Veteran nail tech Linda Champion-Orsuto discovered a way to combine her skills as a nail tech with her antiques business: She repairs damaged antiques using acrylic or gel. Although Champion-Orsuto is semi-retired from the nail business, she still provides services to a few long-time clients in the back of her antique store. That’s what gave her the idea to grab some acrylics and see if she could repair the chipped and cracked items that reach her store. “I repair things so completely that no one could even detect it,” she says.
“Some items have huge gouges, so I just build the product up little by little,” she explains. “I blend it in, and sometimes I file it and sometimes I don’t — it depends on what the finish of the item is.” After repairing the item, she applies gel over the top to return its sheen. It’s a versatile technique, she says. “If you have clear gel, you can repair a clear item. And it really does stay; it’s not like it’s going to fall off. It becomes one with the item.”
Champion-Orsuto thinks repairing damaged items could be a good sideline for nail techs to add to their menus. “If they do acrylic and gel, why not put a little sign on their station that says ‘I can fix your broken treasures,’” she says.
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