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 Karen ‘Kei’ Kutyna (@nailwitchkaren). They are a 27-year-old nail tech at Pink Mojo in Jacksonville, Florida.
Nailpro (NP): What is a fun fact about you?
Karen ‘Kei’ Kutyna (KK): I have over 10 years of ballet experience growing up, which led me into pole dancing a year ago.
NP: How did you get your start as a nail tech?
KK: After a year of art school in Baltimore and some community college, I decided to pursue something that was more niche and received my nail technician license, so I could start doing nail art.
NP: What do you love about your job?
KK: I love the connections that I make with clients who sometimes end up becoming lifetime friends.
NP: Where do you find inspiration?
KK: I find inspiration from everything in my daily life. I usually draw inspiration from other art forms, like film and tattoos as well as nature.
NP: What is a piece of advice you would give other nail technicians who are just getting started?
KK: You will get faster as long as you keep practicing and spend your money on quality products you know your clients will love.
NP: What is your current favorite nail trend?
KK: I love seeing nails with extremely 3D structural elements that go beyond the shape and length of a standard nail extension where it becomes a whole accessory in itself.
NP: What is your favorite service to offer?
KK: Builder gel with hand painted art, generally the weirder or more obscure the better.
NP: What is your proudest accomplishment?
KK: Successfully being my own boss for 3 years after 2 years of being in the industry.
NP: What do you love about the nail community/industry?
KK: I love how the industry is constantly evolving to create safer methods/products as well as nail art products that create new nail trends.
NP: What are your top goals as a nail tech?
KK: I would love to have my own line of products and to travel to educate/create content for shoots and editorials!