“I know I chose the right career for me,” says Gayla Snell, a nail tech and massage therapist at Salons on 407 in Highland Village, Texas, who recently learned how a manicurist can touch others’ lives when they need it most.
Snell was concerned when her client of one year, Kaye Davis, cancelled her fill appointment and failed to reschedule. “I always try to book my clients’ next appointment before they leave, so they don’t go too long between fills,” says Snell. “Kaye left a phone message saying she needed to cancel, but would call back to reschedule. I waited for her call, and after a month, I sent her a friendly text reminder that it was time to get her fill. I never heard back. At that point, I thought…well, maybe she took her nails off or went somewhere else to have them maintained.”
Five months later, Snell received a call from her client requesting an appointment. “I had no clue if she had gone to another salon to get her nails done or what she did for maintenance. I was mortified when she came in and I saw how much her nails had grown out,” she says. “While I was proud that all 10 nails were still intact — no fungus or splits in the natural nail — it took me by surprise.”
Snell’s client shared that she had been struggling with cancer treatment and just hadn’t had the energy to come to the salon. She also told Snell that her nails made her feel beautiful during a very dark time of her life. “She told me that as grown out as her nails were, she would still get many compliments from the staff at her oncologist’s office. Of course I told her I would have been happy to come to her home and soak them off to help her maintain them,” she says.
The experience taught Snell more than one valuable lesson. “Just because a client doesn’t call me back doesn’t mean she was not happy with her nails,” she says. She also reaffirmed that she made the right career choice. “I am in the business of helping people to feel beautiful even during their life struggles. I feel totally blessed being a manicurist.”