Couple 1: Lisa Marie Santos, nail tech (at Studio One80 Salon in Crestview, Fla.) and Georges Stokes, information assurance analyst for U. S. Special Operations Command

“We have two households to maintain for now so there’s lots of ‘work’ to  be done outside of work. We’re a team and understand that working  together is what makes our family run smoothly.”

“We have two households to maintain for now so there’s lots of ‘work’ to be done outside of work. We’re a team and understand that working together is what makes our family run smoothly.”

Together: 10 months. Met: Via a mutual friend who is a stylist at the salon where Lisa Marie works.

Lisa Marie, on overcoming low points with Georges’ encouragement: A while back I got totally frustrated and Georges reminded me of the passion I have for this industry and how much of a blessing and God-given career this industry is for me. It made me pull myself into a corner by my ear and have a long talk with myself and God.

Lisa Marie, on communicating with Georges while at work: Georges is a romantic. He tells me he will always date me. And he has done just that…I get random texts or e-mails from him that make me giggle or smile. He was away on temporary duty for a few days in my hometown of Tampa and he took mini videos for me of the surroundings, telling me how much he wished I was there with him to enjoy the city.

Georges, on coping with Lisa Marie’s odd hours: Lisa’s schedule is more dynamic than mine, and it often includes weekends, holidays, and early evening hours. On the weekends I like to take a Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato to the shop on my way to the home improvement store. I usually utilize the weekend time when she is at work to take care of projects around the house. On average I’m done by the time her day is over.

Holidays are a little more challenging. We try to be creative and ensure we have plans to celebrate the occasion. If there is an activity taking place, such as a parade, we try to make time and partake in it as a family. When this is not possible we try to do something after she is done at work.

Georges, on seeing Lisa Marie in action at the salon: I never realized the science behind her work. Polymers, layers of the nail bed, bonding agents, temperature, etc. It is like a mad scientist lab in there. Her knowledge and skills were impressive but what impressed me the most is the fact that she is tracking all of these complex tasks and still able to carry a conversation about whether the Kardashian marriage was a publicity stunt. At the same time she is being tactful in giving advice to a customer seeking a service/product that might not fulfill the client’s expectations!

Next page: Couple 2

[PAGEBREAK]Couple 2: Anthony Charles Licata III, salon owner (of Licata’s Nail Studio in Macomb Township, Mich.) and Rachel Demers, teacher

“From dealing with my clients blowing up my cell phone day and night for their nail appointments (and being male in this profession, it’s hard on her to have women calling me all the time) to being understanding of early mornings and late nights to dealing with all the stress of opening the new salon, I’m blessed to have my fiancée help me with my personal life while I live at the salon.”

“From dealing with my clients blowing up my cell phone day and night for their nail appointments (and being male in this profession, it’s hard on her to have women calling me all the time) to being understanding of early mornings and late nights to dealing with all the stress of opening the new salon, I’m blessed to have my fiancée help me with my personal life while I live at the salon.”

Together: 5 years. Met: Via working at the same club (he as security and she as a bartender), then getting to know each other while he did her nails.

Anthony, on working as a team: We both have our careers, mine in the salon plus I have a security company, and Rachel is a teacher. I have an 8-year-old son (Anthony) so we work together on raising him to the best of our ability. He comes to the salon sometimes because she has to stay at school late. Or on nights I have to stay late she will get him home to start his homework. Our communication has to be our greatest asset because my hours change a lot due to cancellations or sick clients. She also has a ton of after school activities that keep her late many nights. Whoever gets home first starts dinner, laundry, cleaning, etc. We do our best to share as many responsibilities as possible to help each other out.

Anthony, on communicating with Rachel while at work: Rachel calls me every day on her breaks and lunch. If I’m not with a client I pick up so I can hear her voice. I can’t really call her because she is usually in class, but I do my best to text her a few times a day to let her know I love her.

Rachel, on why Anthony’s job as a nail tech/salon owner is a great fit for him: For starters he’s one of the biggest gossip kings I know. He knows everything about everyone from working his second job at the bar, meeting new people wherever we go, and keeping in touch with his oldest friends. Anthony doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to listening to his clients vent about life, love, and everything in between (I mean everything!). On a more serious note he is one of the most creative people I know. His ability to transform projects and thoughts into reality adds to his ability when creating the highest-quality nail service.

Rachel, on the best benefit of having a fiancé in the beauty industry: I get my nails done regularly every two weeks. And if a nail is broken it can be fixed at home. (He is amazing.)

Next page: Couple 3

[PAGEBREAK]Couple 3: Justine Nelson, salon owner (of Tips-N-Toes in Tremonton, Utah) and Darin Nelson, truck driver

“I wouldn’t have gone to nail school if it wasn’t for my amazing hubby.”

“I wouldn’t have gone to nail school if it wasn’t for my amazing hubby.”

Together: 16 years. Met: Via a mutual friend.

Justine, on switching from being an auto mechanic to entering the beauty industry: He helped every step of the way. I was at risk of being laid off when my husband saw an ad for nail school. I enrolled, completed, and graduated. He put up with constant nail dust and endless nail talk. I love him so much for helping me follow my dream.

Justine, on working as a team: We help each other in any way we can. If I have a slow day I do the housework, and if he’s home he will help with it. And if not for my two little men helping with jobs around the house, it would be chaos.

Darin, on seeing Justine in action at the salon: She is very professional with her customers.

Darin, on the “secret” of a successful relationship: Working together.

Next page: Couple 4

[PAGEBREAK]Couple 4: Susan Acciari (right),  nail tech and make-up artist (at Spalon Montage in Woodbury, Minn.) and Nicole Acciari, before-and after-school care giver for students and a personal trainer

“My partner supported me through a career change. Nicole paid for my nail school tuition, took care of our home, planned our wedding, and let me quit working to go to school full time. If she hadn’t helped, I would not have been able to become a nail tech.”

“My partner supported me through a career change. Nicole paid for my nail school tuition, took care of our home, planned our wedding, and let me quit working to go to school full time. If she hadn’t helped, I would not have been able to become a nail tech.”

Together: 2 years. Met: At a bar. Susan’s heels were making it hard for her to dance, so they went outside and talked instead.

Susan, on switching from being a paralegal to entering the beauty industry: Nikki was completely up for me going to beauty school. I was unsure because I had tried so many other things and quit, but after talking about it in detail, I knew this was something I really wanted to do. People always told me I should have gone into the beauty industry but I was afraid until I met someone who supported me.

Susan, on overcoming low points with Nikki’s encouragement: There are low times and whenever I am stressed out with fears of failing, building up a clientele, or even upset over missing a funeral because of work, my partner reminds me of what I should be thankful for and reminds me to look at the positive side to missing these things and puts a smile back on my face.  

Nikki, on working as a team: I am off on weekends and she is off on Monday and Tuesday, so we take turns making dinner, cleaning, taking the dog out, and doing chores. This way, we are not putting all the pressure on one person in the household to do everything.

Nikki, on coping with Susan’s odd hours: I like it for the most part. On Saturdays it gives me a chance to do things I need to do, i.e. errands, work-out, train my clients, do house-related projects, and relax. It’s funny because before I even know it she is back home.

I think the hardest for me is her working on Sundays because of family functions and having a day off together. Since our marriage, we have not had a weekend off together.

Next page: Couple 5

[PAGEBREAK]Couple 5: Amy Cerioni, nail tech (at Aqua Essentials Day Spa & Salon in Madera, Calif.) and Ryan Cerioni, controller for a builder/developer

“He is my biggest fan. He has a stack of my cards in his truck and hands them out to everyone...even in the drive-thru!”

“He is my biggest fan. He has a stack of my cards in his truck and hands them out to everyone...even in the drive-thru!”

Together: 8.5 years. Met: Via working for different companies in the same building.

Amy, on working as a team: We run a tight ship at our house. I will do a load of laundry in the morning while I am getting ready for work and Ryan puts it away. If I am going to be late he will start preparing dinner. Since I work six days a week, I try to set aside time to tidy up the house.

While I was going to beauty school, I was also working a full time job Monday through Friday. I would get off work at 5 p.m., then race to school 30 miles away, finally getting home after 10 p.m. I did this for four months. During that time I hardly saw our two children. He was Mr. Mom while I was in school, and I could not have done it without him.

Amy, on communicating with Ryan while at work: We text a few times a day. The building he works in is down the street from the salon so he will walk over almost every day to give me a kiss and bring me lunch. He gets to meet my clients and they tell me how lucky I am to have a man like him.

Ryan, on working as a team: We share responsibilities around the house. We pick up the slack for each other. I help take care of the family finances as well as her business finances.

Ryan, on the “secret” to a successful relationship: We have date night once a week. We also try to have lunch once a week to touch base with each other and see how our day is going. It’s important to our relationship to be able to walk away from day-to-day stress and spend quality time with each other.

Next page: Couple 6

[PAGEBREAK]Couple 6: Lisa Marie Manderfield, salon owner (of Krush Hair + Nail Salon in Kokomo, Ind.) and Brett Lebo, farm worker and student

“We just know what each other’s schedules will be and keep in contact often. Communication really is key.”

“We just know what each other’s schedules will be and keep in contact often. Communication really is key.”

Together: 7 years. Met: At a friend’s house.

Lisa Marie, on working as a team: He literally built my salon. He stayed up until 3 a.m. working on it, then went to his job at 7 a.m. and worked all day and came back to my shop at 7 p.m. to work even more. He even put a fish tank in and cut the logo for my shop out of wood so you can see the fish through the logo. He did an amazing job and continues to help in any way, whether it’s letting me try new products on him or going to nail shows with me. He’s an all-around guy and helps out with my son while I put extra hours in at the shop to build up a clientele.

Lisa Marie, on overcoming low points with Brett’s encouragement: I was five months into owning the salon and was asked to teach nails. Teaching was a big goal of mine that was put off because of opening a salon and when the opportunity came Brett said do it! He would do the Mr. Mom role. A month after I had been missing the kids’ games and homework projects, I just wanted to be a mom again. He gave me a pep talk and started texting photos of games and projects and funny things the kids would do or say. It made me feel a part of the family again.

Brett, on getting nail services from Lisa: I have received numerous services from Lisa. I am her practice client when she wants to try a new product. I have had manis, a pedi, acrylics, and nail art. But I’m extremely ticklish, so my first pedi was my last.

Brett, on seeing Lisa Marie in action at the salon: She has only owned Krush for a year and six months, but she has grown exponentially as a business owner in that time. She has found her niche. Every day she impresses me, from new nail art she texts me photos of to the way she handles different situations in the salon.

Next page: Couple 7

[PAGEBREAK]Couple 7: Meghan Avezzano, salon owner (of Meghan Ave. Salon in Poughquag, N.Y.) and Thano Lomiento, musician

“If it weren’t for my fiancé completely supporting me financially and emotionally while I got my salon started I would not have been able to do it at all. Now we have a successful business that supports our family.”

“If it weren’t for my fiancé completely supporting me financially and emotionally while I got my salon started I would not have been able to do it at all. Now we have a successful business that supports our family.”

Meghan, on working as a team: Believe it or not he handles everything and he helps me all the time with my salon.

Meghan, on overcoming low points with Thano’s encouragement: The biggest one was when my best friend of 15 years/my only stylist gave me two weeks’ notice after seven years in our salon. I wanted to give up, close the salon, and go work in Manhattan, somewhere fancy where I could just show up, do my job, and go home with a normal paycheck. Thano encouraged me not to give up on what we had built. We decided to give it a shot, hire new people, and keep moving forward. It was a rocky road, emotionally and financially. Thano supported me 100% in every way. Two years later the salon is doing better than ever, and I’ve made some great new friends.

Thano, on working as a team: I have always been more in charge of domestic concerns, but we try to find a balance. The plus side to Meg being her own boss is she can make time for important things like school conferences or my son’s sporting events.

Thano, on seeing Meghan in action at the salon: I’ve seen Meg at the salon countless times and what surprises me most is her level of confidence in the services she and her staff deliver. She never seems to doubt that the customer is going to leave happy and come back.