Today we’d like to introduce you to Rika Olmedo.
Rika, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started painting my nails as a hobby during downtime at my old job. I wasn’t really happy working there, doing my nails made time fly. I watched nail tutorials online and really got into it, learned how to properly apply gel, extensions, designs… etc. As Japanese foreign student, there wasn’t many companies willing to employ me for the money I needed, so I spent most of the time working for companies who would pay me the bare minimum. Nails became my passion at that point and friends began asking me to do their nails. My boyfriend at the time, who is now my husband convinced me to follow my dreams and get my nail tech license. When I completed school and received my license I began working at a nail salon, I was sooo excited, I then realized that I wasn’t able to be as creative as I wanted, so I started doing nails on my own.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I am very fortunate to be able to do nails full time. The most challenging thing is making myself available for clients while continuing to be a good mother. Because I’m loyal to my clients, I honestly don’t take many days off. It’s all worth it at the end of the day, my clients are super nice and my family supports me as much as they can.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Nails By Rika story. Tell us more about the business.
Nails By Rika specializes in Japanese gel and nail art. My clients and followers know me for hand-painted detailed designs. I really enjoy the freedom and trust I get from my clients. Some of my best work comes from people telling me to “do something cool.” I do my best to learn new designs on a daily basis, I’m proud knowing that I have come a long way and that there is still an another road I can travel to.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Being at the right place at the right time and learning from life’s misfortunes has made me a good business person. My childhood in small-town Japan and the culture shock of moving to Los Angeles 14 years ago has definitely had a positive impact of my creativity. Decisions I have made for myself and my family in Japan allowing me to leave their nest at 18 years old has made me appreciate everything I have today.
- Instagram: @nails_by_rika