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Conversations with Vanessa Astorga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Astorga.

Hi Vanessa, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
When I started my nail journey, I recently moved from Colombia to the states after marrying my husband. As I was dealing with the adjustments of being in a new country and learning new customs, I knew I needed to find something I loved to do, especially when the pandemic hit. I needed something to help me feel better with my daily routine. I went a couple of times to the nail salon to get my nails done, and I was never happy with the result, especially for the price I was getting charged for. One day I decided to do my nails, my husband got me a kit from Amazon, and I started practicing on myself, but I wanted to try different brands and methods. I had no money, but I’m good at cooking, so I decided to make empanadas, and the money I was getting I would re-invest in nail products, equipment, and tools. I only had one lamp, the most affordable e-file, and 12 gel polish shades. The more I practiced, the better I got. I started taking online courses and fell in love with the nail industry. I spent my whole days practicing my skills, and one day I decided to pursue my professional career and get licensed.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It hasn’t been a smooth road; it has been very bumpy and rocky but worth it. I started this journey very afraid and excited for the future, and today I’m so glad I kept walking on this path. I’m so happy, of course; I have my hard days, but I’m doing my purpose, and I’m a step closer to my dream life every day. I’m a business that started with zero clients; word of mouth and social media have been my best allies. One of my biggest struggles was knowing my worth, appreciating my art, and knowing that I’m not a regular nail tech; I’m a nail artist, there are multiple nail artists, but each of us has a specialty. It took me some time to understand that my ideal client will help my business grow and that I’m not a nail tech for everyone, especially when my appointments can be 2+ hours. And the most critical part is to be patient, trust the process, and put in the work you need to, and God will guide you on the path.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m a nail artist, and my specialty is intricate nail art; every little nail is a canvas for me. If someone tells you that you can’t get designs on your nails because they are short, they don’t know how to do art on a bit of canvas. My mission is that you love your nails when you leave my chair, and I’m very proud of my work. I’m pleased that I can guarantee a private, clean area where you can relax, and your expectations of my work are going to go beyond what you are asking for; I’m very proud of how much I’ve grown in my skill and keep perfecting it through training, watching and learning from other nail artists. My goal is never to stop pushing my limits on what I can accomplish.

Alright, before we go, can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I love to do collaborations because I’m always in a learning process. When I meet someone, I learn something from them, and they learn something from me. Knowledge is never enough, there’s always something new to learn, and I like to learn as much as possible about multiple topics; it can be related to my business, life, plants, mom-hood, crafts, etc. I like to learn. I’m a big supporter of local, small businesses because I here have the same struggles, or I might already overcome issues that someone else can be having. Sometimes I didn’t have anyone to help me figure it out, so I wanted to be that guide I wished to have many times. Supporting my business can go from booking appointments with me to simply sharing my work thru social media; either way, I’m very thankful.

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Image Credits
Photos taken by Kristen Lang Photography

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