Being a nail tech can often mean working long hours, nights, and weekends. Add to that trade shows, contests, and continuing education classes — not to mention child and/or elder care — and it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day for yourself, let alone your significant other. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we polled some very busy nail techs to find out how they keep their businesses and their relationships growing and thriving.
My husband and I met and fell in love 10 years ago at age 14. He has been extremely supportive of my career since the beginning when he became a full-time, stay-at-home dad to our 1-year-old so that I could go to beauty school. Since then, he has gone above and beyond, from holding down the fort whenever I travel as an educator, to washing my work towels (no matter how much he hates the smell of acrylic), to custom-ordering sweatshirts and hand-making heartfelt nail-related gifts, to handing me breakfast as I’m running out the door and tucking the kids into bed while I’m working late yet again. He also helps by giving me the backbone to not let my clientele control our lives. I would be absolutely lost without him! We manage to keep the spark alive by reserving our one day a week with no work (this includes responding to texts and calls, product runs, etc.). We go on dates when we can, and owning my own business has enabled me to schedule time off for our anniversaries, birthdays, weekends away, kids’ events, etc., and I believe that putting our family first has made us stronger as a couple.
Kathryn Chitwood, Kate Nails It, Hand and Nail Harmony Educator, Albany, Ore.
I make sure to cook dinner for my husband nearly every night so we can sit and talk about our days and spend time together.
Hope Jung, Studio 890 Salon and Spa, Brookfield, Wis.
Linda Nordstrom: Jim and I have been together for 25 years, married for 24. We have actually known each other since 1985. I met Jim while working for Creative Nail Design as an educator; although I knew Jim, we did not start dating until 1991. It all happened at the ISSE New York Show. Creative took the show educators to dinner after a long, hard day and I ended up sitting next to Jim at dinner — this is when we sparked! It was not an easy dating game, as he lived in California and I lived in Rhode Island, but we managed quite well. The show was in March, we started dating in May, and I moved to California in August. That was 25 years ago. We were married exactly one year, less a day, later! When I left, my mom told Jim that if we weren’t married within a year, then she “got me back,” so I moved on August 30, 1991 and we got married on August 29, 1992. We now have two beautiful daughters who are 18 (Carli) and 21 (Niki) and both of them work at Famous Names with us.
Jim and I work together all day out of our home. He has his office and I have mine, so we spend a lot of time together. The good thing is that his office is upstairs and mine is downstairs. We also travel all over the world together representing Famous Names and teaching IBX certification classes together, so we are lucky not to have to be apart very often. We are both extremely passionate about the professional nail industry; we have both been in the industry most of our adult lives, and we are lucky to share that same passion. We have an extremely close family unit. We spend a lot of time with our girls relaxing, working, traveling, and just hanging out. Passion is probably the easiest part of our relationship — it just comes naturally, and I do think it helps that we spend so much great time together!
Jim Nordstrom: You know it’s right when a relationship is seamless and that describes Linda and me. We truly love each other and love our industry. Does it get any better? Not for me!
Linda and Jim Nordstrom, Famous Names, Las Vegas
I have been in the industry for seven years, but really building my business and name in my town for the last two years. My significant other and I recently got engaged, so on top of running my business and household, I’m now planning our wedding too. It gets hectic, but the biggest help is that we always support each other 100%. We communicate throughout the day and take turns with making dinner and doing household things. He understands my business and what it takes to keep it running, and he’s always willing to help, whether it’s handy work in the salon or waiting until late at night to eat so we can have dinner together. The business makes me crazy sometimes, but he’s my biggest supporter and I couldn’t do this without him!
Joan Yeager, Beauty by Joan, Medford, Wis.
My boyfriend of seven years also runs his own business so I’m lucky that he is also used to the late nights! I prep all his meals at the start of the week which means he’s not left hungry while I’m still at work! He is respectful of the nature of my business and we both understand that by working hard and putting the hours in through the week, we reward ourselves with quality time at the weekend with date night and we are always working towards our next holiday when we really get to enjoy each other’s company away from our busy work schedules.
Katie Miles, All Eyes On You, Manchester, England
I can speak on being a wife, business owner, and mother of two (my youngest is 3 months old). My husband Koryell and I met in 1999 when I graduated from high school. We were quite an item but drifted apart when I left for college. Eleven years later, after my bitter divorce, our paths crossed in 2010. We have been inseparable ever since. In December 2015 we got married in Las Vegas, and in August 2016 we welcomed our honeymoon baby, Miss Kesley. It does get overwhelming at times but Koryell is my biggest supporter so he understands. Whether I’m going in early to handle a bridal party or staying late to do a girl’s night out pamper party, we make it work — as long as his bi-weekly pedicure is on the books! He wasn’t a fan of men getting pedicures until a few years back when he was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic and the doctor mentioned the attention he needed to give to his feet. Now, two weeks can barely pass before he is asking what day is he down for. And he makes sure I don’t forget the paraffin wax. He understands the responsibilities and sacrifices we have to make with me owning my own business. That’s why we take time out for one another. I schedule date nights and lunch dates, and even his pedicure time becomes an opportunity to enjoy each other.
Crystal Leonard, MrsCre8tive1, Birmingham, Ala.
It’s definitely hard to find time to spend together. The hustle and bustle of life always seems to have its surprises. One of the things I can always count on is starting my day with a cup of coffee with my love. The morning is a great time to plan our day and bounce different organizational ideas off each other. If things get too monotonous we shake things up with a small stay-cation. I met my remarkable husband Shealan Jenkins in 2009, which makes seven adventurous years so far. With my husband as our backbone, it enables me to do what I’m passionate about and steadily make my place in the nail art community. It’s definitely a lot of work. Sometimes juggling all of these little joys in life can be a bit of a challenge, but we have learned to be a resilient, unstoppable duo. We have learned to be each other’s rock.
Eva Jenkins, Extraordinary Nails by Eva, Bellevue, Neb.
You Might Also Like: Mars and Venus In the Salon