College attendees speak about surviving with little to no money, classifying themselves as “broke college students,” which can make it more difficult to maneuver through the university experience. Getting a part-time job may seem like an easy solution to the financial problems, but what if one discovers a personal interest, leading to success?
Clayton State University junior, Shania Goodman, tapped into a new interest, nail art, during the second semester of her freshman year in college. Although she is majoring in elementary education, Goodman has turned her sights to making money with this trade.
“If we’re being honest, I want to do nails,” Goodman said. “My parents want me to get my degree, which I am going to get, but at this point I am doing so good with nails. It really doesn’t matter when I get my degree as long as I get it. I’m not pressed [for] time.”
Goodman was introduced to nails by her roommate, Camryn, brought a nail kit into a mutual friend’s room where a few of them were hanging out.
After Goodman practiced doing a set of nails on a friend, she realized it may be an activity she could do consistently since the technique wasn’t too complex for her. This is when she realized she could use the skill as a trade to make money while in school.
“I got on the phone with my grandma that night and I told her about my idea,” Goodman said.
“She was like if you’re being serious I’ll invest in you. The next week she sent me the money to buy my nail stuff and after that the rest was history.”
She launched her nail business, BarbiedbyShi, in April 2019. She is a self-taught nail technician, learning most of her skills from continuous practice and YouTube.
It was the best method for her knowing other nail technicians only show their preferred method of doing nails. This is not helpful to new learners because the teacher’s preference may not meet the students’ needs or abilities.
“Nail classes, depends. I personally feel like with the nail techs in Atlanta, it’s a finesse because they only show you how they do it and their method might not work for you,” Goodman said. “I’m left-handed on top of that, and most nail techs are right-handed. So, the stuff they do with their right hand, you won’t be able to do with your left hand.”
Goodman noted that it is in her nature to get irritated with time-consuming tasks, and although it took her three hours to complete her first full set of nails, she enjoyed it and wanted to keep going.
When it was time for Goodman to make the nail technician commitment, she was sure to gain full knowledge in the nail application process. Nails are a tedious task, so she had to ensure she did not skip anything, otherwise the nails would not be of quality.
“Once you learn how to do the basics, you really grasp everything else. Once you learn nail knowledge, it’s pretty much common sense on what to do with designs and stuff like that. I used to be scared,” Goodman said. “I used to have my clients, when I first started, send me pictures of what they wanted so I can make sure I know how to do it. Now, I’ve gotten so comfortable I wait until they come here.”
Even being a beginner in the world of nail art, she was trusted by many to complete acrylic full sets.
Later into her nail career, Goodman developed a way not only to save herself money, but profit as well. She created her own acrylic powder to use on her clients’ full sets. After the consistent, positive feedback, she decided to make acrylic powder to sell to others as well. When she finally released her products, she sold out of all of the different acrylic powders on the first two launches.
“I started because acrylic is expensive. A jar of acrylic is $15 to $20 depending on where you get it from, so I was like, it would be smart to make my own and buy the material in bulk. I got all the stuff and then thought I can make this for other people too. I was trying them out and kept it a secret for a couple months until I felt like I was ready and popped out with it on Twitter and it went viral.”
With her nail business being so successful, Goodman decided it was time for her to learn another skill to add to her services: She enrolled to become a certified lash technician.
“At first it’s going to be an additional service because I’m just going to practice on people, doing discounted sets for models until I get really good,” Goodman said. “Then, when I get really good, I’m going to do a bundle deal with nails. Like if you get your lashes and nails done on the same day, it will be a discount.”
Goodman has goals to have her own nail salon within a couple years and offer all kinds of beauty services within her facility. At the rate she has been growing, going from two to three clients per week to fully booked calendars within her first year and a half, including the time it took to learn the nail process, she expects to be on track to reaching her goals within the next five years.