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Life & Work with Chelsea Higgins

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chelsea Higgins.

Hi Chelsea, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My name is Chelsea and I am a nail tech/nail artist! I remember being obsessed with nail polish since 5th grade. I would change the color to match my outfits as much as I could. I never in my life thought it would turn into a career. In my early 20s, I worked the front desk at a spa/salon and sold products as part of my job. Every time we got in a new polish collection, I would do something cute with all the colors and sell them right off my fingertips. Eventually, a lot of clients started to notice, and they asked me if that was something that could be done in the salon. Nobody we had could do anything like me. Then I started to get asked to do the art for them. Obviously, at this time, I’m not licensed, and I know I can’t.

I was encouraged to pursue nail tech school but didn’t want to get tired of doing nail art, so I didn’t want it as my job. I taught myself how to do acrylic nails and started to hone my craft from there. A few years later, my mother talked to me about potentially attending a manicurist school again. I was working two jobs, and the class schedule for a manicurist program interfered with my full-time job. I knew I couldn’t do both. I can’t pay for school without a job, and I can’t go to school while working. When I voiced that to my mom, without skipping a beat, she said, ” You’re too good not to do this, Chel. You pick a school, and I’ll pay for it.” I’ve had overwhelming support from my family and friends since day one, but my mom pushed me to believe that I could do this as a career and not just a hobby. I graduated from the Grabber School of Hair Design around 3 months later, on June 16th, 2016. I wasn’t 100% about making the jump to doing nails full time until this year, 2022. My husband was the final push on that decision. I wanted to wait another year, which would have become longer, but 3 weeks later, I had my last day working for someone else, and i started working for myself.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There is nothing smooth about being a service provider. There will always be someone who doesn’t like your style. Someone will always think you don’t do a good job. And there will always be somebody better than you. I’ve had struggles with all of these areas. Once you learn how to overcome all those obstacles and feelings of inadequacy, focus on what you are good at, and know that you can always get better and strive to improve, it makes life much easier. Honestly, one of my biggest struggles was that my friends and family did not get their services done with me. And when they did, they expected a discount, and some still do. They can support me without being serviced through me, which was really hard for me to wrap my mind around. Once I did, it was easy for me to accept. Knowing that some of my worst clients are my family and friends, it was much easier to be ok with. There is a saying amongst service providers in general. “Clients will become friends before friends become clients.” And that could not be more true.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
There is something about nail art that speaks to me and has for a very long time. As a nail tech, watching the change in your client through the appointment is so satisfactory. The confidence-boosting qualities of nails are ones we all know and love. If you don’t, you will need an appointment ASAP. Everyone in my family is artistic and creative, and I never really felt like I had that artistic gene. Creativity I had down, no problem. But being able to draw or paint on a large scale was not something I felt like I was good at. However, the 1st time I painted Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ across my nails, I knew that that was the medium I could work in. Now in the nail tech world, it is said that there are nail technicians and nail artists, and they rarely overlap. I feel like I’m both. I can do a simple set of nails, or I can do something crazy and outrageous, but the enhancement’s longevity is also there.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
While I am exceptionally good at my job and what I do, if I did not have the kind of personality that I have, I don’t think I would be as successful. My clients trust me with every aspect of their life. Not just their nails. I wear many hats in that nail room. I’m a therapist. I’m a confidant. I’m a secret keeper. I’m a friend. But most importantly, I am a safe space for the small amount of time they spend with me every few weeks. That makes what I do the most special to me.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Stellar shots photography

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