Freshman nail technician turns skill into business

With a clear plastic bin filled with nail products, one young Rattler turns a hobby into a business.

Simone Nisbett, a first-year pre-nursing student from Pensacola, Fla., is a licensed nail technician.

“I went to school at Pensacola State College to train to get my license while I was in my last semester of high school – talk about a struggle,” Nisbett said. Nisbett’s inspiration for doing nails came from her mother, who always fussed about her nails chipping. Nisbett said she had to keep them up to par.

Her mother also had a strict “no chipped nails rule” that was enforced while she was growing up.

Nisbett said that was motivation to keep her nails together, and when she did, people took notice.

“I remembered how much of a nail-biter, a nail tech’s worst nightmare, I was when I was in middle school,” Nisbett said. “I went from being worst nightmare to getting compliments on my natural nails in a matter of months, and then I started polishing them, aside from the little bit of cuticle care I’d do every week.”

From there, she started experimenting with different designs and patterns, which enhanced once she started school. Nisbett said that is when her craft began to bloom into sculptured acrylic sets and detailed nail art.

The challenge to master this skill was another inspiration for her, something she describes as soothing.

“It’s relaxing because it’s methodical, but in a creative way where I can express my personality or how I feel at any moment on a little, tiny canvas or on others to make them smile when they see their little bits of fun and glam at their fingertips,” she said.

Some of her peers said her work is worth every penny. Nisbetts’ roommate Queonshae Byrd, a first-year agribusiness student from Sanford, Fla., said she can see Nisbett working in a nail salon.

“The nails come out the same way as being in a shop,” Byrd said. “She is very creative.”


Nisbett has already built a clientele by networking through social media during the summer. She would post pictures of her finished work on Instagram and promote herself through Twitter. That is how some of her clients found her.

“I found out about her via Twitter and have been going to her ever since,” said Jasmine Drummond, a first-year biology student from Fort Lauderdale.

Nisbett is convenient to people who live on or off campus. She said she travels to her customers’ dorms, and people who stay off campus can come to her in Cropper Hall. There is one reason in particular why Drummond goes to Nisbett for nails.

“I go to her because she is FAMU (class of) ‘17 and I want to support my fellow classmate,” Drummond said. “I also love the work she does, and it doesn’t hurt that she is convenient.”

Location is not the only thing convenient about Nisbett’s nails – she said her prices are, too.

“Prices vary depending on the service a client wants and the client base I’m working with,” Nisbett said. “I wouldn’t charge ‘struggling college students’ on campus the same amount I’d charge in a suburban area with six-figure incomes. “Sometimes I advertise specials for holidays, back to school or the season. It really just depends on what I have time for in between classes and homework,” she said.

Although Nisbett has a growing nail business, she said this is not something she wants to make a career out of.

“Nails are just something I can do to make extra cash or de-stress and do deep thinking,” Nisbett said. “I don’t really plan to expand on my hobby besides the occasional workshop to maintain and learn new skills, but I find myself more serious and passionate about the medical field.”

For more information about Nisbett or to set up an appointment, contact her via email at or tweet her, @DancesWithWolvz. She is also on Instagram, @Danceswithwolvess.