Hitting nail on the head with talent
COMBINING ART AND NAIL TECHNOLOGY PRESENTED AN OPPORTUNITY TO KRISTY LEE PHILLIPS, WHO ALWAYS WANTED TO FOLLOW IN HER GRANDMOTHER’S ARTISTIC FOOTSTEPS. TRISH BEAVER REPORTS
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.