Salon in the Spotlight: LittleWing Nails, Eltham, New Zealand

By Kat Hill | 31 May 2018 | Feature, Salon & Spas

Kirsten Watkiss2

With a nail career that’s seen Kirsten Watkiss previously pitch up in both Cyprus and the UK, the ex-pat has now settled in New Zealand. The move has seen the Astonishing Nails educator’s nail business move from a home salon set-up to a high-street location.

“The beauty industry in New Zealand is much younger and still growing,” explains Kirsten. “Kiwis are just becoming aware of the wonderful treatments available to them and how they can improve their daily lives. There are fewer product brands available in New Zealand so a lot of salons are utilising the same brands. There are also significantly fewer salons and independent technicians, seeing a close industry community. A lot of us know who is who around the country.

“New Zealand is a great country for a small business, as a whole,” Kirsten adds. “There is a huge amount of support from the community for locally owned, family-run and sole trader businesses. Big chains just aren’t as welcome in here.”

In the new set-up has seen Kirsten able to meet more demand from clients. “A lot of my clients tend to opt for my Artists Choice option as they enjoy seeing what I can dream up or what techniques I have been practicing,” smiles Kirsten. “There tends to be a lot of filigree, flowers, one stroke and geometric designs! I also have the occasional design request to match events, outfits or something fun they have found online. Something that I do take a huge amount of pride in, is the fact that all the art work is hand done. I don’t use decals, stamps or stickers.

“My clients are mostly interested in having short, square nails with a plain colour or perhaps a little glitter. In the last two to three months I have noticed an increase in round and soft almond shapes, and a little more adventurousness with designs and artwork. There is certainly a growing interest in New Zealand for the sheer number of different looks that a nail technician can provide for their clients.”