Charme Studio Story
My story starts like many others you may have heard. I was a driven young woman who worked her way into a managerial position by the age of 18 at a popular Tacoma nail salon. I worked long hours, had only one day off, and was severely underpaid… but I was a MANAGER! Wonderful!… right? Truth be told, the 60 hour weeks, having no life of my own, and making only $10/hour (no overtime) started to exhaust me. I was dreading work everyday, even painting nails was no longer fun. But then, 2 things happened: 1) Pinterest and the artistic nail craze came about (and I started enjoying that aspect again), and 2) I began building a clientele that relied on me as an expert on nail care, and I found I really wanted to help these people; if I could be a resource on having healthier and stronger nails, I wanted to be!
Fortunately, in my quest for information I began realizing that our salon was committing a number of huge safety and health faux pas! I mean, what we were doing was downright illegal and not at all in compliance with sanitization regulations. Unfortunately, (and to my surprise) when I shared this information with the owners they didn’t care at all. In fact, they were fully aware but told me I was stupid as this was the only way to make money. UGH! WHAT?! But this is people’s health we are talking about! I knew I had to get out of there.
Though I wanted to leave right away, I needed an exit strategy. Little did a sweet old lady know, she would be my inspiration to make moves! I was sitting one day waiting for walk-ins and watched her slowly make her way into the shop. She did it once a week like clock-work even though the journey was clearly difficult; she used a walker and would constantly have to stop and sit before making it inside. And then, it dawned on me! Why not go to her? And to everyone else whose lives would be easier if I traveled to them?? Great idea, but like all good things.. it takes time. So I did leave the nail salon I was at, and for a few short months I worked at Julep Nail Parlor in Gig Harbor and learned the REAL way to do things in the nail industry. They followed all the rules and regulations and it was amazing to learn! I knew things could be done better and healthier :) After that, I was finally ready to go out on my own as Tina’s Traveling Nails!
Under Tina’s Traveling Nails I did home visits, and went to nursing homes, hospitals, workplaces etc. For those who wanted to come to me, I rented out a station in a hair salon to take clients as well! I was also volunteering at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital as the Nail Fairy… dressing up in a tutu and wings, and painting sick children’s nails as a way to perk them up. Life was very busy but it was MY kind of busy. I was doing nails the right way and being able to give back as well! More on the Nail Fairy another day, but just know that got me a LOT of attention and business really began to boom! Fast forward two years, and let’s just say everything fell into place. I decided to open a store front with a past co-worker, and 3 weeks later we were in! It’s amazing how quickly things can happen!
And here I am now! We’ve been open 2 years in November, and I absolutely love it! We started seeing clients while the shop was under construction, which meant client input throughout the entire process. We have an absolutely amazing team of girls, and we are all dedicated to spreading awareness on nail health and care, sanitization standards, and all those industry rules the average client would never know! We don’t want clients nor nail techs to be taken advantage of by greedy salon owners who get rich at the cost of their client’s health, and employee’s life. You’d be surprised how many nail shops pay their employees below minimum wage… it’s awful!
Whether you’re in Tacoma or not, my goal is to provide important information to anyone and everyone who loves getting their nails done. Follow our blog for more about Charme Studio and useful information on nail care and health! In an upcoming post, I’ll also share more about my life as the Nail Fairy :) You won’t want to miss it!