My start in the nail biz…

Hi there, I would like to take this time to introduce myself. My name is Linda. I am 43 years old and I do nails. I have been doing nails since 1986 (wow) ! As a young girl I loved to play with Barbie especially the Barbie Styling Head were I could play with her hair and makeup. My parents thought I was mistreating my dolls by cutting their hair and would take them away from me saying, “when you can properly care for your toys you can have them back”… little did they know I was a future stylist.

As a teenager it was easy to see I had a passion for hair. Every chance I got we were going to Sally’s Beauty Supply. I would do color, perms & relaxer. There was even a time when I would keep my Dads mustache colored in and trimmed while he was trying to grow it. I was really good at my mom’s perms. Of course at the time I thought I was good with my sister’s color but on a recent conversation with her we had a very good laugh. She shared several stories of having to go to school with so many different shades of strange colored hair, lol…sorry sis. Oh and then there’s my bro. My brother had the thickest mop of wirey course hair. You could barely put a comb through it and if you did it would be 10′ high ! Very strange we thought especially on a blond haired blue eyed boy. So I had the brilliant idea of using a “cream relaxer” for thick course hair that I had found. This stuff smelled to high heaven…and burned a bit. Well, maybe it burned more than a bit, he had scabs on his head for weeks ! I believe this is the last memory I have of doing any kind of hair service on my family members.

I always wanted to have my nails done professionally. That was somethings that not many people did back then and I had no idea how to find out about having your nails done.Google probably wasn’t even thought of in the mid 1980’s.  So back to Sally’s I went. Sally’s and Kmart, that’s were I would buy all my nail supplies. Even back then I loved wearing a different color on every finger. But I always had this one problem,  I would spend hours on my press on nails only to then have them mysteriously melt away each time I decided to change my polish color. Hmm, it troubled me so. Little did I know back then about acetone and non-acetone. It’s so funny to me funny to look back on those moments.

I hated school. I left during the middle of my 11th grade year. My parents said I couldn’t use the car so much because I would use up all the gas in the car. So I got a job. My first job was Popeye’s Fried Chicken. I loved it ! I worked as much as I could, 40-50 hrs, and I loved my paychecks. Back then Lord only knows what I spent all my money on, gas, cigs,etc… It was when they moved me to the Popeye’s in Longwood that I discovered these girls coming in for lunch. All of a sudden there were these 3 girls coming in everyday for lunch. But each day I would stare at them and see that they were all wearing aprons covered in white dusty powder. So being the not so shy girl that I am I asked them. I ask why were they wearing the aprons and why were they all covered with dust. Well she said it proud. Her name was Donna (that was my Aunts name and she was a successful hair stylist in Boston. It was a sign !). She said ” we are the first students of The Academy of Nail Techniques (spelled Nail Tek Neks with a long e) . We’re going to nail school. We’re gonna be nail technicians !” Well I’ll be….how exciting ! Donna proceeded to explain to me that although they were students they needed real people to practice on. She asked if I was interested in coming in and she could give me a special student discount. Woo hoo, how awesome I thought. So I took my $12 and headed on over. Within a couple of weeks I was enrolled in nail school. Since nail school was a fraction of the cost of full cosmetology school and 6 weeks compared to one whole year of hair school I thought why not, I’ll go to nail school, become a nail tech, make some money and then go to cosmetology school, which is my real true passion…… right !

I feel in love my teacher. Her name was Ms. Tina Kovach. I thought she was so beautiful  and glamorous. She liked me. Each day at school she would offer for me to sit next to her and watched her work on her clients. I watched and I learned. I learned so much ! Before I knew it I was graduating. And I graduated at the top of my class. Tina said I was so good she wanted me to work for her in her salon, her nail only salon. I thought wow, this is awesome, this is a dream come true ! I couldn’t believe I actually finished something and that I was really really good at this ! Before you knew it I was being handed all of Tina’s clients that she couldn’t fit in. Most of these ladies already knew me from when I would watch and sit (a very important part of learning this business). Within 3 months I was fully booked and i loved it and the clients loved me !…..needless to say the other girls including Donna my old nail tech, well, they didn’t like me anymore. I was really busy & was making a lot of money….

It’s been 25 years now. I always said I would go to cosmetology school but never did. I never had the time. Or maybe I didn’t make the time. Or maybe it wasn’t meant for me to be a hair stylist. Maybe I’m meant to be a fabulous nail specialist. Well I am great and I still love doing nails every day. But what I especially love is the people. The ladies that I’ve met along the way of this wonderful journey of nails well, they’re just awesome. The best of the best they are ! I love it !

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