How We Began
In 1993, while living in Boise, Idaho, I discovered acrylic nails. Being young and poor, I decided the only way to have my nails done would be to do it myself. That is where my nail obsession began.
After spending hour upon hour practicing doing my own nails (and anyone else’s I could bribe to sit at my kitchen table) only to have them lift off, I realized that wasn’t ok. I was determined to figure it out and soon enjoyed measured success but realized the store brand products were just not cutting it. My mother, a professional in the beauty industry, came to town and I had her get me a better product. Oh, what a difference good quality products make!
My husband encouraged me to go to school and become a nail technician. I had no idea that a school just for nails existed—I was so excited! Within a couple of months I was in the program and excited for the future. After winning the local talent contest (artistic nails division) for new graduates in the beauty industry and passing the State boards I mentored under a very well known veteran nail technician in downtown Boise. I watched her in action for and practiced for hours day after day—she wouldn’t accept anything less than perfection—a philosophy I adopted and adhere to to this day. After a year of intense refinement of my skills I decided to rent a station at a tanning salon in Meridian, Idaho, where my business grew rapidly. I continued to stay current with latest products and trends attending numerous classes and trade within the tanning and nail industries. I stayed in the area for several years specializing in acrylic, fiberglass, and gel enhancements, manicures and pedicures.
In 2003, after my husband got out of the military, we relocated to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where I again rented a station, this time in a hair salon. Again my business grew rapidly and I was soon booked for months out! My husband joked that I was like “heroin” to my clients. I stayed in that area until 2007 when my husband had a business opportunity in Bellingham where we could be close to family, too.
I took a job working within the spa industry specializing mainly manicures, pedicures, and gel nails. Although I loved this season of my life, I missed being self employed, missed the tanning industry, and missed the creative outlet of sculpting intense BLING acrylics and gel nails. The opportunity to buy a small tanning and nail salon happened quickly, came out of nowhere, and was exactly what I had wanted to do—nails and tanning—no big drama of a large salon. It was truly answered prayer. So, in February, 2011, I purchased Safari Sun. I was so excited to just be by myself doing nails and running three tanning beds which my newly adopted clientele informed me were the best beds in town!
Everything happens for a reason. In May, 2011, I was heading for the checkout at Fred Meyer and one of the staff directed me to a shorter line. The friendly checker noticed that a bag of candy I was buying was open and called to have someone to bring me another one as I told her it was for the candy dish at my salon. I thanked her for noticing and we talked while waiting only to find out she was just getting ready to graduate from a nail school here in town. We only had moments and she asked me for guidance. I told her to swing by the salon and I’d be happy to give her any advice. I walked away thinking “Why did I do that? What advice could I give her?” I figured I’d never probably see her again anyway as I had mentioned my salon was kind of a one-man show.
I looked up from my nail table a couple weeks later as she walked in my door. We immediately hit it off and after talking with her about her quality of education, I knew she needed the same mentoring and encouragement I was blessed with all those many years ago or she would never make it. Somehow I made room for another nail table and have not regretted it since! Jodie has been at Safari Sun since June, 2011, and it has been such a joy to watch her grow in learning to love what she loves to learn. I have no doubt she will do very well in this industry. That’s how I found Jodie, or she found me…I don’t really know. Again, everything happens for a reason.
That’s our story so far…