Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cortney Lufkin, Owner of Cortney Shae Beauty, located in East Greenwich, RI, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Cortney Shae Beauty is a salon that does nails, hair, and makeup. We specialize in nail art and makeup. We offer makeup classes for individuals or groups. Our customers are people who love looking and feeling good about themselves.

Tell us about yourself

I am a licensed manicurist and makeup artist. I went to school in 1998 for nails. I dabbled a little before actually working full-time in 2000. I am extremely social and artistic, so it was a perfect match! I started my own business in 2006. I wanted to offer an atmosphere that was safe for people to come and talk about what’s going on in their lives. At the same time, I am making them look and feel beautiful about themselves. I have such close relationships with my clients; I look forward to seeing them every other week to see what’s new. We are unlicensed therapists. We are the ones who know about every inch of their life. We are there for births, graduations, weddings, funerals, breakups, sickness, etc. I’ve watched babies grow up to be adults and now following their journey in life. I love what I do because of the people. I love the artistic side of my job as well. The all-around beauty in all of it.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Still being in business! I suffered through a recession soon after I went out on my own. COVID, too. We have a waiting list for people to get their nails done.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Balance. Owning a business is tough at times. There are all these extra variables that no one tells you about. Time seems to be a major one. There is never enough. I have a positive outlook on things- so that seems to help. Think positive= good outcome.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

If you have the passion- you will be successful. Just do it. Sometimes starting something out of your comfort zone is scary. It’s supposed to be. It will give you that much more gratification in the long run. Ask other business owners for help. Navigating can be difficult at times. Asking others for advice and ideas is useful. I enjoy watching others succeed. Be patient. It’s a roller coaster. Enjoy!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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