An American in … Australia

Meet Erin Margrethe of Blonde Tiger in Melbourne, Australia.

Meet Erin Margrethe of Blonde Tiger in Melbourne.

Where are you from originally?

San Diego, Calif., but Fresno is my second hometown. 

How did you wind up in there?

I came here on an extended holiday and stayed to be with my Australian boyfriend.

What surprised you about doing nails there?

Six years ago, when I first came here, I was amazed at how little was available for natural nail clients. The industry was dominated by cheap acrylic nail bars.

What do you enjoy most about working and living there?

The people and the quality of life. Aussies overall have a fantastic sense of humor. Melbourne is a wonderfully multicultural city and I feel so lucky to live here. Not having to worry about basic health insurance (Australians have government-provided national health care) is still a novelty for me!

How is the nail industry different?

The two main points of difference are not having a licensing agency (i.e., a state board) and that the industry is geared to employees over booth renters. Neither of these are bad things; it’s just made for some interesting navigation of the industry for me.

If you’re an American nail tech working abroad, e-mail your story to judy.lessin[at]

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