Oxygen‘s series “Boss Nails” features 26 year old entrepreneur Dana Cody and her nail salon Tippie Toes in Miami. The salon offers unique custom nail art and trend-setting nail designs. We chatted with Dana, a no-nonsense boss who is passionately growing her business, to learn more about her story and get her top business tips and nail industry advice.
How did you first get into doing nails?
My mother was a nail tech for 22 years so I grew up in a nail salon and played with nail polish instead of Barbie dolls.
Do you remember what the first nail art you ever tried was?
The first Nail Art that I tried was from a nail design book. It consisted of different greens, black and gold hand painted designs. At that time, intricate detailed lines were the “in” style of nail design.
Do you have any advice for aspiring salon owners?
I advise aspiring salon owners to make sure that they have a great staff! Take the time to train each technician on how they want the services to be performed. Every manicurist will have their own techniques on how to execute services but if the salon can create a signature structured way of services, I can guarantee that almost every client will be equally satisfied.
What are your favorite and least favorite trends clients are asking for right now?
Treasure Nails are my favorite nail trends and my least favorite trend would be “bubble nails.”
Can you tell us about your signature trendsetting Treasure Nails?
Treasure Nails are acrylic nails embedded with real Swarvoski crystals. Each nail can consist of 50-75 crystals! There’s a special technique to apply the crystals. Many techs thinks it’s about throwing on the crystals everywhere but that’s not true–There’s a certain pattern that must be used and it also includes 3 different stone sizes
What is the strangest request you have received from a client?
Cutting real money and putting it under the acrylic has been the most insane request thus far.. And to make matters worst it was $100 bill!!!
Do you have any favorite go-to colors that you can share?
My favorite colors are from the new line of my signature polishes called Treasure Nail Lacquer which are only glitters that are used for the base color for the actual Treasure Nail design. The customized glitters help give the Swarovski crystals the ultimate shine.
Do you work with any celebrities? If so, can you share advice for how to break into doing celebrity nails?
Yes, I’ve worked with SEVERAL amazing celebrities. Celebrities are attracted to new things and designs that are one of a kind. I advise anyone that would like to become a celebrity nail tech just create a unique style that celebs would like to wear!
Do you have any tips for building a client base/retaining clients?
In order to build a client base, you should have affordable prices and run specials that will make new clients come in and want to bring a friend. If you charge $50, every now and then give the clients a discount! It’s a simple way of saying that you appreciate your clients.
Tune in to the season finale of “Boss Nails” Tuesday, September 29th at 9pm ET on Oxygen!
[Image courtesy of NBC Universal]