My Nail Technician Journey
So it's been around 7 years since I qualified with Essential Nails, after being thoroughly bitten by the nail bug. What started as a bundle of the Spa Mani, Pedi and UV Gel Polish courses, ended with me completing nearly all of EN's courses... Come to think of it, I've still got to finish and post my Airbrushing and One-Stroke courses for marking - oops!
I chose to train with EN as for me, returning to college just wasn't an option. I was a 30-something mum, with a 10 year old and a 1 year old, and a (now ex) boyfriend who didn't even live in the same town as us (I sure knew how to pick them lol). The EN courses were perfect for me, as I could work at my own pace, and around my family. As soon as my youngest was asleep, out came Handy Mandy (my nail trainer) and whichever course I was currently working on... Once I was qualified, and with both gel and acrylic enhancements under my belt too, I launched Nails by Camille. I was now a Mobile Nail Technician, working around my kids' school and child care arrangements, and after a few months, an opportunity came up for me to rent a desk in a salon. All was going great! I even trained in waxing, lashes, and brows, but then the dreaded Covid-19 hit, and the whole country went into lockdown!
Thankfully, around the time of launching my Mobile Nail Tech business, I also started creating press-on nails, initially as a way to practice my nail art, and to be able to get more of my work on real hands. Then, as my pile of press-on nails grew to more than I could personally wear, I took the leap into selling them online, and I'm so glad I did! When we went into lockdown, press-on nails became my main source of income.
Around the same time as Covid-19 kicking off, it also became apparent to me that my youngest has Autism, which kicked off a 5-year battle with health professionals, to get her the diagnosis and help that she needed and deserved. What started as nursery complaining of anger outbursts, spiralled into meltdowns, her not sleeping, and school refusal, among other things. Not an ideal situation for a, now single, working mum.
It ultimately meant that I couldn't see clients, as she needs 24/7 supervision, and I became her parent-carer overnight... So what could I do? I loved (and still do love) my job, and I had spent thousands of pounds on nail supplies, I couldn't just give it all up. But my daughter needed me, now more than ever. And that's when I decided I needed to change my business model... Press-on nails were my bread and butter during lockdown, so why couldn't they be now? After all, I made it work then, creating press-ons when my kids were in bed. I know what I'm doing, I've been making them for years already!
So the time had come to change my logo, rebranding my business, and launching my own press-on nails website! It's perfect for me, I can work on custom orders when my daughter is in bed (thank heavens for Melatonin). And when there are no custom orders left to process, I can create ready-to-ship sets, package any orders for posting, schedule some social media posts (something that I'm rubbish at doing, I should really sort that out), and any other business tasks that need doing. And if we've had a bad day or are having a bad night, if the Melatonin doesn't want to work, or if I just feel the need for a rather large glass of vino, it doesn't matter. Press-on nails can wait until the morning if needed. And now I homeschool, doing the parcel run is a good excuse to get out of the house, and to take a detour via the park or library on the way back home.
I won't lie and tell you it's easy, as it's not, it's blooming hard work at times, but no more than working in a salon or as a mobile nail tech would be. But for me, and for my family, it's perfect.
You can find Camille's wonderful nail creations at nailsbycamille.com.