Photo courtesy Jackie Aronie.
Senior Jackie Aronie is a self-defined perfectionist: each vial of nail polish is carefully organized and numbered by color, each nail art design painstakingly crafted with enormous attention to detail, and each fingernail precisely shaped to perfection.
But one thing in her home nail salon stands out against the otherwise perfectly organized space: a once-pristine, white table that has become a kaleidoscope of colors, and nail-polish doodles.
Aronie discovered her passion for nail art in middle school when she painted her nails almost daily. After receiving compliments and requests from friends for years, Aronie decided to start her own nail art business at the end of her junior year.
Her business, Nails by Jackie, has since taken off, and she usually has around two appointments every week in her makeshift home nail salon. Aronie’s busiest time of the year is homecoming; she had up to seven appointments in a single day. She schedules all of her appointments through her Instagram account, which she also uses to promote her business and post photos of her latest nail art creations.
During each hour-long appointment, Aronie starts by cleaning and shaping the nails before adding a clear base coat. Her customers then choose a color, design and type of nail polish: regular, gel, or dip powder.
While she prefers using gel nail polish for simple nail designs because of its durability and ability to dry quickly under UV light, she prefers using regular nail polish to create intricate designs or themed nail art.
“I just love doing all nail art,” Aronie said. “I like doing themed ones the best. I did one that was ‘Friends’ T.V. show-themed, which was probably my favorite.”
Another favorite design of hers was a navy blue french manicure that she did for senior Maddie Menkes. On top of the french manicure, Aronie painted a bright, pink butterfly wing on each ring finger.
Aronie’s advanced techniques and designs, low prices and accessible location have made her a go-to for many of her friends.
“I went to Jackie because I wanted to support a small business, and also because she’s my friend,” junior Micaela Larson said. “It’s also a lot cheaper than a normal salon, and she does just as good a job and has the same number of colors and options.”
Aronie’s cheerful and welcoming demeanor boosts her business as well, and many of her customers find going to her much more comfortable and less awkward than going to a professional salon, sophomore Lisi Derosa said.
“It was nice to talk and have an actual conversation with Jackie,” Derosa said. “She would ask me every time she did something if I liked it and if there was something else I wanted her to do.”
In the future, Aronie hopes to maintain and expand her business and continue to create new nail art and designs.
“I would love to continue this business as long as people keep coming in,” Aronie said. “It seems to help people out, and I just love doing it too.”