It Girl | CRYSTAL CLARK
I am going to start with a story that I haven't even told Crystal... or anyone for that matter. I have a habit of trying to meet women I want to interview in person to get to know them but then chickening out before I ask them. Its so weird and counterproductive. I seriously wanted to interview Crystal since the first time I met her but I could never work up the courage to ask! I call it curse of the awkward introvert. Finally, here we are! Crystal is such a talented nail artist and creative! In fact, she is the only person I trusted with my nails when I was headed to Beyoncé's Formation World Tour. She is able to make anything you can dream up come to life on your nails which is certainly not an easy feat. Crystal shares her insights and goals with us as the owner of Nail Yeah!.
Name: Crystal Clark
Job Title/Company: Owner/Manicurist : Nail Yeah
Education Background: Associates Degree Fashion Marketing The Art Institute of Charlotte
1. Tell us a little about who you are.
I’m a Raleigh native and Mom. I love nails, yoga, gardening and cooking. I hate washing dishes.
2. What sparked your interest in starting Nail Yeah!?
I saw a need that wasn’t being fulfilled in the Nail Industry and the timing was right.
3. Who are you most influenced by?
Right now, Ms. Tina Knowles, she birthed Beyonce and Solange. They got “it” from somewhere. That lady is everything.
4. What was your first job and how long did you hold that position?
Easy Spirit (shoe store) I used to size little old ladies feet and I loved it! I worked there for 3 years.
5. Can you share one of your proudest achievements with us?
I recently left my full time job at a busy Spa to run Nail Yeah full time. I planned for years and built my clientele while working a full time job. I’m so proud of myself for “hanging in there”.
6. What were your initial goals with your work? How have they evolved?
I just wanted to provide for my daughter. I thought that becoming a mom meant that my dreams would be seriously deferred. One of my best friends encouraged me to begin renting a salon suite. I felt really overwhelmed with the idea of running my own place. Over the years I’ve realized that my goals (no matter how large) are attainable over time. I just have to break my big goals down into smaller goals.
7. What do you think is the most important life skill you learned from being an entrepreneur?
Consistency is key. You have to show up everyday and if wont always be easy. Nobody is perfect and we all have bad days. People will understand a slip up here and there.
8. Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I hope to own the space I work in. I want to buy a building to house my salon. I also want to expand my business by adding more manicurists. I’d like to spend less time at the nail table and more time with my daughter.
9. What is a typical day like for you?
Hectic : Carpool, errands/phone calls, clients, carpool, clients, dinner, and finally bed. I’ve always hated routines so it’s a real challenge for me to be consistent. I try sooooooo hard and I’m good with that.
10. What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced so far in the process of pursuing your goals?
Making time to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Entrepreneurship and goal pursuing has made me feel very isolated and lonely at times. Having an odd schedule means missing holidays, wedding, funerals, and whatever else. I’m blessed to have understanding friends and family but I feel like I have to work when everyone else is off enjoying their weekend. It really hurts sometimes.
11. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Money is green and that’s the only color that matters. That means that it’s a huge value to learn how to talk to about anything, be interested in different cultures, and keep your advertising diverse. It is so simple. People just want to be included and understood.
12. When do you get your best ideas?
This is going to sound strange but every month around my cycle. I’m guessing that’s the upside of PMS.
13. Can you share with us one time that you failed and what you learned from that failure?
I had another salon in Charlotte. GLOSSY existed 2007-2008. I offered makeup services and trinkets. My business partner was a Manicurist. Glossy was about 5 years before its time. I learned that timing is everything!! In 2007 everyone was still on MySpace and Makeup and Nail Art weren’t huge yet. My partner and I disagreed on a lot of things too. We had different ideas about everything and we even stopped talking for about a year afterwards. I felt like I wasted all my energy and money. In hindsight it was a blessing to be able to experiment. I cant experiment in that way now.
14. How do you unwind?
ALONE TIME !!!! I have a job that requires my full attention and I need time to recharge.
15. What would you tell someone else who is interested in starting their own business?
You are going to feel overwhelmed a lot. Try to be patient and forgiving to your self.
16. What do you hope people take away from your story?
Every journey begins with the first step. Just keep reminding your self.
17. Anything we missed that you would like to share?
If I can do it……maybe so can you.