Who Dat Girl: Nancy Loves Nails
We all love a bit of nail inspo. Even if we have no big plans to splash out in the future, it’s likely that we’ve double tapped a set on Instagram. We’re about to show you someone who could make your dreams a reality. Or, at the very least, add some serious insta-crush-worthy #NOTD on your feed. Meet Sophie Dale at Nancy Loves Nails, an independent girl boss bae and Nail Queen extraordinaire!
Catching up With Nancy Loves Nails
How did ‘Nancy Loves Nails’ start?
I set up my business when I was 14, which was something unheard of at the time. I started by practising on family and friends, and soon enough word spread. I started doing home visits and nail parties, which meant I had to quickly create a brand for myself and something people could instantly recognise: say hey to “Nancy Loves Nails”! I set up my Facebook page and within a week I had almost 1,000 likes. My cousin helped me set up a photoshoot, and after I posted them on Facebook the appointments came rolling in!
It was slightly strange at first. I work at home, so welcoming strangers into my house was strange for me and my parents. But after five years, customers have turned from newly familiar faces to friends; I’ve even been invited to some customers’ birthday parties! I believe working from home created my image of being a friend rather than a nail technician, and created the relaxed environment I still have today in my own studio.
Now, onto the nail art…
Aww, we’re vibin’ the boss bae attitude. You’ve been doing it a while now, but which nail designs are your favourite to complete?
Graduated glitter nails! Glitter always looks amazing and impresses clients. In the nail world there is always new, fun and creative things to use and buy, so it’s always fun when someone lets me play around with designs, colour and glitter. My job is literally like going to work to play!
You work hard, and play hard! Where do you find inspo for your designs?
Instagram. I love Japanese nail art and checking out my fave nail artists from America and London. I like Nancy Mc and The Illustrated Nail as their designs are so different and my style. I love fun, modern nails, but keeping them clean and classy. I’d like to think my ladies are a classy lot so try to do my best for them!
Who are some of your faves to have on your playlist in the Nancy Loves Nails salon?
Fleetwood Mac, Amy Winehouse, Paolo Nutini, Ben Howard, Tracy Chapman, Florence and The Machine, and a hint of Kanye – if the client lets me!
You seem to have millions of designs, how does anyone make a choice? And which are the most popular?
People normally check out my Instagram before, or some bring in Pinterest photos. My clients love florals and glitter, but now the darks are coming back with the winter months – my favourite!
Do you seem to see a change in colours as the seasons change?
Yes, definitely. I’m starting to see the corals go and am bringing in the dark cherry reds and purples. Dark colour nails are my favourite so it’s the best time of the year for me.
Which colours and designs do you think will be the most popular with Nancy Loves Nails’ customers this AW?
Mix and match nails, greens and cherry reds are popular at the moment, with a hint of gold glitter.
Hundreds people walk into Nancy Loves Nails each month but how often do you do your own nails?
I tend to do my own nails every three weeks, it used to be SO hard but now I find it easier than doing someone else’s!
You must have done some sets of toes over the years, are you a big shoe lover?
I LOVE SHOES! Shoes are my thing. I must have 40+ pairs but I tend to wear the same two. I love collecting pretty things, and statement shoes are my favourite. I just bought some embroidered wrap around shoes and I love them. And some Puma faux fur sliders – I can’t resist!
We’re obsessed with sliders too, obvs, but what style of shoes would be your go to for a night out?
I love my brown leather clogs. I am tall anyway so a high heel is a no for me! Although, if I’m getting taken out I love to wear my pink fur heels. I’m going to buy some clear perspex Kim K style ones next, just ’cause I can!
What would you say Nancy Loves Nails’ biggest achievement in the industry was?
Winning Gelish Gives Back three years ago. I won 1k worth of kit and £500 worth of training. It was brilliant to get the recognition – I was 1/5 in the North that got chosen from age 16-25.
What are your top 3 pieces of advice for girls wanting to follow in the same steps as you?
My top 3 pieces of advice for people wanting to build their business are:
– Always be yourself. My customers HATE small talk, I treat everyone as a friend and promote a relaxed vibe in my studio.
– Always be professional. Customers notice everything, so being neat, delivering a good job and making them walk out with a smile on their face is better promotion than any Social Media.
– Support independents. As an independent yourself, talk to your local independents. Supporting each other and giving advice will only bring good. It’s a lovely feeling to know that there’s no bad blood in such a female dominated profession. Women should always empower, and I do believe that “supporting another woman’s success will never dampen yours.”
What’s the best thing about being an independent girl boss and working for yourself?
Choosing my own hours! I love holidaying, I’ve been on four this year, jetting to Dubai, Amsterdam, Mexico and Greece. Taking time off when I want is the best because it gives me the freedom to do what I want in life. Being your own boss is brilliant ’cause I love to make other people happy, which nails always do!!
Any big plans for Nancy Loves Nails in the future?
I’d love to have a cool girl nail salon with loads of amazing extras like you see in London. I think it’s what the North East is missing.
Love Sophie Dale’s work as much as we do? Tweet us @PUBLICDESIRE
Time for more PD?