Young entrepreneur, Lavender Sky shares her experience in the nail industry from her adolescence to now. For Sky, being in a nail salon was nothing new as she described being “born into the game” as her mom is a nail tech as well. Once she started attending school at Georgia State University she knew she could provide a service that many people wanted.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get a job while in school so I decided to work for myself and started doing nails right before my freshman year at Georgia State,” Sky said. “ I had the whole campus on lock doing nails in my dorm underneath my lofted bed and eventually I became so busy that I started skipping class, but school was never for me anyway.”
THE NAIL GAME
As an independent artist in such a growing and competitive field, Sky has felt all the ups and downs of being your own boss. Luckily she sees each day as a new opportunity to continue to build her own confidence as well as her clients’.
“I love building close relationships with my clients and sometimes it gets deep and personal, but I appreciate that they confide in me and can leave feeling happy and confident,” Sky said. “ Not every day is perfect though, but I don’t have too many issues with clients because I choose them the same way they choose me.”
Understanding that the nail game is all about choices, Sky knows the importance of acting on a new idea once it first comes to mind. Even if she falls short at times she refuses to let it get her down as she believes that there is enough room for everyone at the table.
“I’ve learned to seize the moment because somebody can come real quick and snatch up your idea and I’ve had a few ideas and didn’t take action quick enough,” Sky said. “ I heard a woman say one time that it’s not about who does it first, but as long as it’s done then you’re making progress.” With this in mind, she consistently reminds herself that she might be better at something than the next nail tech and that there is plenty of money to go around in this world.
Along with creating quality work, building up your clientele is another key factor in having a successful nail business. Sky prides herself in her creative abilities and knows how much her time and efforts are worth.
“I don’t like how people don’t appreciate the skill, time and amount of product it takes to achieve a masterpiece while still expecting it to be under $100, good nails aren’t cheap,” Sky said. “Most of my support comes from strangers and I’m okay with that because I’ve had clients bring me nail supplies which I think is dope because I love shopping for new stuff.” Sky went on to talk about some of her favorite brands she likes to use such as, “Young Nails and Glam and Glits” for her liquid monomer and acrylic powders.
Perfecting a skill or technique is something that does not happen overnight, but with good guidance and consistent practice, anything is possible. Sky has taught one-on-one nail classes and has created her own nail design sketchbook to further promote creativity and help others gain the experience they need.
“I’ve heard so many girls who have taken my class say that they’re scared to mess up, but that’s always going to happen,” Sky said. “ Everyone who’s at the place you want to be at had to start at the same place, so you might as well just do it, build up your clientele and your presence on social media.”
With COVID-19 still being an active focus today, it has taught many entrepreneurs how to use social media to their own advantage. With features such as Instagram reels, stories and general posting, this has allowed business owners to reach audiences like never before.
“I think working during the pandemic was the best thing for me because I built up a lot of clientele and it doesn’t matter what type of crisis it is because the girls are always going to keep their nails done,” Sky said. “ I guess you could really say that I’m an essential worker.”
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