Today we’d like to introduce you to Meagan Knight.
Meagan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been into nails since I was a kid, around eight years old. My aunt was a nail technician and she painted little Fourth of July flags on to my small nails. I thought it was the coolest thing, I’ve been hooked ever since.
I kept it as a hobby through college until I entered a competition for Essie in 2017. One of the perks of winning was a spot on their nail team backstage at NYFW which had been a dream of mine since middle school (not to be on the nail team specifically but to be at NYFW). I worked extremely hard and gave it my absolute best shot every time I advanced and eventually, I won. And then, I was told that I had to be licensed in order to work at NYFW, which was not mentioned anywhere in the fine print.
As I’m writing this out, I’m realizing this was a life-altering point for me. I was already working full time as a graphic designer, so the idea of going to school part-time on top of this induced a lot of panic and tears. Obviously, this was an opportunity that I couldn’t waste, so dramatic story short, I enrolled in nail school, got licensed, and had the time of my life at NYFW.
After that chapter was all over, I knew that couldn’t be the end for me–I wanted more. So I moved back home to LA and met the right kind of nail friends on Instagram, and now two other girls and I work in our perfect little studio by appointment only! I’m usually there two days a week, and the rest of the week, I continue to do graphic design part-time. It’s the best set up.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
“Smooth road” may be a relative term. Personally, I think I had a pretty smooth road. There were small bumps, but nothing I couldn’t handle.
A few bumps that come to mind:
1. I had originally gotten licensed in Utah which was where I was living at the time, and I had to re-take the practical and written exam once I moved back home to California and that was really stressful.
2. Nail school was really rough for me because it was 25 hours a week (including the weekend), plus my 40-hour workweek and my commute was 45 minutes each way. I didn’t sleep much and my boyfriend won’t say so, but I know I was awful to be around. It felt like an eternity.
3. I found a private studio to work in with my good friend Lauren (whom I met through Instagram), and a few months into the thing, we learned that the landlord was kicking us out to sell the building. So we had to find a new spot. I was busy with work, so Lauren handled a lot of that for me and I am extremely grateful for her help. She’s been a total angel and has taught me so much and taken a lot of the struggle off of my plate!
4. This is a good one–I accidentally blacklisted myself from doing work on set with a few agencies. I was asked to assist someone for a Vogue shoot and after it was over, I emailed the lead manicurist’s agent asking what to bill for two 12+ hour days of work (not including a 100-mile round trip commute for both days. As it turns out, earning less than $3/hour was a fair rate to both the magazine and the agency, so I was called something close to an entitled bitch throughout the editorial nail community…simply for asking what to charge. I guess I was naive to think people got paid a fair wage to do editorial work, especially of such high caliber? It was one of my first times working on set. It sucks, but now when I do work, I make sure to clear up how much money I’ll be earning upfront. Easy fix!
All in all, I am sooo grateful these are my struggles. I think it really helped that I didn’t have all my eggs in this nail basket and that I had a reliable source of income from design to fall back on.
Please tell us about Tiny Brushes.
I’m a licensed nail artist working under the moniker Tiny Brushes. I do high-end gel manicures (no pedicures) for natural nails only and I specialize in nail art! I’m most proud of my ability to do clean work that isn’t harmful to the natural nail, and I think what sets me apart is my custom nail art and manicure longevity. My average client lasts about four weeks, and I think my current record is 11 weeks (I don’t recommend going that long, though!).
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I can’t pick one favorite. I had the best, most fun childhood! The one most worthy of writing about is probably my trip to Vietnam when I was four or five years old. I got chickenpox while I was there, and all I remember is being itchy, but also proudly believing I looked like a puppy from 101 Dalmatians.
- Solid color gel manicures are $60
- Tier 1 art gel manicures are $70
- Tier 2 art gel manicures are $80
- Tier 3 art gel manicures are $90
- Address: 2161 Colorado Blvd. Suite 203
- Website: www.tinybrushes.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: tinybrushes
- Facebook: tinybrushes
- Twitter: tinybrushes