In honor of the reader-written issue, NAILS asked several nail techs to give us tours of their home salons. Shannon Arnold takes us to the Flip Flop Beauty Shop in Cooper Plains, N.Y.
I got a late start in the beauty industry. After many years of working in different industries, including as a factory worker, forklift operator, certified nurse’s aide, store clerk, and waitress, nothing felt right. Then I watched my daughter Brittany go through cosmetology school, and I knew I just had to go too.
At the time, I was only interested in hair — until we came to the nail instruction part of the course. I was into crafting then and was intrigued with the tools, gadgets, products, and all the artistic possibilities that came with the nail industry. We only had a couple of weeks of nail instruction, so I had to basically teach myself and learn from others with whom I worked. Most of all, I have learned from researching online, using nail tech forums such as BeautyTech.com, and from watching online tutorials.
After working in a spa for a little over a year, I felt it was time for me to open my own place. I briefly rented a room and worked there until we built the salon and the attached bathroom onto our new home. We moved into the home and salon in the same week in October 2007.
I wanted the salon to feel like a home away from home. My clients come to relax, laugh, vent, and some just drop in for a great cup of coffee. Some have even come in their PJs. We are all like sisters here — more like one big family. I am very blessed to have some of the most caring, generous, friendly, and fun clients.
My shop is exploding with flip flops — they are everywhere! It started with my mother bringing me in a couple things to go along with my pedicure station, and the rest have almost all come from my clients. One brought a boxful of bathroom accessories, including towels, toilet paper holder, a rug, etc. Some have called me from their vacations and asked if I would like them to bring anything back, or they just show up with a flip flop item they just had to get for me.
Most of my business in nail-related, but we also offer facial waxing, and my daughter Brittany works as a hairstylist part time while attending college full time. The shop is a very small space, but those times we both have clients in our chairs and more waiting for their appointments are when we have the most fun.
I plan to continually learn as much as I can and to attend hands-on classes and beauty industry shows when I am able.
This is the first time in my life that work feels like play. It took me forever to find it, but this is the place I should be. I only wish I had found it many years ago.
I love collecting nail gadgets and polish, and clients can choose from almost a wall full of colors and glitters.
I wanted to create a fun, but relaxing environment for my clients, and the turquoise walls help brighten up the cozy shop. In the shop, I have a corner for hair, and my daughter works with me part time.