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Need to Get Your Nails Done? Why Not Support a Fellow UMass Student Nail Tech!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a boom in people starting small businesses. I remember scrolling through TikTok and watching people promoting a wide variety of businesses from handmade candles and body care products to custom art. 67% of SMBs surveyed indicated that they are most optimistic about their growth potential on TikTok. This is the story that led Crisbelys, a local UMass nail tech, to start her small business. I came across her profile one day as I was scrolling away on TikTok and was in love with her work. I knew that I wanted to find out more about her business, how she got started, and more. I asked Crisbelys some questions to learn more!

Q: How did your journey of doing nails start?

A: “Basically, during the pandemic, I started doing gel manicures on myself and started experimenting with putting stickers on my nails and doing nail art. The fall semester of junior year was the first time I was back on campus and started making small purchases for supplies. I started experimenting with doing nails after watching a TikTok featuring a Gel-X nail kit. I thought it was perfect since I didn’t like the feel of acrylics but still wanted a way to have extensions and fun nail designs. I ordered the kit, tried it on my roommate first, and thought it was such a cool process. A friend back home, who does lash extensions, asked me if I had ever thought about doing nails for people because I had seemed to enjoy it. So I started practicing on my friends and started to think that this could actually be a possibility. That then led me to purchase my first nail desk, and in November of 2021, fall semester of my junior year, I opened up services to the public!”

Q: Why do you prefer using the Gel-X technique for nails?

A: “I specialize in Gel-X because, in terms of natural nail health, I would say it is one of the best options. All nail enhancements should not cause damage to your natural nails at the end of the day. Personally, Gel-X works best when trying to maintain my natural nails over using acrylic products. Skills to do acrylic nails take a long time to perfect whereas Gel-X allows more time for honing nail art skills due to being less complex.”

Q: How do you price your nail sets?

A: “This is kind of a complicated question, but I would say when I started they were dirt cheap. I started off doing sets for $35 because, from a business standpoint, I was just trying to build and create my portfolio and clientele. Over the summer, I made the decision to go to nail school and get certified as a nail technician. This has allowed me to raise the prices because I now have more knowledge and am able to provide a higher quality of service. Right now, my base prices start at $75 – $115 depending on how intricate the details are and the services included.”

Q: How did you promote and market your small business?

A: “In the beginning, it was definitely just people taking a chance on me and spreading the word. I also would do promotional offers in order to get more traction on Instagram. The TikTok that I ended up posting called “Day in my Life as a UMass Amherst Nail Tech” got 15k views and my platform grew a great deal from it. Being consistent with content since then has helped to promote my business.”

Q: Any advice for people trying to start their own business?

A: “A big part of starting a business is the fear of putting yourself out there. You will find your clientele eventually and hence should block out that fear. In terms of financial advice, when starting out, have another job with a stable income in order to grow your business. There will be slow periods, so plan for them. And if you are a student, put school first, and don’t overwork yourself!”

Go follow Crisbelys @crisbelysmbeauty on Instagram! If you ever want to get your nails done at UMass Amherst, you know who to contact!

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Anushka Myndapanda

U Mass Amherst '23

Anushka is currently a senior and majoring in Mathematics and Psychology. She loves to spend time with family and friends, reading books, staying active, and is passionate about climate change and sustainability.