Meet Elena Rabaza: Nailpro 30 Under 30 Winner for 2023

Get to know Elena Rabaza (@salsarosanails). She is a 26-year-old nail tech at Salsa Rosa Nail Studio in New Braunfels, TX.
Get to know Elena Rabaza (@salsarosanails). She is a 26-year-old nail tech at Salsa Rosa Nail Studio in New Braunfels, TX.
Courtesy of Elena Rabaza

We are spotlighting the winners of Nailpro’s 30 Under 30 competition for 2023, featuring 30 nail artists under 30 years of age.

Get to know Elena Rabaza (@salsarosanails). She is a 26-year-old nail tech at Salsa Rosa Nail Studio in New Braunfels, TX.


Nailpro (NP): What is a fun fact about you?

Elena Rabaza (ER): In 2018, I started working at a nail salon fresh out of beauty school without fully speaking or comprehending English! I learned to speak by repeating everything clients asked, and now I cannot stop talking. 

NP: How did you get your start as a nail tech? 

ER: Looking back I always did my friends and family’s nails. My passion for nails started at a younger age, as my mom was always polishing her nails — I remember she always did red and almond. It wasn’t until 2017 that I decided to fully dive into the world of beauty to become a professional manicurist. 

NP: What do you love about your job? 

ER: The fact that I can say so loud and proud that I AM DOING WHAT I ENJOY THE MOST, AND I CANNOT SEE MYSELF IN ANY OTHER CAREER. Let’s start with the amazing souls I have met throughout these 5 years. I love meeting people and learning about their stories. I love creating art but mostly my clients' reactions when they see the final result. I love sharing my knowledge and educating not only other manicurists but my clients as well. 

NP: Where do you find inspiration? 

ER: I find inspiration in day-to-day life. It really depends how I feel – My mood is mainly my creative outlet. My clients are also my inspiration. Everyone has different styles, and I try to adjust their likings to mine to create something magical. 

NP: What is a piece of advice you would give other nail technicians who are just getting started? 

ER: My first year in the industry I only had 3-5 clients a week. My strategy was and will always be to be authentic with my clients and also provide the best service. Like I always say, “Fake it until you make it but have communication while at it.” My advice is to be true to yourself, promote your craft and be consistent with the service you provide. I feel really blessed to say that I have been completely booked for the past 4 years thanks to my clients’ recommendations. 

NP: What is your favorite nail trend right now? 

ER: Chrome has my heart right now! There’s so many designs and styles that can be created. I tell my clients, “When in doubt, let's do chrome.”

NP: What is your favorite service to offer? 

ER: My ultimate favorite is TGB Builder Gel. There's something about helping my clients’ natural nails grow to a length they have never achieved before that can’t be explained. My favorite thing to hear is “My nails have never been this long,” and that is rewarding.

NP: What is one of your proudest achievements as a nail tech? 

ER: 2022 was a pivotal year! Soon after having my second child and while on maternity leave, I decided it was time to finally do what I always dreamed of: I opened a nail studio, and now I have a great team of manicurists and pedicurists. 

NP: What do you love about the nail community/industry? 

ER: One of the things I admire the most is the continuing support that we all have for each other and the desire to grow and share. The industry keeps evolving, and nail techs are getting all the recognition we deserve. 

NP: What are your top goals as a nail tech? 

ER: My top goals are to have a nail salon and nail academy. I wish to provide the best experience for clients and the greatest working environment for my team! I wish to share my knowledge and to not only certify but to license nail techs in an elevated system of learning.

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