Peka Grayson was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Both a Samoan and Black, Grayson had a very humbling childhood, in which she and her mother were homeless at times. Despite the hardships, Grayson has always had a positive attitude and a big imagination. Her father is a street artist and introduced her to graffiti, sculptures, paintings and more throughout Seattle. He taught her how to color in the lines and shade from coloring books, which sparked her love for art.
Grayson sketched and took a few art classes in high school but was mainly self-taught. Unsure of what to pursue after high school, she went to cosmetology school and received her license to do hair. When learning how to do manicures, she realized she was obsessed with nail polish and would bring a huge tote of polishes to school to paint her friends’ nails in the break room. Then came crackle polish, which amazed her.
Because natural nails were not enough for Grayson, she later went back to school to get her manicurist license in 2013. “It was not an easy start being a new young Black/brown nail artist,” she says. At the time, specialized nail salons were a needle in a haystack. All she wanted was to be part of a team, and one salon finally gave her a chance. “But, I was mistreated and witnessed racism in the salon.” However, even with the obstacles, she opened her private studio in 2016 and plans to expand Impekable Nails in 2022.
Grayson has worked with Marvel, OPI, Topo Chico, Coca-Cola and more. She is also happy and honored to be a Valentino Beauty Pure educator since 2019 and loves teaching. She shares, “I did not get the best education while in nail school, so I take pride in helping others along their journeys—besides giving my clients the nails of their dreams.” Check out what inspires her and what she has created.