It was in the 8th grade that nail artist Honey found her passion with the now worldwide trend. From working in nail salons, to serving as a lead manicurist on many fashion and beauty photo shoot sets, Honey has become an industry go-to for the latest in creative designs and nail trends. EBONY.com caught up with the busy lady to talk about her journey to success and what it means to truly love what you do.
EBONY: You're a master of nail art and you have such an amazing career as a nail artist. How did you get your career started?
Honey: I've always loved nails! I’ve been doing nails for over 23 years now.
EBONY: What is the coolest part of your work day?
Honey: Usually that moment when I get a challenge. I rarely know what I’m going to be doing ahead of time with my clients. I think of things while I’m in action, it’s kind of cool. So that’s a challenge every day for me; staying creative. l never know what I’m going to put on the nail until I pull out the brush. It’s very rare that I remake anything.
EBONY: How do you feel about the nail trends of today? Are they exciting to you?
Honey: Girl, all this stuff that’s coming out now has repeated itself. I’m looking at y’all like, “Okay we got that, been there, and done that.” The whole gel thing has been around too; it’s just gotten popular again. Stuff has been around forever, it’s just being executed so differently now because nails have become so hot.
EBONY: I think it’s a little more freedom to explore with nail art, especially for women who work in the corporate world. I'd have to agree, the nail trend is very appropriate at this time in beauty.
Honey: Exactly, and they’re very much an accessory. I don’t really wear too much jewelry besides my bracelets, and maybe a pair of earrings. My nails and my hair are really my accessories. I’ve always worn long nails. They are the perfect accessory right now.
EBONY: Did you always want to be a nail designer?
Honey: No, I wanted to be a painting artist. I’m not a big drawer, but I like to paint. As a kid, I used to always sit and paint abstract art. My artistry just somehow came out in doing nails. When I graduated the eighth grade, my mom gave me a gift to get my nails done. So I got them done, and once I did I was hooked. It just started from there. I felt like, “I can do this on my own.” I ended up doing my own nails from then on, and then started doing other people’s nails. I then started going to school and working my weekends in a salon. I just felt like God gave me a gift, use it blow people away.
EBONY: So how did you transform that into who you’ve become today and make it into a very profitable business?
Honey: My clue is my personality. My energy is good; I don’t worry. I also learned a lot from working in different environments and salons. I’m just a real person. Your whole energy must be positive and optimistic. It will lead into you do great things. I am for sure a workaholic. I work a lot.
EBONY: Your spirit is so lovely. I know you’re a nail designer, but from within, what do you feel your spiritually brings to the world, besides your creations?
Honey: I actually think I’m a physiologist. Clients are always asking all types of stuff and I make them feel better. And I think it’s because I’m very positive. I’m optimistic, so folks come to me even while I’m on set just sit and talk.
EBONY: Who taught you everything you know about nails?
Honey: I actually went to the Nail Academy (back when it was around) and my teacher’s name was Deborah Tubble. She passed away though. She was my mentor, my teacher, my everything. I never met anybody like this in my life. She actually took me on my first competition and I placed first. She was a really good teacher. She was hardcore though. But she taught me everything I know.
EBONY: Everyone needs a mentor. You’re lucky to have found her.
Honey: There’s no one like her that’s out right now. A lot of the girls from different nail schools don’t even know how to polish properly. Ms. Tubble would not let you leave until you learned how to do everything properly. There is a whole science behind polishing that most people wouldn’t understand.
EBONY: I’m so happy to see a Black woman really being a part of a dynamic trend in beauty. What are your words of advice for young women aiming for success?
Honey: You really have to work hard, stay optimistic and learn your craft. You have to love what you do.
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Associate Beauty and Style Editor, Digital