was able to accomplish my dream.”
– Amanda Bernard
When I got close to the new launch date again, another obstacle hit me hard. I had sent money to the bottle manufacturer overseas and the money got lost in transit for over four months. It has been a difficult ride, but I kept pushing forward and was able to accomplish my dream.
I do have a 9 to 5 job that has impacted my business. I would love to just focus on my business, but in order to live I needed to work. This has taken away from my business, and I hope one day I am able to give Bitter Gold my full attention.
My most important role model is my father. Growing up he taught me to go for things that I believed in and that I was capable of doing anything that I set my mind too. Without him I do not think I would be the person I am today.