If you want an original Sue Schultes nail art design to adorn your toes, you’d better be prepared to step up — up a ladder or even up onto her desk. “My vision changed and I could no longer see well enough to paint toenails like I used to — with clients resting their feet on my knee,” says Schultes, a nail tech (and much lauded nail artist) at Great Lengths Salon & Spa in Bridgewater, N.J. “I needed to bring the nails closer to me and, just as important, to my lamp.”

So Schultes purchased a sturdy ladder with a hand railing and instructed clients to climb — which they did.

Schultes brings out the ladder whenever a client requests nail art, acrylic toenails, or a hand-painted French. “If I’m doing a design across all 10 toes where it’s important for the toes to match, I’ll have them stand on my desk,” she says.

Fortunately, she’s quick. “I can do the toes in five to 10 minutes, on average,” she says.

Do clients feel silly? “Maybe in the beginning, but now they just get the ladder out,” says Schultes.

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