A Reality Star to Call Our Own

After years of reality shows focused on hair salons and hairstylists (Blow Out, Shear Genius, Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, Jerseylicious) the nail industry is finally getting our own reality show. Billed as a reality docu-soap series, TV Guide Network’s Nail Files follows the life of salon owner Katie Cazorla as she juggles her expanding business and her personal life.

<p>Nail salon owner and new reality show star Katie Cazorla’s passion for nails is obvious from the minute she starts talking about her business and the industry. She’s up on all the latest trends and she networks with other salon owners.</p>

The story behind Katie Cazorla’s success in the nail industry is a short one. Girl gets nails done. Girl has bad experience. Girl goes to nail school and opens her own nail salon. But it’s not just any salon. Located on busy Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, Calif. (just a hop, skip, and a jump away from celeb-packed Hollywood and Beverly Hills), The Painted Nail (with the friendly “hang out with friends” vibe and a pristine shabby chic decor) opened in March 2009. Nine months later Katie took over the space immediately next door to open The Painted Nail Boutique and Party Lounge. Now, after just two years, Katie is setting her sights on another neighboring space with dreams of opening a nail school. “I have my heart and soul set on having a school that’s just about nails.”

<p>Salon photography by Alen Lin</p>

All this and she still found time to shoot and pitch a pilot for a reality show documenting her life — juggling her growing business and her odd-couple relationship with boyfriend Walter Afanasieff, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer. (He’s written and produced hits for Mariah Carey, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston.) And pitch it she did. TV Guide Network picked up the idea last winter and filming began in January. The show was created and produced by 495 Productions, the team behind the mega-hit series Jersey Shore. Nail Files will premiere on TV Guide Network on June 21 and will run for eight episodes. (The show will also be available on TV Guide Network On Demand.)

“The producers have once again come up with a highly entertaining, non-scripted series capturing the fascinating lives of colorful individuals, this time against the backdrop of Hollywood,” said Diane Robina, executive vice president of programming and marketing for TV Guide Network. “Nail Files is a perfect fit for our audience, as it takes viewers on the star-powered fast track of Katie’s life of luxury, love, and entrepreneurial adventures.”

SallyAnn Salsano, founder of 495 Productions, added, “I love working with entertaining, raw, everyday people with some sass and a point of view. Watching Katie in her element both in and out of the salon wowed me. She grabbed my attention the first time I met her. It’s Katie’s will to succeed, confident do-whatever-it-takes attitude, and lack of filter that will keep audiences wondering what she will do or say next. I love her.”

Salon: The Painted Nail, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Years open: 2
Owner: Katie Cazorla
Staff: 16 employees (includes 10 nail therapists, two boutique employees, one receptionist, two hairstylists, one in-house accountant) and one makeup artist who rents space
Products: Nubar, The Painted Nail by Nubar, Dashing Diva, CalGel, Me! Bath, and Martha Stewart craft glitters (Katie swears by these glitters under gel.)
Retail: Jewelry is 20% of their income. “When people get their hair, makeup, and nails done and they put on a ring or a necklace, it makes the outfit and it’s an easy sell,” Katie says.
Busiest Day: Sunday
Best-Selling Services: Glitter Dipped Mani, Virtual Nails, Ice Cream Sundae Pedicure

Filming 12 hours a day for 70 days is certainly a grueling filming schedule for anyone. But the spunky former actress, comedian, and host knew what she was getting herself into. The day after she finished filming, I drove up to Sherman Oaks to talk to Katie about the whirlwind that has become her life. Keep reading to hear all about it.

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