Tech Finds Rewards in Tending to Homebound Clients

These clients are especially grateful for at-home manicures by Holly Schippers, but she's the one who says they provide something very special for her.

Nail tech Holly Schippers left the salon in 2005 when she was pregnant, but this doesn’t mean she turned her back on her most precious clients. In addition to her work as a CND Education Ambassador, she maintains a clientele comprised largely of the elderly and homebound.

Schippers fell into this type of work by accident. While she was still at the salon, a woman called to find someone who could come to her home and shorten her husband’s nails. “He had cancer and they were older, so since it was just a few blocks from the salon, I took him on for $5 a visit,” she recalls. “He lost his battle to cancer but those visits with him and his wife once a month enriched my life.” Her next client was someone even closer to her. “My father-in-law became ill and eventually bedridden,” says Schippers. “A lot of older men and sometimes women have a very high hyponychium, so if you trim their nails with clippers and do not know to look for it, they bleed. He was getting frustrated with the pain others caused, so I offered to give him manicures.” Because his hands were sore from arthritis, she would also massage them gently. “He bragged about those manicures and we had a special time together before his passing that we would never have had otherwise.”

This started her on a path she didn’t even realize she was taking. She began manicuring other older clients in their homes since they could not get to the salon. Though she retired from the salon when her child was born, she found she just could not bring herself to force her homebound clientele to find someone new. “This is not something I do for the money, but to give back,” she says. “I charge $10 for a manicure. In return they love me like a grandchild, adjust to my travel schedule, understand occasional baby demands, and complete a corner of my life that would be lacking without them.”

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Plastic nail tips that are applied with adhesive and that cover the entire nail (full-well tips); press-on nails were made popular in the 1970s by...
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