Caitlin Iley

Meet the mums navigating nail careers alongside motherhood

By Callie Iley | 10 March 2024 | Feature, Tech Talk

Mothers Day Nails Header

Learn about mums who manicure, as three mothers share their journeys navigating nail careers alongside various stages of motherhood… 

Katie Turner of Radiant Nails, Devon

Katie Turner Headshot

Katie Turner has two children, one of whom has been diagnosed with autism, sensory processing disorder and pathological demand avoidance. “It’s always been a challenge to find work around my son’s needs, and when lockdown hit, I missed indulging in pamper sessions and taking some time for myself,” she shares. “I had been considering nail education for some time, therefore in spring 2021, I trained with Glitterbels, so that I could enjoy something creative outside of motherhood.”

Katie soon realised that she could make a nail career work around her children. “Being a mum is the best job in the world, but I wanted to be Katie again,” she continues. “Finding a good work-life balance took time. I split my hours between clients, content creation and working on the Glitterbels Facebook pages. I also work around my children’s school hours.

“Nail styling offers escapism and allows me to work on a flexible basis, so I don’t miss any special moments in my children’s lives.”

Radiant Nails Salon

Katie offers nail services from home, noting that this allows her to keep up with housework and offer nail appointments around the needs of her children. Her daytime working hours often attract fellow parents to her salon space, meaning other mothers can enjoy some time for themselves. “Being a stay-at-home parent can be quite lonely,” she admits. “However, being a mum in the nail industry is brilliant, as I benefit from adult interaction during the day.

“My advice to anyone wanting to find a good balance between being a parent and furthering their career would be to remember that this industry is flexible. There aren’t any set rules, and your working hours can be whatever you choose. Don’t think that because you aren’t working seven days a week, you can’t reach your career goals. You can enjoy a job that fits perfectly around your family needs.”

Click here to follow Radiant Nails on Instagram.

Coral Kendall of Oh Lush Nails, Cardiff

Coral Kendall Headshot

Coral Kendall began her nail career in 2019, during the third year of her university degree. She set up a space to offer nail services, before joining a salon team in February 2020. “I graduated during the pandemic, but was thankful to have gained both a passion and job before the lockdown. I remained with the salon until 2022, when I went on maternity leave,” she recalls.

“While I was pregnant and working, my clients were incredibly accommodating, and I look back on the time fondly. I was gifted food and drink items that I craved, and if I had to rearrange appointments due to hospital visits or scans, my clients were understanding and excited for me.

“Being a self-employed nail allows me to set my availability around the needs of my daughter.”

Coral Kendall Salon

Before her daughter was born, Coral commuted 40 minutes by train to the salon in Cardiff. “As I was reaching the point of returning to work after my maternity leave, I had to rethink my role,” she admits. “The travel made my days longer and my daughter, Wynne, who had been breastfed from birth, was refusing to be bottle fed.”

Coral wanted to find a salon space nearer her home to work in, so that her partner could bring their daughter in to be fed when needed. “I found a desk to rent just five minutes from my home, and I adapted to working in a new environment,” she says. “When my daughter no longer needed multiple feeds in a day, I decided to set up my own studio in Cardiff, which opened in October 2023.”

Coral Kendall And Baby

Crediting her work-life balance to her daughter, Coral stresses the importance of setting and keeping boundaries. “Being a self-employed nail tech offers so much flexibility. I try to do all admin within working hours,” she explains. “This allows me to be fully focused on Wynne when I spend my time with her.”

Click here to follow Oh Lush Nails on Instagram.

Victoria Marie Page of The Beauty Brand, Southampton

Victoria Page Headshot

Victoria Marie Page hadn’t considered having children when her nail and beauty journey began in 2006, so had not planned on running a child-friendly salon space. When she fell pregnant in 2010, she quickly learned the benefits of a beauty career for mothers, and worked on a mobile basis after her daughter was born, fitting client appointments around childcare arrangements.

When her daughter started school, Victoria began working for a few hours each day in a salon, and again in the evenings when her daughter was in bed. In 2020, following the birth of her second child, Victoria introduced a beauty shed to her garden. She works from home three days per week. “I also teach one day per week and work in a salon another day, when my mum and sister-in-law help with the children,” she shares.

Victoria Page Salon 1

Victoria permits children to visit the salon while their parent enjoys a treatment, after a client admitted that she struggled to find childcare during the service time. “I told this client to bring her child, who could play with my daughter while I worked,” she continues. “This was when I realised that I could adapt treatments to accommodate children. It can be challenging when babies need changing or breastfeeding, or when a toddler has a tantrum, but I can help navigate the situation so that treatments can be enjoyed.

“My parents have been foster carers for 23 years, so I am used to being around children and am familiar with their needs. I allow an extra 30 minutes on top of an appointment if a client is bringing their child, and have built-in storage so that my items are not accessible to tiny hands. My nail desk and drawers are at the back of my beauty shed, and plug sockets are high. I have a box of toys and colouring pads, and an iPad so that the children can watch programmes on Netflix,” Victoria explains.

Victoria Page Salon 2

“I allow my own children into my beauty shed as it’s a part of their home. All my clients are aware I have children and are more than happy when they come into the salon to chat. I book child-free clients in the evening when my husband is looking after the children, so we aren’t disturbed.

“My three-year-old loves to have her nails painted with pink polish, and my 13-year-old is beauty-obsessed; she wants to do nails on Saturdays when she is older, and often sits in the beauty shed to practice nail art,” Victoria smiles.

Click here to follow The Beauty Brand on Instagram.