All the Single Ladies

We often hear stories from techs who credit their spouse for carrying the financial burden while they built their nail business. But what if that’s not an option?

Building a successful business requires tenacity, focus, hard work, and long hours. Add to that the responsibility of being a single parent, and the likelihood of success may seem impossible. We heard from techs who played the odds — and won. We hope their stories inspire you as much as they did us.


Lisa Marie Santos

iRock Nails, Crestview, Fla.

I had a dream to do hair and makeup, but it required me to go to school full time. I was a single mom with kids who were 10, 11, and an infant, so I wasn’t able to just quit work. One day my mom told me about a nails-only certification program I could complete in 240 hours. I saw it as a way toward my dream, so I signed up. I worked my retail job during the day, and mom watched the kids while I went to school at night.

When I graduated, I was still working full-time, plus I began doing nails part-time. I eventually left the salon, but stayed in the business by teaching the certification class at the vocational school. I realized I missed the salon and wanted to do nails full time. However, I wasn’t getting child support, and I didn’t have the money to pay for what I needed, plus pay all my bills. So I approached my parents. I said, “God has given me a talent, and I want to use it.” They agreed to help me.

I moved into an empty home they owned, which spared me a mortgage. Then, I worked hard to build my business. My parents helped cover my personal bills, bought products for me when I didn’t have enough money, watched my kids, even paid for me to go to shows. Many times I doubted myself. My girls said I worked too much, and I wondered if I was making the right sacrifices for my family. Eventually, I made a name for myself in my community by offering services clients can’t get at other salons, like rock star nails and embedding. Plus, I provide services that improve the health of the nail.

We struggled, and at times food was scarce, but I knew this was something I wanted to do. It was hard work, and I couldn’t have done it without my parents, but it’s been worth the struggle.


Bethany Boyd

Perfectly Polished, Tuscan, Ariz.

My mom had been a nail tech, so it was natural I would choose a career in nails. I attended school in 1985, but quickly dropped out because I was bored. I had learned more from my mom than they were teaching at school! Life went on; I found a job outside the industry, got married, and had a son. When my son was three, my husband and I ­divorced, and I moved in with my mom. In 1996, my dad passed away. The money I received as an inheritance was enough to pay for school, plus cover my personal expenses so I could attend full time. I was done with school in only six weeks. When I graduated, I went right to work. I started off in a small salon, but quickly moved to a larger one with walk-in business. I built my clientele there, but the salon was mismanaged and it closed a year and a half after I started. Today, I rent a room in a salon with an esthetician and a masseuse.

It was really hard to build a successful business as a single parent while trying to pay all the bills. I am very thankful that my family was there to help … especially my mom. Though I didn’t get child support, I am grateful I did have help. I was able to get state assistance to cover childcare during the day, then either my mom or my uncle would watch my son in the evening so I could build my clientele. I would tell anyone in my position to make sure they have a really good support network. Plus, work in a salon with good walk-in clientele so you build your business faster, because building a clientele does not happen overnight!

Facebook Comments ()

Leave a Comment


Comments (0)

Featured Products & Promotions   |   Advertisement

Market Research

Market Research How big is the U.S. nail business? $7.3 billion. What's the average service price for a manicure? Dig into our decades' deep research archives.

Industry Statistics for

View All


FREE Subscription

VietSalon is a Vietnamese-language magazine and the sister publication to NAILS. Click the link below to sign up for a FREE one-year subscription.

Get a free preview issue and a Free Gift
Subscribe Today!

Please sign in or register to .    Close
Subscribe Today
Subscribe Today