We love seeing black women in industries dominated by other ethnicities, So you know we have to have a one on one with Nail Technician Kirstyn Jones. Kirstyn is only 26 years old, yet an established nail tech with a growing clientele due to her flawless nail application and design techniques. We talked about her getting into the industry, being a black business owner, and her spiritual journey to say the least. Keep reading for the Black Girl Magic.
When did you realize you wanted to become a nail technician and how did you go about making it happen?
I realized that I wanted to become a nail technician probably right after I graduated high school. I got tired of paying to get my nails done and it wasn’t the way I wanted them. I felt as though I was wasting a lot of money, and I figured that I would go to school to learn how to do my own nails. I actually never thought that I would be doing other people’s nails. I was originally supposed to go to college for law or fashion design. The colleges that I got accepted into were really far away and I wanted to have a means of making money while on campus. I knew that a lot of girls on campus would be doing hair already so I decided that I would go to school for nails; that way I could do nails on campus and make money to get through school. I ended up falling in love with what I do and my clientele started to grow. I knew that there was no way that I could do nails and go to school full-time. I grew to understand that building a clientele and school just weren’t going to go hand-in-hand. So I focused more on doing nails than going to college. I found a nail school, completed my hours and went on to graduated to get my license.
How much of your knowledge of nail design is self taught?
Pretty much all of my knowledge of nail design is self taught. I’m a visual learner as well as hands on so if I see something most times I can mimic it. And whatever I can’t do immediately I practice until I can. Most times people just tell you to freestyle so I can get pretty creative when it comes to that. I’ve never actually taken another class outside of the schooling that I did to get my license, but I wouldn’t mind going to more classes and workshops to continue to learn. I feel like you can never know too much and it doesn’t help to learn from somebody further along than you.
What’s your favorite nail trend currently?
Currently my favorite nail trend would be stiletto nails, long stiletto nails to be exact. I like seeing that long nails are back in style. I also love encapsulated nails, I feel like the ideas and designs are limitless when it comes to them. They are definitely a statement piece. I’m honestly just glad that long nails are back in style. I used to have so many people question my choice of nails and now to see that people are beginning to like it, that makes me happy.
Who inspires you as an entrepreneur?
Honestly, I don’t know who to say inspires me as an entrepreneur. I feel as though everyone does their own thing in their own way and I try my hardest not to look at what someone else has going on. When you do that you tend to compare where you are with where someone else is and it causes you to lose sight of why you’re doing in the first place. I think that we are all on our own journey and that looking at what someone else is doing will hinder you a bit. Don’t get me wrong it can inspire you, but it can also cause you to compare yourself to someone else. I honestly can’t say that I’m inspired by anyone because I don’t look at anyone else. I never wanted to be like anyone else or even take anything from anyone else so I feel as though if I keep my eyes on what’s for me when I make it where I’m going I’ll be able to say that I did this on my own, and with the help of God of course. It wasn’t because of what someone else did or it wasn’t because of someone else’s style. It’ll be because I made a path for my own self and I honestly just want that to set me apart. I hope that doesn’t come off in a bad way or arrogant because I don’t mean it in a bad way I just wanna focus on what God places in front of me. Realistically speaking I just want what he wants for me.
Do you feel like black nail technicians are held to the same standards by customers as Asian nail technicians?
No, I do not feel that black nail techs are held to the same standards by customers as Asians, and I say this because I feel as though we have it a lot harder. We don’t get the chance to mess up time and time again. We only have one chance to get it right and if we get it wrong we aren’t supported ever again by our own people. I hate that it has to be that way. You have no idea how many times I’ve had girls come and asked me am I licensed? I went to school and I got properly educated so that I could help people, because I know that we want things done the right way but every now and then you have a few that’ll say “they’ll go where it’s cheaper” and that “they don’t like to make an appointment”. Which I’m fine with, but I just wish that I could educate everyone on how important it is to understand quality over quantity. I do see change in the future though. I’m actually loving the “buying black” and “supporting black businesses”moment that has taken place.
We love that you’re big on educating your clients on proper nail care as well as illegal use of tools in other salons. If you can warn customers of one hazardous tool and technique in the nail industry, what would it be?
The biggest hazard that I’ve seen in the nail industry would be the use of graters/razors as foot files. I really do wish that people would understand that those tools only make your feet worse and they cause the skin to grow back a lot thicker. I try to inform all of my clients of the dangers of having these tools used on them. If a nail tech has to use any of those tools they definitely shouldn’t be servicing you. Those tools are considered illegal in the nail world.
You were public about testing positive for covid-19. What made you want to be so transparent with your clients?
Honestly my transparency came from the fact that I have such a close relationship with my clients. My clients have been with me for years, so a lot of them are more than just clients to me; we’ve grown really close, and I thought that I would share with people just how serious this virus can be. I saw that a lot of people weren’t taking this virus seriously. I just wanted to help somebody else. Maybe even save a life. I didn’t know if I would make it once I contracted the virus. Having COVID-19 was one of the worst experiences I’ll say that I’ve ever been through and I wanted people to know that this thing is real. I had so many people texting me and calling me when this quarantine first place but I couldn’t reply back because I was really sick, and I didn’t want them to think that I was ignoring them so I decided to come out publicly and let them know that I contracted the virus. I pray that no one else has to go through what I went through but I do want everyone to know that it’s an eye-opener and it gives you a whole new outlook on life. This virus taught me to appreciate everything; even the smallest details that life has to offer.
What metaphysical crystals are you currently using and why?
Right now I am using an amethyst crystal and I just bought a rose quartz crystal. My amethyst crystal stays with me at all times. I keep it in my car. I also have one that I keep in my purse so it goes everywhere with me. I am currently using the amethyst crystal because I believe that it just brings me closer to being able to communicate with my angels Around me. I just feel that it brings protection and a sense of peace. I haven’t really gotten too far into any other crystals, I’m working on it. I have started collecting but I just wanna be able to understand the deeper meaning behind each and every crystal that I add to my collection. The amethyst has great healing properties and it’s perfect for balancing chakras, that’s why this is the first crystal that I’ve been drawn to.
Tell us about your spiritual journey and where you are spiritually right now?
My Spiritual journey has been quite the roller coaster. I never would’ve thought in a million years that I would’ve had to go through everything that I went through to be where I am today, spiritually. During this crazy journey I’ve lost friendships, relationships, physical things, mental things and I even lost myself along the way but it taught me something. God never asked me to give up something and he not have something better prepared for me. Right now, I’m in a place where I’m learning to see through people and see who they are before they even introduce themselves to me. It’s a blessing and a curse. I feel like my journey is really similar to that of a butterfly’s. I’ve been the caterpillar. I’ve been in the darkness (cocoon) and my eyes have adjusted to being in a season of darkness and now I finally get to be the butterfly. So spiritually speaking, I believe I’m walking in my season.
We’re so inspired by your weight loss journey! Tell us what’s kept you motivated to keep going?
Thank you so much. I really just wanted to be healthier. And I was tired of living the way that I was. I was ready for change. I didn’t want to be one of those people that ended up with health complications due to being morbidly obese. So I made up my mind that I wouldn’t give up on myself. I dedicated my time to working out five days a week, two times a day. So far I’ve lost over one hundred pounds, and I couldn’t be happier.
What are you doing when you’re not in your salon?
When I am not in the salon I am either at home watching movies or shopping. I absolutely love shopping, it’s one of my favorite pastimes. I also love going to the movies but due to Covid the movies aren’t open yet so I just stay home and watch movies all day. I’m content in my own space. I’m also a bookworm so I don’t mind staying home to read books. I’m also always working on a new project. I hate having idle time, so I always find something to do.
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
In three years, I see myself owning multiple businesses, raising a child and hopefully I’ll be with the love of my life. No, I’m not pregnant nor do I have a boyfriend but it doesn’t hurt to speak things into existence. I’m learning to manifest the things that I want and so far its working perfectly. And if I don’t get these things in three years I’m fine with that; I know that everything is all in God’s timing. Hopefully, I’ll have made a name for myself in the industry. I want to move on to bigger and better things. Truth be told, I only want what God wants for me.
What advice do you have for young black women looking to get into the beauty industry as nail technicians?
My advice for young black woman wanting to get into the beauty industry is to always stay true to yourself and don’t give up. If the career you chose doesn’t make you question whether or not you’re doing it for the right reasons or if you don’t feel like giving up sometimes then that’s not the career for you. In the beginning, you will put out way more than you get back and you will want to quit quite often but the reward is so much better if you stick it out. Whatever you decide to do, don’t do it because it’s what everybody else is doing, do it because fifteen to twenty years from now you’ll still love waking up every morning and enjoying what you do for a living.
Here’s how you can book Kirstyn.