Nailpro 30 Under 30 Winner Spotlight: Kalifa Thorne

Nailpro 30 Under 30 recipient Kalifa Thorne.
Nailpro 30 Under 30 recipient Kalifa Thorne.
Courtesy of @nailzbykalifa

30 Under 30 Spotlight: Kalifa Thorne 

Kalifa Thorne (@nailzbykalifa) is an Orlando, Florida-based nail tech and the owner of Nailz by Kalifa.

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. Kalifa Throne is one of Nailpro's 30 Under 30 winners for 2022Kalifa Throne is one of Nailpro's 30 Under 30 winners for 2022

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?

KT: I have a few but my two favorites would be @nailz_by_dev & @vivxue on Instagram. Nails by Kalifa ThorneNails by Kalifa Thorne

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.

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