The professional beauty industry is going through a sea change.

With the availability of classic professional nail brands in the mass market, such as Essie and versions of OPI nail products, salon owners and aestheticians are expressing a need for professional-only brands, items that aren’t available for the masses to purchase and apply themselves.

Enter Morgan Taylor, the new salon-only nail brand by Hand & Nail Harmony, a privately-owned professional beauty company based in Brea, California. Co-founded by Danny Haile, David Daniel and Gari-Dawn Tingler, all professional nail veterans, Morgan Taylor first appeared last spring at the Fall 2013 fashion shows in New York, London and Milan.

Positive feedback and momentum drove a summer 2013 launch with 100 colors in a spectrum of pinks, greens, blues, purples, moody midnight hues and classic reds. Great care was given to the formulation and packaging of Morgan Taylor, Danny said, from a custom-designed bottle featuring a deep, clear Italian glass base; to an ergonomic cap; an ultra-precise brush and colors that aim to break new ground with globally compliant formulas free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP. Hand & Nail Harmony manufactures all products at their 220,000 square foot campus-like headquarters, which employs 300 people.

“We were hearing from salon owners that they didn’t want to use items that people can buy at drugstore,” said Danny, adding, “And, we wanted to get back in the nail polish part of it,” referring to the 2010 launch of gel nail brand Gelish, Hand & Nail Harmony’s entry into the market.

Danny was first exposed to the beauty industry as a teen, when he learned that wearing an artificial nail on your thumb could assist in throwing a mean knuckleball. Eventually, he became a licensed nail technician, going on to win several international nail tech and design awards, and then ultimately becoming a formulator. He consulted for many large professional nail companies, and established—and sold—pro nail company EzFlow—in 2003.

Danny’s idea for Gelish came about when doing nail art training in Japan in 2006, where he observed the time-consuming, soak-off gel manicures emerging at that time. Subsequently, over the next nine months, Danny nailed down the idea for a faster gel polish that could also keep its viscosity, and in the following two years he worked on formulating Gelish. Launching on the cusp of when big-name brands [CND] were entering the market, Gelish slowly gained momentum and is now available in 85 countries worldwide.

Morgan-Taylor has been riding Gelish’s wave of distribution success. Since its spring debut, the brand boasts international distribution. In 2013 Hand & Nail Harmony generated $80 million in sales.

What sets Morgan Taylor apart, explained Gari-Dawn Tingler, the company’s Vice President, is its formulation, custom designed bottle, cap and brush, its tonally complete color range, and that it’s a professional product designed by professionals for professionals.

Interesting to note is that in markets such as Japan, Morgan Taylor is sold in prestige salons that are located inside department stores and luxury outlets in order to establish itself as a serious brand. “In some international markets in order to be recognized in the professional market, a brand needs to be found in prestige-type stores to get the exposure,” Danny said.

Related Story:

Gelish to Debut 8 Shades of Red