In the beginning of my career I considered getting a part time job several times to supplement my income while building clientele. I went immediately to booth renting after graduating from school and the pressure was overwhelming at times. This month marks four years since then and I am happily still my own boss, booked solid eight hours a day, six days a week. The only time I consider an alternative profession is when I think about having benefits or a retirement, but the income in this industry is unbeatable!
Kathryn Chitwood, Kate Nails It, Albany, Ore.

When I started out in this industry, at the first salon I worked at, I was doing it all; hair, nails, basic facials, and waxing. I was miserable. I hated doing hair especially and would have to talk my nerves down before every client. I thought many times about changing my career and if I had made the right decision. When I moved onto my next salon they were looking for someone who focused on just nails, my true passion, and I jumped on that train and never looked back. I will always be grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to really do what I love and to find my place in this industry. Now that I have found the perfect salon family and am doing what I love, I can never imagine not doing nails! I truly love every minute of it.
Anne VanSpronsen, Eve Salonspa, Portage, Mich.

Have I thought of changing careers? Never! But if someone had told me that I would be in this industry for over 16 years, I would have laughed. I started doing my own nails back in college in 1999 due to a lack of satisfaction — my college town discount salons couldn’t give me what I was accustomed to.  After getting rave reviews and compliments about my own nails, I started doing others’ nails for extra money. (Hey, a college girl can always use some extra money.) I loved every minute and opportunity to be able to show my creative side.  Who knew that it would lead to a career? I established a full and loyal clientele. Even after receiving my degree I continued to service my college town patrons. Even now, 16 years later, with a master manicurist and instructor license, and my own shop in my hometown, I drive one day a week to render services to my college town clientele. I have never thought about changing careers. I love what I do.
Crystal Jones Leonard, Nails By Crystal, Birmingham, Ala.

I’m in the process of morphing my career. I have always had a love for people and in college majored in both sociology and psychology. But after attending college and working full time, I debated where I was supposed to be. I had struggled building up a nail business. One day I found myself in deep conversation with a client who told me I have a gift of healing light. She suggested I look into a program at a local healing arts college. I signed up, and rose to the challenge that truly awakened my soul. After graduating with an advanced life coaching certification, I built up a small clientele of people looking for someone to help them evolve in their goals. As much I love coaching, I also have a passion for nails. Recently, I decided to combine my two talents and use my coaching skills to inspire the nail tech community. I’m currently working on several nail projects, with
www.nailaddictsociety and
Sheera Gersh, Addicted to Nails, Tempe, Ariz.

Next Question:
How do you encourage male clients to come into your salon?
[Answers will be printed in the June 2016 issue.] Share your opinion on the topic by e-mailing your response by March 15 to Please include your name, salon, city and state, social media handles, and a high-resolution headshot with your response.

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