Wendy Updegrave (right) and Shari Puckett
First Class Nails
East Lyme, Conn.
I’ve had Shari as a client for around 20 years. Her usual service is a natural nail manicure with tow designed nail tips.
When I first started doing her nails, I had natural nails too, but most techs at the time were only doing acrylic. We had an immediate connection because I have always been a natural nail advocate.
We have gone through a lot together these past 20 years. I’ve been through marriage, death, and divorce with her. She’ll tell me, “I just love you!” She knows my family, has watched my children grow up, and has pretty much become a part of my family. I just love her, too!
Patti Dersch (right) and Mary-Jean Schimmel
Metro the Salon Downtown
St. Charles, Mo.
Mary-Jean Schimmel is probably my longest and most continuous client. I’ve been doing her nails for about 11 years now. Mary Jean drives 45 minutes every two weeks to get her nails done and has followed me to five different salons. She is an acrylic client and also gets a full set of nail art done for every holiday and when her son comes home on leave from the Marines. She even keeps a scrap book of all the different sets of art I’ve done for her.
Laura Campos (right) and Maria Micciche
Laura’s Pro Nails
After nail school, the first full set I ever did was on a woman named Maria Micciche. She told me during the appointment that she was also a licensed tech, but was not practicing at the time. (This made me a little nervous.) As I was buffing the final nail, it snapped off and flew across the room. I was mortified. She just laughed and said, “Don’t worry about it; you can fix it, no problem.” That was 17 years ago.
She stayed with me for a little while and followed me to the next couple salons I worked in, but eventually we lost touch.
Two years ago I saw her name in my book again. She found me because my work had been mentioned in NAILS. Since then, she has actually started working at my salon, and I still do her nails. We have a renewed friendship that has gotten stronger and our families even spend time together on the weekends. I feel lucky to have had her come back into my life.
Jill Wright and Billie Edgar
Jill Wright Spa for Nails
Bowling Green, Ky.
Billie Edgar has been with me since 1996. On Thursdays at 6 pm, we do her natural nail manicure, and every now and again we have to patch or replace a broken nail with acrylic. A few times a year we do a pedicure, too.
She became a loyal client because without regular care, she couldn’t grow long nails. We hit it off and she liked the results of my work. Even though we normally don’t do things together outside the salon, I still consider her to be a friend.
Kim Anderson Joni Novak, Sarah Fehrenbacher, Linda Novak
I have three clients that have been with me for 17 years. From left to right they are Joni Novak, (myself), Sarah Fehrenbacher, and Linda Novak. These people have become a part of my family. We have been through a lot together, good and bad. We laugh and cry together, and sometimes we laugh so hard we cry.
I wake up every day thankful I have a career I still love even after all these years. I’m also grateful I have such wonderful dedicated clients whose friendship and support have helped make me the successful nail technician I am today.
Cindy Davis, Ellie Chapman
Ellie Chapman has been coming to me for 11 years now. She has a standing manicure and pedicure appointment every other Friday morning, and in the 11 years she has been with me, three have only been two times when she skipped her much-loved services. The first was when I had my daughter, and the second was for her family vacation. We have a close relationship after all these years; she tells me all the time that I am like a daughter to her.
Ellie is a diabetic and I have always made sure her health and safety comes first, and she knows and appreciates that. I believe my sincere concern for her disease has kept her coming back for all these years.
G. Elizondo and Christina Cassarro
D’Hair to be Different
My first full set was two years ago on Cristina Cassarro. She is still with me to this day, coming in every two weeks. She has really grown up with me – literally. She was in high school when we first started and no she has graduated and will be starting college. We laugh, cry, talk a lot, and experiment with crazy designs and consider ourselves friends. Even though I am twice her age, we have a special relationship. After all, she was my first.
Tanya Sisson and Kristine White
Nail Girl Salon
Kristine White has been with me for nearly all of my 18 years of service in the nail industry. Her usual service is an acrylic backfill with an occasional set of flowers.
In the last few years, with colored acrylics becoming more prevalent, she has moved to a sparkly pink in her French and enjoys a flower or special adornment every now and then. The length is shorter these days to keep up with a busy schedule and family life. (Not like the glamour length days when we were out dancing three nights a week.)
Like many of my veteran clients, we have become witnesses to each other’s journeys through life and have created a friendship as well as a business relationship. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Tiffany Reeves and Edwanna Young
Life Spa at Life Time Fitness
My mother, Edwanna Young, has been coming to me for 15 years. She has supported my career since the beginning.
The first visit she got a full set of tips with acrylic nail art. Now she is the bling queen and always wants rhinestones on her nails. I have to put limits on how much bling she can have so she doesn’t use all of the rhinestones at once.
Joanne Marks and Jenny Robateau
Studio 4 Salon and Spa
Long Beach, Miss.
I’ve only been doing nails for four years, so my longest standing clients have only been with me for that long. While I’m sure there are plenty of nail techs that can beat that by 10 or 20 plus years, I’d like to talk about my 17-year-old client, Jenny. I find it remarkable that we just had our one-year anniversary. We don’t often see young clients stay with us “on their own;” by that I mean neither her mom nor any other family members come with her.
She found me on her own and has stuck with me. She comes to me for acrylics and she works a part time job to pay for her services. She comes for a fill every two weeks and hasn’t yet missed an appointment. I know there are other out there like Jenny, but I just wanted to say kudos to her.