(Isn't this how these things always start out?....)
Apparently I've always been into nails (and vanity).
As my mama tells it, I was painting my own from the age of 3 (the fact that she let me have nail polish at 3 years old could say many things - let's leave child services out of the equation and go with my budding fussiness and determination (with anything beauty related, anyway) and her lack thereof (hahaha...she would agree! love you, mavi!)).
Fastforward to 1994.
I'd been out of school just over 2 years and quit my miserable job in retail. I had a dope T.E. score (now O.P.) but no solid university aspirations and no idea what to do next.
I was a bum with no job and no qualifications, but my dedication to my nails did not wane one bit - I would get my refill before buying groceries. Keep in mind you really need a refill every 3-4 weeks max and I was managing to stretch mine out to 8 weeks (p.s. I'd kick any of my clients' asses if they tried this today).
When I finally got to the salon, the technicians couldn't even see where they needed to be filled because of my O.C.D. dedication to keeping them looking tight on my non-existent budget.
Also, I wasn't really feeling how they did them and I could do almost every aspect myself except actually working with the acrylic products. So I'd get them to just prep and fill my nails and I'd finish them once I got home.
I didn't realise the owner of the salon had been listening whenever I'd come in and after a handful of my appointments, she approached me to offer to train me up.
Call me retarded (with my super T.E.) or a (bummy) snob, but it hadn't dawned on me before this point to consider this as a career path. So with her suggestion and then encouragement, I got it moving in the direction of becoming qualified.
It ended up that the salon owner wasn't able to certify me, so I did my training at Franklin International School of Beauty. The generous Australian Government had copped me my training fee (so I could stop being a dole-bludger) but, I was still dirt poor.
I couldn't afford the starter kit, but I tried to convince my teacher to let me take small amounts of product home each night to practice with. I think she liked my enthusiasm and she eventually acquiesced, even though it could have been grounds for both of us to be thrown out if anyone found out. (Acrylic chemicals are extremely dangerous in the hands of the uninitiated, kids...)
The first time I tried to fill my own nails, I nearly threw the stuff out the window from frustration (budding ambidextrousness - and I had to take the leftovers back to school!) but I was determined to master it. Mine first and then ANYONE else who happened to cross my path.
I blitzed my exams, took my qualifications and set up shop almost the next day.
And I haven't stopped since.
I've been fortunate enough to always be in the right place at the right time for some incredible opportunities and people to present themselves. I haven't always had the good sense to utilize all of them - but most of them (and my work ethic) have gotten me to this point.
In my region, I've worked in top salons, in conjunction with the best modeling agencies, on photoshoots for magazines and commercials with incredible models, photographers, fashion designers and makeup artists, backstage at fashion and hair shows and had on-going training with some of the best educators available.
Bronz'd tanning+nails is included annually in varying fashion and beauty magazines' style directories and my clientele is the stuff of beauty-business dreams (thank you for your devotion, support and loyalty, my lovely ladies). With the addition of this blog late last year and then Minx Nails this year to the Bronz'd service menu, I've truly got my hands full.
It's 16 years on and I'm still looking to see where it's gonna take me next. It's been so blessed so far...