Hit­ting nail on the head with talent

Sunday Tribune - - VENTURE -


GLITERELLA’S nail bar in Hil­ton is not your or­di­nary nail stu­dio with a monochro­matic pal­ette and sani­tised for­mat. It is a vi­brant mix of colour and glit­ter with bright pink, dec­o­rated with dream­catch­ers – and a three­legged bearded dragon sun­ning her­self in the win­dow. This busi­ness clearly fol­lows its own drum­beat.

It is the brain­child of Kirsty Lee Phillips, who wanted her busi­ness to rep­re­sent her arty side. The name comes from the rags-to-riches story of Cin­derella, who man­aged to el­e­vate her sta­tus in life from a kitchen maid to a princess.

Phillips says that start­ing her busi­ness has been the ful­fil­ment of a dream. She hopes to in­spire other women to start their own busi­nesses, us­ing their talent.

She said: “I al­ways wanted to start my busi­ness and last year I got the op­por­tu­nity to rent premises. From the start it was my idea to make the space a place where peo­ple would feel re­laxed and com­fort­able.

“It takes more than an hour to get a set of nails done and I wanted clients to feel re­laxed. I also wanted them to be able to look around them and see interesting things.”

Her spe­cial talent is to paint orig­i­nal art on fin­ger­nails us­ing tiny, thin paint brushes. As an artist and graphic de­signer she knows the com­pli­men­tary colours that work.

She is able to paint with skill and has a sure hand.

Us­ing nail pol­ish as a medium is a lit­tle tricky, but she’s been prac­tic­ing for years. She was given her first nail kit at the age of 13 and has been us­ing her fam­ily’s fin­ger­nails and toe­nails as her “can­vas” since then.

“At first I would just draw minia­ture pic­tures on the nails with a felt-tip pen. But as I moved into the nail busi­ness I re­al­ized I could use my artis­tic talent and com­bine it with the de­mand for nails.”

Nail tech­ni­cians are very pop­u­lar as peo­ple feel that hav­ing glam­orous nails en­hance their gen­eral ap­pear­ance. For nail-biters it is a god­send be­cause they can dis­guise their bit­ten nails.

Phillips says that gel nails can help a per­son strengthen and grow their own nails. The nails don’t have to be long, like talons – each per­son has their own pref­er­ence, and, of course, a lot de­pends on the per­son’s hands and the shape of their fin­gers.

Phillips is very strict about hy­giene at her nail bar and all nail equip­ment is ster­ilised and cleaned af­ter each client has been seen to.

“I have had first-time clients who have come to me for a set of nails and when I re­move their old nails I see a hor­ri­ble fun­gus grow­ing on the nail bed. That means the per­son who put on the last set of nails was care­less and did not treat the fun­gus first. You need to re­mem­ber that our hands come into con­tact with germs all the time and it is easy for germs to sit un­der the nails. Hav­ing acrylic nails can def­i­nitely im­prove your ap­pear­ance but you need to make sure you take care of them.”

Phillips has a few male clients who come for a reg­u­lar man­i­cure – stick­ing to a gen­eral hand mas­sage and hav­ing their nails trimmed is a treat. There are men who work with their hands and it takes its toll. The skin be­comes hard and the nails get chipped and ragged.

“Why should it only be women who look af­ter their hands?” she asks.

Phillips is pas­sion­ate about help­ing oth­ers and plans to host a reg­u­lar open house to which she can in­vite clients and guests to ex­hibit their busi­ness and prod­ucts. She has a notice board in her nail bar where clients can leave their busi­ness cards.

“I be­lieve that we all can help each other just by do­ing some­thing small.

“I am lucky that I have a back­ground in graph­ics and so I can eas­ily use so­cial me­dia tools to mar­ket my busi­ness for free.

“I’m also a pho­tog­ra­pher so I can take cre­ative pho­to­graphs of my work and post it on Face­book and In­sta­gram.”

She says many of her clients come in for a ba­sic nail set but when they see pic­tures of her nail art they are in­trigued.

“They start with one de­signer nail and then they be­come ad­dicted as they get such a pos­i­tive re­sponse from peo­ple. It’s like hav­ing a pic­ture on your nail and you can change it ev­ery few weeks to suit an oc­ca­sion or a sea­son.

“In the past I have done nails in a cer­tain colour scheme for a baby’s ‘sex re­veal party’. If it’s a girl it’s all pink and white and if it’s a boy it is shades of blue.”

She says hearts and roses are pop­u­lar images and she can paint an im­age to suit the client’s per­son­al­ity. One client, who works with flow­ers and plants, has her nails adorned with tiny fern fronds and lilies.

Phillips does a roar­ing trade in wed­ding nails and man­i­cures for the brides­maids. To ac­com­mo­date big groups she does spe­cial of­fers.

Ev­ery so of­ten she runs a spe­cial for best friends who both get a set of nails at a dis­counted price.

Phillips does gel and acrylic nails. She says she al­ways uses pre­mium prod­ucts to make sure that her clients are guar­an­teed a good re­sult.

“A full set of nails should last any­where from three to six weeks be­fore be­ing re­placed.”

To check out her work and see if she has any spe­cial of­fers on the go at the mo, go to her Face­book page: Gliterel­las Hand Made Nails.

You can What­sapp her on

079 624 7644.

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