Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Teresa King, Owner of Nailing It NYC, located in Astoria, NY, USA.

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

My business is Nailing It NYC. I am a Licensed Freelance Nail Artist specializing in Fashion, Editorial, Film, Beauty & Events. I travel to homes, offices, event spaces, and more to provide my services. It's all about the nails! My clients are anyone that wants beautiful natural nails or gel nail extensions with hand-painted nail art without having to sit in a traditional salon space.

Tell us about yourself

With degrees in Theatre Production and English Literature, I started out my career as a Drama Teacher for children ages 4 to 17. When the recession in 2008 cut Arts funding in the education system, I answered an ad to be an executive assistant to the VP of Sales for KMC (the world's largest manufacturer of nail products). They appreciated my theatre background and encouraged me to go to nail school in the evenings to get my Nail Specialty license so they could utilize my performance skills at beauty trade shows demonstrating how to use their products. I fell in love with the art of doing nails, and my passion grew so that I wanted to leave the corporate space and start up my own business as a freelance Nail Artist. I started by doing manicures in corporate offices for many large companies and soon branched out to manicuring backstage at New York Fashion Week, as well as for editorial photo shoots, films, events, and private celebrity clients. My motivation each day to do what I do is my incredible passion for natural nail care/rehabilitation, high-end cuticle care, and nail art. I love to give my private clients beautiful nails that they can enjoy and educate them about nail care for long-lasting manicures. And when I'm on photo or film sets, I strive to create edgy, high-fashion, editorial looks to complement the theme of the project.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been being able to be a sort of chameleon in the nail industry. I started out working for manufacturers and taking part in research and development and marketing and gradually shifted to servicing clients in various venues both inside and outside of a traditional salon space. I would say having my work featured in magazines and on fashion runways has been some of the greatest highlights of my nail career.

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

One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is having to sacrifice family time, holidays, and free time in general to grow and cultivate my business. I have had to miss weddings, birthdays, and most of my personal time to work because I am my only employee, but I wouldn't change anything because I love what I do, and my passion motivates me to work hard and accomplish my goals.

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

  1. Get organized! Whether you use a device or a paper day planner, learn to write down EVERYTHING. Your schedule, budget, supply lists, etc. Get in the habit of writing everything down and saving receipts, so there is a paper trail for everything business related.
  2. Be flexible. You may have little to no notice when business-related issues arise, so be prepared to tackle things at a moment's notice.
  3. Self-care is important. Starting and running a business is a lot of hard work, but that doesn't mean you can neglect yourself. If you are not healthy and well taken care of, your business cannot thrive. Remember to take breaks when you can, make sure to eat, and drink plenty of water. Schedule downtime if you need to. Your business won't survive if you burn yourself out.

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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