The smell of acrylic monomer fills the air while the buzz of the electric file fills the room. Finally, after so much tedious work, you end up with the finished product- a lovely set of nails. The person behind the work? Nation Ford sophomore Charity Revell.
Charity is 15-years-old and became interested in learning the art of doing nails around September of 2020. She was inspired by her cousin, Shamiyah Jones, because she saw her making money from the profession.
Charity has found a love for doing nails, both for herself and others. She says that her favorite part is seeing the ideas that her clients come up with for their nails and how they come out in the end.
As a small business, Charity buys all of her supplies herself first to create a profit. She has spent up to about $1,500 all together for the nail supplies that she has used up to this point.
“With nail supplies, you can’t buy cheap materials and think you’re going to get the best,” she says. “You truly have to look into what products you are buying without spending more than you need to.”
As Charity is somewhat new to this venture, there are still some aspects she struggles with.
“I personally think the most difficult part of doing someone else’s nails is building the apex (the spot right where the tip being used meets the actual nail) as well as if the client will like their nails or not,” she explains.
Charity is slowly overcoming this obstacle by constantly practicing her skills in order to become better for future clients.
The time to complete a full set of acrylic nails varies. For example, a longer tipped nail may take more time compared to a shorter tipped nail, and additional “bling” or designs increases the appointment time. New nails techs often take more time to complete nails than their more experienced counterparts. It usually takes Charity around one hour to an hour and 30 minutes to finish a set.
People usually pay for a full set around $60, but since Charity is too young to get a certified license, she cannot charge people. However, she can request a donation, which is how she makes her money.
Charity has decided to advertise her business through social media. She made a nail account on Instagram that goes by the name “@youniquenailsbychar_”. Here, she posts her results and currently has 64 followers. She has been accepting clientele since the end of April.
“I have put a lot of thought into doing nails when I get older, but I don’t think it’s something I would want to do when I’m older,” Charity says. “I wouldn’t mind getting my license when I turn 17 and doing nails as a side hustle.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nail technicians is expected to grow by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average across occupations. Charity has the skills to take part in one of the fastest growing cosmetic professions, even if she uses her abilities as a side gig.
“My experience with Charity was awesome,” says one of Charity’s first clients, Kiersten Deer. “She has great customer service and I recommend going