For years Donna Davis observed women sharing personal concerns with their manicurists, looking for answers.  And she was intrigued. With more than 20 years spent in the behavioral health industry as a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, Davis had worked with everyone from teens to seniors specializing in improving self-esteem, achieving personal goals, life transitions, and relationship issues. Then, two years ago, she entered the nail industry — but she didn’t leave her counseling work behind.

This licensed manicurist and certified life coach calls herself “The Manicure Coach.” Offering what she terms “mindful manicures,” Davis performs a pampering hand or foot service while the client chats about her life. “I was able to combine the industries of counseling and cosmetology without the stigma,” she says. “I help my clients learn ways to become more connected by embracing options toward obtaining their goals. As a result, they experience a healthier relationship with themselves and others.” Follow-up sessions are called “touch-ups.”

Davis charges $60 for a manicure coaching session and $70 for a pedicure coaching session. (Her regular manicures run $20, while pedicures are $37.) Sessions are confidential and take place in a private area. She plans to offer franchise opportunities to other licensed mental health care professionals, as well as to manicurists who want to expand their business by becoming a certified life coach.

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