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Check Out Melanie Eggleston’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Eggleston.

Hi Melanie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Hello! My name is Melanie Eggleston. I am the owner of OMN Shop. OMN shop is a health-focused boutique nail salon. We focus on nail health, not just aesthetics. We are where health, nails, and feet collide! We partner with podiatrists, dermatologists, foot care brands, nail care brands, and other nail specialists to bring you a holistic approach to nail and foot care.

I have always loved painting my nails and toes. I remember doing my friend’s nails in high school and college. It was therapeutic for me. I could always be caught painting my nails during gatherings such as birthday parties and super bowl games. When I would go to nail salons I would always marvel at the process. I was in awe of it and everything that accompanied it.

I knew I wanted to open a nail salon so I created a business plan in high school. It has changed several times but I still have that first business plan. I would always ask for nail supplies as gifts from my parents. I had nail kits and more but I didn’t pursue nails. Instead, I went to college. I received my BS in communications, my MA in management and marketing, and my MBA. After that I just thought maybe I’d only own the nail salon of my dreams; not work in it. That is what I held on to – or so I thought.

I remember a few years before I made the leap to do nails I inquired about nail school. I went to a spa to get my nails done and there I was again asking the nail technician questions about her process and how she got started. She agreed with me that there aren’t many nail schools around. I had been doing my research and hadn’t fully accepted the idea that I may have to complete the entire cosmetology program just to do nails. I was not interested in the hair at all. I just wanted to learn about the nail business.

Fast forward to a few years later. I was having my second child and while in the hospital recovering things weren’t going well. I was struggling and didn’t know why. I was not feeling well, I was weak and was searching for answers. Finally, on December 1st, 2017, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis (MG). This was life-changing for me. I changed my diet and my outlook on life. This was a major reason I decided to go after my dreams and goals.

Fast forward again to 2018, I remember being at work and receiving an email that voluntary layoffs were happening. This is something that I had been asking for but didn’t know what to do when I was finally faced with it. I took some time and thought it through. Of course, my thoughts went to nails.

I recently looked into an apprenticeship program but it would be another few months before it was available. Now with this layoff happening I decided to look up nail schools again. This time I saw that there were a few schools that offered the nail technician program. I got a plan together and decided to take the step to leave. Who knew a layoff would propel me forward and take me exactly where I always dreamed I would be.

I left my job, started nail school that next month, and continued on from there. I knew I wanted to learn more about feet so I took an advanced pedicure class in Chicago. Right after that, I received my Certified Master Pedicurist certification shortly after. Since then I have pursued my passion and love of feet vehemently.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
No it has not been a smooth road at all. Juggling working for a men’s grooming salon, trying to build my clientele in my suite, being classified as having a disability and raising my daughters are just a few parts of it. . I had issues with my hands for years before I was diagnosed and then more issues after being diagnosed with it.

I wasn’t sure how my body would function but I believed in myself and prayed that it would all work out. While in nail school I told my nail tech teacher about my disability. She gave me a few tips and was encouraging but she didn’t let me make any excuses. I worked hard to change my life and not let my disability control my life and stop my dreams. It propelled me forward.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Let’s face it, in life, we strive to eat healthily and reduce toxins, however, no matter how much we try, they creep into our lives in unexpected ways.

At Oh My Nails (OMN) we strive to create a balance between reducing toxins, saving the earth, and saving your nails. We do this by primarily using nontoxic products that are non toxic, and vegan. In addition to great products, we value training and advanced services. Our number one priority is our clients’ safety and health.

We specialize in nail health. This not only includes fingernails but toenails. We specialize in pedicures and are known for our advanced nail techniques and services. We are one of the few salons in Maryland that specializes in Wellness Pedicures.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Empowering young girls and other women.

I have always supported women. Many would say I am a girl, girls. Since childhood I have always surrounded myself with my girl/woman tribe. This has expanded to some of the same women that I am close to today and other women that I have met and became close to along the way.

Women don’t always support women. I hate it when women say they don’t have female friends because I feel that women need women. We have to change that stereotype of women being catty or not wanting to help other women.

I challenge various stereotypes on a daily basis. I left my job and started a nail business that many didn’t believe I could do since I was classified as disabled. The women, who knew me, had my back. Those that didn’t were skeptical. I didn’t care because I wanted to show my daughters and any other woman that I might be able to relate to, that anything is possible.

I’m still building my business and working on my dream despite some setbacks. In addition to my nail business, I want to help other women be able to overcome and not be defined by their disability by creating services and tools to help motivate and empower women at any stage of their life.

Every woman is going through something that either one woman has been through or is about to go through. It is important for us all to be the best that we can be as well as set a positive example for the women in our lives. The various things that life has thrown at me have caused me to be more ambitious throughout my life.

Having two daughters has caused me to be more ambitious.

Seeing what my mom has gone through in her life has caused me to become more ambitious. Sometimes we cannot control what happens in our lives but we do not have to be defined by those things. Any chance I get to speak about my life enables me to empower at least one person. If I reach one person, I am elated and motivated to keep pushing forward to empower women and break any stereotypes.

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Image Credits
Ryan Roundtree Carter Beasley

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