As a nail student in Colorado, Julie Hayes thought she could drum up some clients to practice on by leaving her business card in a barn housing show horses.
As a nail student in Colorado, Julie Hayes thought she could drum up some clients to practice on by leaving her business card in a barn housing show horses. She got clients all right — the four-legged kind, whose owners wanted their horses’ hooves festively painted for the annual Fourth of July parade.
“You have to be fast when working on a horse,” says Hayes, a nail technician based in Rochester, Minn., who has grown up with horses. “I knew to spray them down with fly spray ahead of time because they kick at flies,” she says.
Hayes used regular paint brushes and water-based acrylic paints to create the patriotic designs, then applied a clear coat of lacquer. It took her 45 minutes to paint the complimentary nail art on all four horses.
“The only mishap,” she says, “was when I was painting a flag on one of the horse’s hooves and someone came by with a bucket of grain. The horse thought that it was for him so he started walking toward the person, so I had to redo some of the stripes.”
Her hoofed Fourth of July nail art attracted the attention of the local fire department who asked Hayes to paint two horses’ hooves for the firemen’s parade. She painted each hoof (at $5 apiece) a solid colour, then applied fire engine decals. “You need to use much bigger decals than you would use for human fingernails,” says Hayes.
Now that she’s back in her home state of Minnesota, Hayes is concentrating on using her nail art talent on two-legged clients who can appreciate her skill... and don’t kick.