Hi, my name is Starr Rooks. I’m 30 years old and currently living in Charlotte, N.C. When I was 3 years old my mom took me to Woolworth to pick out my first nail polish. I chose a sparkly baby pink polish and this began my love for all things nails.
From that moment on, if it was nail-related I had to have it. Nail decals, stickers, rhinestones, glitter, yes please. I loved it all. As much as I loved being creative and trying different things with my nails, I didn’t realize I could turn it into a profession. That is until my 15th birthday when my mom (who is one awesome lady) surprised me with my first professional manicure. So there I was in Klip and Kurl hair salon sitting at Jada’s table full of excitement. While receiving my manicure I couldn’t help thinking how awesome Jada was and how great it was that she got to do nails everyday. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, she pulled out these boards with decorated nails on them and offered me some nail art. I left the salon that day with a pearly polish and an airbrushed teddy bear with balloons on my left ring finger, my name on my right ring finger and a new career path.
But life as we know it doesn’t always go according to plan and I ended up going to college. After college I did what most people do — I got a job in my field. It didn’t make sense to still think about becoming a nail technician, right? Wrong. I couldn’t stand my job and I was unhappy. When I tried to express my feelings to some people, they thought I was crazy and that I was just trying to revive some childhood hobby. Instead of doing something about it, I pushed my real dreams to the side and kept working. I continued on this path until last year when I’d had enough. I was on the verge of severe burnout and just couldn’t keep working there. After much discussion with my hubby, we decided that now was the time for me to take some time off to finally pursue my dream.
I started looking for some schools to attend and realized, there weren’t that many. I chose the Academy of Nails and Esthetics. It’s one the few schools in Charlotte that offers a nail program. One perk that the school has is since there is no hair program at least 50% of the focus is on the nail program, unlike the other schools I visited. Another perk is that the school is very flexible with the program days since a majority of the students are older than 25. In order to receive a license in North Carolina you need 300 hours. Right now I have 133 hours. Since I’m going part time, I have a little over two months left. It hasn’t always been easy, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I am so grateful that I’m able to finally achieve my dream, and I’m equally grateful that I am able to share my journey with all of you.
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