Nail art has taken off in recent years, and Yankee—whose roster of celebrity clients includes Pink, Katy Perry and Giada DeLaurentis—is on the leading edge of the craft.
Where do you live and how old are you? I live in Long Island and I am 51 (but I feel 30!)
Did you need any formal training to be a nail artist? There is formal training required to be a nail technician. Every state (except Connecticut) requires a state license to work on nails. As far as the artistry side goes, I learned from the nail technician who inspired me to get into the business and by attending several classes over the years. I also have some God-given artistic talent!
What does it take to be a great nail artist? NEVER stop learning or improving!! At times even I get discouraged when I see new talented nail artists come along. Instead of dwelling in this state, however, I challenge myself to learn and recreate what they did, even improving on their design. Look for inspiration in everything you see and as my favorite celebrity client, Rachael Ray tells me, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!
Are you self-employed? Yes, I work for myself. I am also a salon owner (in Long Island), industry consultant, and proctor for the Nail Specialty Exams for the state of New York. I am also starting my own product line that will launch in December.
How much do you make? My income ranges between $80,000 to $100,000 a year.
What’s the best part of your job? I LOVE that every day is different, that each set of hands is a new challenge and a new palette to create an amazing work of art on. I also love the fact that you can make a woman feel so good about herself and boost her confidence just by making her nails look beautiful.
What’s the worst part of your job? My own self-inflicted lack of self-confidence. I always want to do better.
Would you recommend this line of work to anyone else? 100% YES!!! It is an amazing line of work! So fun and allows you to be creative and make your own schedule, basically. It worked out so perfectly for me as a single mom. I could arrange my schedule around taking care of my son. It also allowed me to raise him on my own and even send him to private school. Plus the amount of income you make is up to you.
When you devote yourself 100% to your craft, many doors and opportunities arise that you can take advantage of.