30 Under 30 Spotlight: Kalifa Thorne
Read our November/December 2022 digital magazine to see the complete list of 30 Under 30 winners.
Nailpro (NP): Tell me a little bit about yourself! How did you get started, and why did you choose to become a nail tech?
Kalifa Thorne (KT): I’m Orlando-based. I actually went to school for full cosmetology and fell in love with nails while I was there. I’ve always been a person to do it myself before I ask someone else, and I love learning new things. Growing up, I never got my nails done at a salon, but I would always paint them myself and do nail art. When I got older, I started making press-ons for my nails but wanted to learn acrylics, so I can do them on myself instead of going to the salon. I gave up in the beginning because I had no training except for YouTube, and it was challenging. But, once I started cosmo school, I fell in love and grew from there.
NP: What is the toughest part about your job as a nail technician/nail artist/salon owner?
KT: The toughest part of being a salon owner is doing everything on my own. from scheduling to answering questions, dealing with bookings and keeping up with supplies, trends and social media.
NP: What do you love about your job?
KT: I love that I can be creative, create art and be myself.
NP: Where do you find inspiration?
KT: I find inspiration everywhere: art, on social media, different locations and other nail techs. It can even be a piece of clothing.
NP: What is a piece of advice you would give other nail technicians who are just getting started?
KT: Never compare yourself to other nail techs. Everyone started the same way and grew with time. It takes a lot of practice and dedication.
NP: What is a tip you have about any technique, service, business, etc.?
KT: Never overwork yourself. Make sure to take selfcare days!
NP: What is your favorite nail trend right now?
KT: My favorite nail trend would be gel tip extensions. They are quick, easy to do and give you time to focus on nail art.
NP: What is your favorite service to offer?
KT: My favorite service to do would be nail art. I love recreating cartoons and art on nails.
NP: Who is your role model?
NP: What is one of your proudest achievements as a nail tech?
KT: One of my proudest achievements as a nail tech would be owning my own private suite.
NP: What do you love about the nail community/industry?
KT: What I love about the nail community is that everyone can be creative and learn new things all the time because techniques are always changing.
NP: What are your top goals as a nail tech?
KT: My top goals as a nail tech would be owning my own salon, starting a nail product brand and doing celebrity nails.