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How An Electric Nail Filing Equipment Company Made Half A Million Dollars With A Mobile App

Going mobile was a natural progression for Kupa Inc. The results after launching a year ago came just as naturally and far superseded everyone’s expectations. 

In the first year itself; Kupa Inc generated half a million dollars in revenue without directing any marketing efforts towards their mobile app. Now, the app is not only used to drive revenue but also to communicate with their customers/audience and keep them engaged for longer. The brand is closing in on 10k app downloads with a steady daily increase. 

It all started with two gentlemen from the dental industry. Robert Upshaw and Kito Ochi realized that the electric file used in the dental industry can be used to file acrylics in the young and growing nail industry during the early 1980s. Thus Kupa Inc. was born. The name Kupa is an acronym of their names – Kito, Upshaw, and Associates. From then until the early 2000s; Kupa grew over 200% and found themselves to be industry leaders in the nail salon industry; now selling all kinds of nail specific products. Going online in 2010 was a big decision for them and it paid off.

Vice President – Elaine Watson states We have a very devoted distribution following and with the growth of the internet and the changing of the way consumers purchase products we took our brand online a few years ago and the buying habits of professional nail technicians has evolved – They were used to going into a brick and mortar store; walking in and purchasing products all in one location and as the generations have changed, now they’re looking to shop more on the internet and so we still have a very strong sales and distribution for the traditional people but we also have quite a growth in our sales online.”

Going mobile in 2018 was the next logical step in order to further penetrate their target audience and keep them engaged. Elaine went on to say “We recognized that having a mobile app on your device was a much easier quicker way for people to get to the site, you know, just the evolution of apps has amplified and I think today’s shopper is just looking for simplification. I think it is really driving a lot of the way that retail and our shoppers behave – everybody wants quick, easy and fast. Convenience is key. So we saw that by adding the app as not only a solution for those issues but also communication. We’re able to use the app to notify our customers, existing customers – whoever has the app of special events and special sales, we’ll go facebook live, we’re able to notify them off”

Key Goals of Building the Mobile App

They decided to see how it goes – not keeping many expectations but monitoring the performance of the app. The mobile app did 3 key things for them-

  • Increase revenue 
  • Build and engage a strong community of Nail technicians
  • Add another sales channel 

Elaine adds “When we added the app we already had quite a customer base who were visiting us on a regular basis – through our Shopify site. What’s happened is that some were going and logging into and are now able to do it from their handheld device. They could be at the nail table and suddenly run out of powder and need it and they can quickly grab their phone between customers, hit the app, order it and get back to work. Whereas logging in on a device, your tablet or your computer took a little more time or even purchasing on the website. Or even on your phone (mobile site) takes a little more time – more steps involved. “

Ever since the Kupa Inc app launched their revenue shows nothing but an upward monthly growth and will hit their first $1 million in no time. 


“Invest wisely in your time. I know I have very little spare time and educating yourself on things like this that are an easy way of increasing your profits is worth your time investing in researching it. You can go home and watch something on TV just checkout or you could spend 10-15 minutes getting to know the software, but like I’m saying that especially if you’re an entrepreneur and your new to this – something that was this easy to integrate into your Shopify is worth a few hours of your time investigating it and getting to know it so you can utilize all of the benefits it has to offer that could then increase your sales with very little effort. “ – Elaine Watson, VP – Kupa Inc.