Guest Writer 300

How I overcame Covid challenges to become an award-nominated nail tech

By Guest Writer | 22 March 2021 | Feature, Tech Talk

Sabina Bungard 1200

I’m Sabina, 29, a nail & lash technician based at Platinum Beauty in Littleborough, Greater Manchester.

The first coronavirus lockdown meant I was unable to work in my hospitality job, which left me devastated. I had suffered ill health for some time and had been so happy to be working again, so it was difficult to face the prospect of losing the independence I worked so hard to rebuild. 

During this time, my dad had suffered multiple organ failure and a large blood clot to his liver. Without a live-saving organ transplant he was on borrowed time and needed care, my children were both home from school and my husband was working long and difficult hours as a local firefighter.

Mentally and physically I was exhausted and hurting. I needed to really work on myself, keep busy, figure out what I wanted and make a plan on how to get it. 

I always wanted to get into the hair and beauty industry but in all honesty I always thought I just wouldn’t ‘fit’. I didn’t think I was fashionable enough, pretty enough or even popular enough to make it a success. My dad received his miracle transplant in April 2020 and in spite of all the obstacles against him, started making a speedy recovery. To this day, I am convinced it was his positive mental attitude and sheer determination that saved his life multiple times. He inspired me to ‘go for it’ and every inch of my soul into making it work for me.

I started investing and selling skincare products and eventually earned enough commission alongside my savings to book a facial training course. Unfortunately due to restrictions I was unable to do the course coming out of lockdown and so out of curiosity, enrolled on a manicure, pedicure and gel polish course at a local training academy. I have since added to my qualifications with L&P acrylic and facial courses, and completed more training to branch into waxing and semi-permanent lash extensions. 

I created my own branding and materials and my Instagram following grew massively over a few months while I practiced freehand nail art

After so many highs and lows over my short few months in the industry after Christmas I still hadn’t quite got over ‘imposter syndrome’ – and if anything I felt it stronger than ever the more my following grew. I was ready to hang up my nail brushes and just call it quits. Thinking I would get support from friends and family was my biggest misconception about starting my business. I was finding it lonely and daunting. 

I signed up for some nail art classes but for some reason I was never contacted back to participate and felt so disheartened to see it went ahead without me (with spaces available). Thankfully, some local salon owners and technicians stepped in and reminded me to stay consistent and focused. They showed me that the industry isn’t usually like that and its actually a community of like-minded people who are all there to support each other. Without these people offering the support they did, I think I would have closed my social media accounts and quit. What a mistake that would have been!

In January 2021, I was lucky to be followed back and supported by Scratch, who shared my work on its social media platforms. This was amazing!

Suddenly people started seeing and noticing my work. More importantly, having Scratch message me to tell me how much they loved my work was all I needed to know I had made the right decision sticking it out after still only being a baby to the industry. I often went onto the website during early training days for help and advice as I was struggling to get it anywhere else. Without the resources I wouldn’t have even got to this point. 

Since then I have been nominated for Best Social Media Nail Technician and am a finalist in the The UK Hair & Beauty Awards in the Best New Talent category.

The local news online team posted an article about my business story and I have since received countless messages asking me how I’ve done it, asking for advice on growing confidence and for nail art tips. I am so grateful for these nominations and looking forward to the finals regardless of the outcome.

The team at INK London has been outstanding through my journey so far and especially during the lockdowns with the #inkthislink challenges. The team has helped me stay motivated and inspired at times I have felt far from those things.

To say I started this business idea in the middle of a global pandemic, while home-schooling two children and see how much I have achieved in as little over eight months is beyond comprehension. 

I started with a desire to support other women and promote body confidence, self esteem and friendship. My hope for the future is that I can continue grow outside of lockdown both in business and in spreading my message to women that anything is possible if you support each other and work hard. My goals for the future are to grow my clients and take my business full time, get my name/work/story into a print copy of Scratch magazine and to work with or be a brand ambassador for the INK London.

Stay positive, work hard and maintain positive relationships with brands and clients. It will pay off!

Follow Sabina on Instagram: @sabina.nail.artist and Facebook: /sabina.nail.artist