Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaida Dunigans.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’ve loved doing my nails since I was a little girl.
I had a bookshelf in my childhood room that was filled with 100+ nail polishes that I adored. I would watch nail art tutorials on YouTube all the time, and would constantly experiment with myself. My friends at school would always compliment me on my designs!
I eventually stopped doing my own nails and got into getting acrylic nails done at a salon every two weeks. However, I grew tired of leaving the salon unsatisfied with the shape of my nails or the techs at the salon not being able to recreate the designs I wanted.
So I found an independent nail tech I really enjoyed, but I couldn’t afford to keep going back every two weeks because it got pricey quickly. Then, during my sophomore year of school at UMSL (go Tritons!) the pandemic hit. During that time I saw that people were making press on nails due to nail salons being closed.
I was immediately intrigued and begin learning how to make my own. Coincidentally, at the same time, I was taking an intro to marketing course and fell in love. Slowly but surely, I began to realize that I wanted to start my own custom press on nails business.
So, I did what any rational person would do: I fully immersed myself in building what would become JaiMinx. I launched my Etsy shop on May 15, 2021, and received so much support from my family and friends. Since then, I’ve sold over 150 sets locally and across the United States. I am so thankful!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has been a bumpy road.
I launched my business while on summer break from school, so I had all the time in the world to work and fulfill orders. When school started back up everything got hectic. I was trying to grow and maintain my business, going to school full time, and still have some sort of social life.
Needless to say, I was struggling. I became very overwhelmed, stressed, and burnt out. I had to put JaiMinx on the back burner because school was my main priority after all. After a short hiatus, I slowly got back into making nails and worked extremely hard to balance everything I had going on.
I am proud to say that not only did I succeed, but I also killed it! I was operating JaiMinx at full speed while also being named to the Fall 2021 Dean’s List and the Fall 2021 Pierre Laclede Honors College Dean’s List. I’m grateful for the bumpy road because it allowed me to fail, learn valuable lessons, and come back better than ever.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I hand-make custom press-on nails.
I offer a selection of pre-designed sets or custom sets where my client chooses their own design. Typically, people have an inspiration photo they would like me to recreate or let me freestyle. I also offer sizing kits that allow my customers to know their exact nail sizes to ensure a perfect fit.
However, I do offer standard sizing (extra small-extra large) for people who may need their nails quickly. All of my nail sets come with 15 nails, 5 different nail sizes, and an application kit with everything you need to apply the nails. An application kit includes a nail file, mini buffer, wooden cuticle pusher, alcohol wipe, nail glue, and instructions for applying.
My Etsy shop is currently under construction, meaning there are only a few pre-designed set options available right now (in addition to custom ordering and sizing kits that are always available) because I am designing new sets for the summer! I am also working on releasing a new product that will be coming soon: Cuticle oils!
I am most proud of the progress I have made in my artistry. I am always looking for ways to improve the quality of my nails. Since launching I have upgraded my packaging, nail tips, custom ordering process, my design techniques, nail supplies, and more.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is to give myself grace. I had a bad habit of constantly putting myself down and not forgiving myself for making mistakes.
I had to learn that making mistakes is inevitable in business. In fact, my mistakes have taught me much more than my wins.
- Pre-designed sets: $18- $25
- Custom sets start at $25
- Sizing kits are $5