A Reality Star to Call Our Own

After years of reality shows focused on hair salons and hairstylists (Blow Out, Shear Genius, Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, Jerseylicious) the nail industry is finally getting our own reality show. Billed as a reality docu-soap series, TV Guide Network’s Nail Files follows the life of salon owner Katie Cazorla as she juggles her expanding business and her personal life.

Walter Afanasieff is the calm to girlfriend Katie Cazorla’s storm. In addition to her life running her salon, the docu-reality series will also show how this odd couple makes their relationship work.
<p>Walter Afanasieff is the calm to girlfriend Katie Cazorla’s storm. In addition to her life running her salon, the docu-reality series will also show how this odd couple makes their relationship work.</p>

NAILS: Any drawbacks to the shooting?

Katie: It’s like having two crazy full-time jobs. The girls were coming up saying they wanted to talk to me about something but they didn’t want to do it on camera. So literally I’d be calling employees at midnight after the crew left saying, “There’s no cameras. You’re not on speaker.” It was hard to have a relationship privately when there were always cameras on your face. Every time the phone would ring the producers make you answer it on speakerphone.


NAILS: Did you get to say if anything was off limits for filming?

Katie: No. Nothing was off limits. I hate having myself filmed brushing my teeth. I think it’s the most unattractive thing ever. I’d wake up and the cameras would already be there. They had a key to my house, a key to my store. Walter would get up earlier than they were scheduled to come over so they wouldn’t catch him waking up. But I’d be so exhausted, I’d still be in bed when they got there.


NAILS: Did you have to do any set-ups to get good footage?

Katie: No. We really didn’t. But that’s part of why they filmed so many hours. So many reality shows are set up. The difference with a show like Real Housewives is there are six cast members to split up the shooting. They’re not following one housewife 24/7. There are five others they can follow, so they can pick and choose dates. This was all me. And none of it was set up. When they first met with me, they said, “What is your life going to look like in the next three months?” I knew I had the Oscar gifting suite, Walter was nominated for a Grammy so I was going to that. I obviously knew there would be kid parties and adult parties in the lounge upstairs. And I told them whoever comes in, comes in. I don’t know who’s going to walk in here on any random day. One day Vanessa Williams from Desperate Housewives came in and I just crossed my fingers and hoped she’d sign a release. And she did. Some celebrities wouldn’t sign the release. For the most part everyone was very compliant.


NAILS: So are you taking a vacation now?

Katie: No. I can’t. Now everything is happening. It’s like coming out with a hit song and not doing all the follow up. Now I have to do press and promos. They’re putting together a promotional bus that they’re wrapping with Nail Files imagery and outfitting the inside to look like The Painted Nail. We have a bunch of cities lined up already. I’ll be doing radio shows and have people come down to the bus for services and giveaways. Mondays are usually my day off but they’re scheduling all my promo shoots and stuff for that day because they know I’m available.



Salon photography by Alen Lin
<p>Salon photography by Alen Lin</p>

 NAILS: How are other people in the industry reacting to the news about the show?

Katie: So many people are so excited. At the ISSE show in Long Beach, people were coming up to me and asking to take their picture with me and saying how excited they are to watch the show. They’re like, “Yes! We’re finally getting a show of our own.” Sure there are also some people who say, “If I had a rich boyfriend I could own a nail salon.” But he has nothing to do with this. He just happens to be my boyfriend. The nail salon makes me money so I can do stuff. I started this nail salon with hardly any money. It’s hard and expensive to start your own business. I like to say I have champagne tastes on a beer budget. But look what I did with the salon all by myself. I worked every angle and avenue. There will always be the people who say it’s all because my boyfriend has money. But I think when they see the show they’ll realize that’s not the case. Jealousy will always rear its ugly head. But the majority of people in the industry who I’ve run into or talked to are really excited for me and they’re excited for the show for the nail industry as a whole.


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