Mangum, Okla.-based nail tech Kathy Harper has worked in the family business — video rental stores — off and on since she was 16. When her father died in 2003, it was his wish that she take over Movieland, a video rental store he’d opened in 1991. “I worked at a salon here in town at the time, but after a year I decided that I needed to be more involved in Movieland. It’s hard to have a business and not have your hand in it,” says Harper. “So I moved my business downtown and divided the 2,000-sq.-ft. building in half.” The front part is Movieland and the back is home to Nails by Kathy. 

The movie rental business may be a little slow right now due to the economy and all the other options available, but Harper says she’s hanging in there. Plus, it’s a fun, family affair. “It is awesome running a movie store. I get to watch all the movies before my customers,” she says. And when she has downtime, she can go to the back and work on new nail designs. “My almost-13-year-old daughter Lexie helps with the movie store if I have nails to do on a day I am scheduled to work at Movieland,” says Harper.

She’s learned customer service skills from the video store, and the synergy doesn’t stop there. “I get lots of people asking about my nails when they come in to rent a movie,” she says. “I also display nail products on my counter to sell. I can educate customers on what the product is for and it usually leads to nail appointments. When donating anything to fundraisers I always mix up the gift certificates. Women get nail services and men get movies. It’s a great combination!”

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