Tillie Polish team photo
Grant Recipient

June 8, 2013

Tillie Polish Takes Home May Amber Grant

Tillie Polish

Woman Entrepreneur:
Andrea Matillano-Funkhouser

Congratulations to Andrea Matillano-Funkhouser, winner of the May Amber Grant Award! Andrea and her 2 sisters are the founders of Tillie Polish, an organic, toxin-free nail polish start-up.

Andrea and her sisters combined their entreprenurial spirit and passion for cosmetics to create Tillie Polish all on their own. We caught up with the Pittsburgh-area winner to find out more about this fascinating business.

Video Transcript

WN: Andrea, congratulations again on winning the May Amber Grant.

AM: Wow! We are beyond touched and just so excited that you choose us as the winners! This grant will just help our business so much. We are so truly thankful and ecstatic!

WN: Tell us a little more about Tillie Polish, and how you came up with the idea.

AM: Tillie Polish is a business that my sisters and I started in November of last year. We all love nail polish, but we don’t love the fact that there are so many chemicals and toxins in nail polish that are bad for you. We decided to create a formula that is free of the four main toxic chemicals often found in polish. We also wanted polish that was long-lasting and trendy. We enjoy working together to create a product that people of all ages can use and not feel guilty about putting on their nails.

Over the past two years, we have developed a slight obsession for collecting different polishes. After trying so many different formulas and brands, we started to see which aspects of each that we liked and disliked. We thought that maybe we could create a formula that combined all of the qualities that we enjoy about nail polish!

WN: How do you come up with the colors?

AM: This has to be one of our favorite parts of the whole process! We like to research the upcoming nail polish trends to give us some ideas for colors for our upcoming lines. We also ask our customers which colors they would like to see in future lines to get a nice idea. Then, we try to picks colors that coordinate well with each other and the season.

WN: Where is the polish made?

AM: Our polish is made in the United States. We work with our manufacturer in Florida.

WN: Are there any other non-toxic polishes on the market?

AM: There are a few other brands of polish that are non-toxic. The thing that sets us apart from all of the other brands out there is that our polish is affordable. Many times, non-toxic polishes are very expensive. We didn’t want our customers to have to sacrifice affordability in order to have a healthier option for their nails.

WN: What are your plans for the grant funding?

AM: Our plans for the funds are to purchase more inventory. We often sell out of our polish quickly. There are some stores and salons that want to purchase our polish, but we just cannot fulfill their orders based on our current inventory.

WN: What’s the best part about being in business for yourselves?

AM: We love that fact that we get to work together in this business. We hear from women every single day that they are inspired to see three young women who are entrepreneurs. We believe that women, no matter what age they are, should pursue their dreams. There is nothing more rewarding than creating your own business and working for yourself!

Thanks for reading about our latest Amber Grant winner! We hope you find Andrea’s story as inspiring as we did.


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What people are saying about WomensNet


“You have to be in it to win it...seize the opportunity and apply.”

Nerd Wallet

“Every month, WomensNet awards three $10,000 Amber Grants to women-owned businesses. At the end of each year, monthly grant winners are eligible to receive one of three $25,000 annual grants.”


“Launched 20 years ago this grant honors the memory of a young woman who wanted to be an entrepreneur but died at age 19 before she could achieve her goal.”


“The Amber Grant offers three $10,000 grants to women-owned businesses each month. Then, at the end of each year, WomensNet gives an additional $25,000 to three grant winners from that year.”

Essence Magazine

“This organization offers monthly grants of up to $10,000 to support female entrepreneurs starting businesses. Those who qualify for these grants are also in the running for a yearly $25,000 grant.”