LAKE ARIEL - Polishing her nails was simply a leisurely pastime for Chelsea Franklin, until she decided to start a blog. “The Nail Network,” has over 3,000 members and has led Franklin on a trip she never expected to take. In May, Franklin’s first coffee table book, “500 Nail Designs: Inspired and Inventive Looks for Every Mood and Occasion,” hit the shelves.
    A graduate of Wallenpaupack Area High School and a resident of Lake Ariel, 22-year-old Franklin says doing her nails is “relaxing.” The 15 to 20 minutes needed to style them, Franklin says gives her a chance to “zone out and focus on something.” Plus, she enjoys the challenge that comes with designing and completing different art.
    With countless blogs and groups, where people can swap nail polish tips, Franklin says she decided to start her own blog after following others. The blog, which eventually led to the book, has given Franklin an insight into a “black hole,” about nails and all that there is. At first, Franklin says she was shy about the whole blogging idea and telling her friends, because they would think her blog was “weird.” As she explored the nail blogging world, Franklin says it was “awesome.” There was a concern however, that once people discovered how much nail polish she has, it would be a bit “insane.” The reason, Franklin says is because she has more nail polish than many salons. But, she quickly learned that her fears weren’t a reality, as people embraced her interest, which gave her more confidence.
    As a creative outlet, the blogging has given Franklin the chance to combine her love of nail polish with her passion for photography. With a degree in photography from Marywood University, Franklin does all of the photography for the blog herself.
    With numerous nail polish colors, Franklin says purples are her favorite, but turquoise and coral come next. Not liking coral that is too orange, Franklin says she is “picky,” because of her specific preference. Instead, the coral color should be more pinkish and brighter purples are better. Her least favorite is yellow and orange, because she feels they don’t look good on her. A brand, Zoya is Franklin’s favorite, she says because the colors and quality are consistently good.  
    Blogging since 2011, Franklin has made connections with nail polish companies that include: OPI, China Glaze and Zoya. The companies actually send Franklin their latest collections, that she then reviews for her followers. When she started the blog, Franklin says she wasn’t aware that distributors send their products to people. Now, getting the packages is like Christmas, she says with a laugh.
    Honestly critiquing the various polishes, Franklin says is important because it wouldn’t be fair if she wasn’t truthful about the polishes flaws. The constructive criticism, she says is important because the readers should know about the quality of the polishes. Regularly, Franklin works with about a dozen companies.
    Franklin admits that she didn’t expect the blog to become so big, but really it is “neat” that people around the world care about what she is “putting on my nails.” From her followers, Franklin says she has learned tips that are quicker and easier. Very particular about her nails, Franklin does her nails once to twice a week. But, if the polish chips, she fixes them right away.
    The book came about when Franklin received an email from someone who liked The Nail Network and thought it could be more. Never before, did she think her blog would lead to a book. Doing a book, Franklin says entailed more than she realized. While putting it together, Franklin says she feels she was annoying, but everyone involved was patient and helpful. Literally, Franklin says the book “fell into my lap.”
    Unaware of how a book was made, Franklin says she was surprised at how much input she had, because she reviewed the pages and gave her approval. All of the photography was Franklin’s own, and being so involved was “great.”
    Now that the book is published, excitedly Franklin says she “loves it.” The final product, Franklin says is larger than she imagined as it is quite “hefty.”
    The book is not like the blog, as there aren’t notes about the polishes. Instead, there are images of nails that have been polished with an array of colors. The reason for the difference, Franklin says it was easier getting the book into overseas markets and not having to translate everything.
    When putting the book together, Franklin says she didn’t have nearly as many images and ideas as she thought, and so she ended up doing a lot more work then she anticipated. Keeping the styles unique, Franklin admits was a challenge.
    At this time, Franklin says there are no immediate books in the works, although she is “flirting with the idea,” of a book with 500 more designs. Right now though, as she prepares to get married to her fiancé Joe in July and working full time at the Honesdale National Bank as a sales representative and teller, Franklin doesn’t feel there is enough time.
    With a few negative reviews on Amazon about her book not having tutorials, Franklin responds that expecting 500 tutorials is “insane.” And so, for those who would like some tips, Franklin welcomes emails with questions.
    The Nail Network is Or on Facebook,