Courtesy of JINsoon
Founder of JINsoon Jin Soon Choi is native to Korea and became a nail tech after arriving in America before creating her business and product line.
- What inspired you to join the professional nail industry?
“I followed the path taken by many Korean immigrants at the time, but I tried to focus on both the artistic and practical end of the industry while honing my English.”
- When and how did you get started in your career?
“I would say that my career began in earnest when I started freelancing by giving mani-pedis to clients at home, one of whom was an editor who connected me to an agent. That led to me landing editorial work, and eventually, to working on photo shoots and runway work.”
- As a female leader/professional, what are some obstacles you experienced, and how did you overcome them? Have you confronted gender-related roadblocks in your career?
“Since this industry has such high representation by women, I must say that I have not experienced gender-based roadblocks, but the obstacles I have overcome are those that any entrepreneur encounters, such as having ideas taken. The only way to prevent that was to step up my game and keep improving.”
- How can women support other women in this industry?
“I am pleased to say that although most of my competitors are women, they are generally very supportive. We support one another by keeping in touch and collaborating on social giveaways or promoting each other's products.”
- Tell me about another woman who has inspired you.
“There are so many successful women in the fashion and beauty industry, but Pat McGrath stands out for me because of her unparalleled vision, success and work ethic.”
- What is one thing you know now you wish you would have known when you started in this business?
“I wish I had raised money before launching my product line. I think my business would have grown much faster if I had done so, and it would have allowed me to focus more on the creative end of the business.”
- What other key learnings and practices do you wish you to share with other professionals?
“Hire the best and most appropriate person for each position in the organization, and do not try to do everything yourself. It hinders growth.”
Nail Tech Teachings
- When and why did you become a nail tech?
"I became a nail tech when I moved to NYC in 1991 because I did not have many other options at the time. I followed what Korean people did and worked at salons, which allowed me to learn English.”
- After receiving your nail tech/beauty license, have you received other certifications? If so, what?
“I actually got a cosmetology license instead of a nail license, which gave me more options rather than only being able to work on nails.”
- Where do you find education, and how do you continue growing your skills and business?
“My greatest source of education is from working at salons, which improved my basic skills. The creative education comes from my work on photo shoots and editorial campaigns. I also do tons of online research, which I guess is like being self-taught and practice nail art at home to help continue to grow both my skills and business.”
- What obstacles have you faced, and how did you overcome them?
“For any and all obstacles I have faced, whether it is with employees or employers, I often feel overwhelmed and overthink problems. I manage those obstacles by tackling them one step at a time. ‘Step by Step’ is my mantra. I am also a strong believer that putting yourself in another person’s shoes and staying open-minded allows you to face challenges with a positive perspective, which in turn helps you overcome the obstacles."
- What tips do you have for aspiring and budding nail techs?
“Create something that is uniquely your own, and be passionate about it. It will make the work more enjoyable.”