These five tales of survival prove that timing isn’t everything. Hard work and determination
can make almost any reason for delaying the fulfillment of career goals seem like a paltry excuse. Take inspiration from these salon owners to surmount your obstacles in 2014.
… You’re Battling Cancer
I have been battling thyroid cancer for the last nine years. Stubborn like me, it just won’t seem to go away. The first treatments were radioactive iodine treatments, so I was in the hospital in solitary confinement for three days. The whole thing was a bit scary, but the second time wasn’t as scary because I knew what to expect.
Unfortunately those treatments didn’t work. The cancer returned three years later and required surgery. Surgeons removed more than 20 lymph nodes. I took only one week off, and even though that was too soon to return to work, it helped me feel more normal by getting back to my regular life. I have amazing clients, family, and friends, and they all helped to keep me positive.
I made the plunge to go out on my own five years ago. I started out renting space from my girlfriend in her hair salon, and a year later I renovated a cute 850-sq.-ft. home and opened a full esthetic and gel nail salon. It was scary growing my business while my cancer was up in the air, but I had an amazing staff that I could count on. I knew if I had to be away for surgery or treatment they’d pick up the slack and take good care of my clients and the salon.
Three years later I now have a 2,800-sq.-ft. salon, where I also do training for Akzéntz and Nubar Infinity Gel. Over the years I’ve had plenty of obstacles in addition to the cancer. I maxed out every credit card I had to be able to open my first shop. One year into my new location a dear friend lent me the money to pay off the debt. Positivity and hard work has gotten me where I am, and I’m so grateful to be able to do what I love. I stay positive because negative energy will only do more damage to me.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring so I enjoy each day, stay positive, and keep moving forward with my salon.
Pink with Envy Nails & Esthetics, Kamloops, B.C., Canada
“Positive energy will help keep me healthy. Being negative is exhausting,” says salon owner Brandy Coull on opening and expanding her salon while battling thyroid cancer.
… You Have Zero Knowledge of the Nail Industry
I became the owner of Polished Elegance after having been an elementary school teacher for 10 years. One day, while attempting to enjoy a pedicure at a local salon, a thought popped into my head: “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place where we could go and feel truly relaxed, pampered, and appreciated? Someplace eye-appealing, impeccable, and law-compliant?” My husband agreed and jumped on my bandwagon.
Everything happens for a reason, and some people are put in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I stumbled across Vicki Peters’ website, and I reached out to her for permission to mimic my salon decor after hers. At the time, I had no idea she was one of the best nail professionals in the industry. From there I cultivated a support group that included Karen Hodges, and these two ladies were available for me every step of the way. Karen even graciously trained my head tech in the art of acrylic nails.
When I started, I had zero knowledge of the nail industry. I did, however, know what I wanted in a nail salon. I knew that cleanliness was a priority. Skimping on quality of service was not acceptable. We aim for 100% satisfaction.
While I was incredibly lucky to have a wonderful husband who funded my dream, there were obstacles. We have now been in business a little longer than seven months. I do have to say the good times have managed to cancel out the not-so-good times. We opened our door and our hearts to a community that immediately embraced us. Because our community has been so amazing to us, we try to give back as much as we can, whether it’s in monetary donations or simply visiting local nursing homes and providing the residents with complimentary manis.
Our clientele has been growing at an incredible rate. We could not be more blessed! I don’t have any regrets, nor do I second-guess my decision to change careers. I think those 10 years as an elementary teacher taught me the value behind a smile, a “have a great day,” and ultimately making sure that when the individual walks out the door, she absolutely cannot wait to come back!
Polished Elegance Nail Salon, Del Rio, Texas
Cristy Hill sets her salon apart with quality nail services and customer service excellence.