It all began with Super Bowl ‘97. A friend of mine, who knew of my passion for painting, asked me to handpaint “Go Patriots” on her nails for a Super Bowl party. After I was done, she kidded with me, saying that I should become a nail technician, a job title I had never even heard of before. I just laughed. But then I started thinking about how painting nails could offer yet another way for me to showcase my artwork. Much to my friend’s surprise, I decided to go to nail school and become a part-time nail technician.

Yes, I know, mechanic and manicurist are at opposite ends of the employment spectrum, but people remember me that way. After all, how many people can say that their nail technician is a mechanic, too? Doing nails has really put my self- confidence to the test. How many guys can go to work and tell five other mechanics, “I do nails at night,” without being teased or harassed? Most of them are pretty cool about the whole thing, considering the typical guy response is, “Isn’t that kinda feminine?”

Everybody thinks I only do nail art, but I do other nail services too, such as artificial extensions, manicures, and pedicures. At first, people are surprised that a guy can do nails. Then they notice that I really don’t fit the part; since I’m a mechanic, my hands look terrible because they are in grease and oil all day.

Right now I work by appointment only at night and on weekends at Behold the Beauty in Laconia, N.H. My girlfriend Cindy, who is a hairstylist, owns the salon, which I built in her house and she decorated. Between helping with her three children and working two jobs, I can easily say I’m busy with my hands all day.

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