In honor of the upcoming Mothers Day holiday, here’s a story about a mother and daughter who share a special bond — a love for doing nails. As Jean Cioffi tells it, her daughter Christine was responsible for piquing her interest in nails as a career.

“Christine first became a nail tech to support her acrylic nail ‘habit’ while an impoverished student at Northern Arizona University,” Jean explains. “When her dad and I noticed that her nail treatment’s consumed an inappropriate amount of her monthly allowance, Christine’s response was that she would do her own nails.” Christine bought a kit and started to practice, eventually doing nails for friends, and then friends of friends. The summer before she got her degree in nutrition, she went to nail school, then got a job on campus doing nails. “When my mom saw how much I loved it, she thought she’d do it too,” says Christine Cioffi. Soon both mother and daughter were licensed and practicing.

At first, Jean rented a small space in the back of a local beauty salon doing manicures and pedicures. When Christine came home for the summer, she began working with her mother doing acrylics. It was initially just a trial run. Then found they enjoyed working together and some months later opened a place of their own, Natural Nails of Fountain Hills, located just outside Scottsdale, Ariz.

Mother and daughter have different strengths and weaknesses, says Christine. “Mom loves working with the older clients, while my acrylic nail clients tend to be closer to my age. Mom’s a very creative person, sweet and easygoing. With my background in marketing, I handle the business end.” When asked if her mother ever pulls rank, Christine laughs. “If anyone’s bossy, it’s probably me,” she admits. “My mom always asks my opinion, and we never do anything without consulting each other first.”

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