I was super excited when Sarah reached out to me a couple of months back regarding this collaboration (Obv. I was hyped about getting my nails done), but it was when we met I instantly had a level of respect for her. She knows what she wants and is currently working hard & smart to get it. Starting from a blog to owning her own nail academy, that’s a huge step especially in a country like Nigeria.
Meet Abimbola Odunmbaku popularly know as SARAH JAMES; the nail artist changing Nigerians perception of nails as a career.
N: Hello Sarah, Please introduce yourself to My Readers
Sarah goes down memory lane recalling how it all began:
It’s been 11 years now it literally just came to me, I know how cliche that might sound. But it all started during my Cambridge year whilst doing jamb lessons I would buy a lot of nail products while I pass through the market, I was particularly fascinated with French tips at that time, my nails used to hurt cause I would always file my nails & change it every 2 days with no proper knowledge then about nails.
Finally I was in Uni, during our matriculation back in school I asked all my friends to buy “colored tips” and I fixed everyone’s nails. I’d beg all my friends to let me fix their nails cause no one believed I could y’know. Fixed nails for free till I was in my second year (200 level) I officially started it as a business with the pricing 500 NGN which later went up to 1,500 NGN. A lot of people would stay a day after school was over just to fix their nails. I did a lot of nail art.
But after school I thought about what I’d do outside the constrained walls of a school where all the girls had no choice but to come to me.*Laughing hysterically Sarah says during her time in uni I was reported to the dean (a story for another time) at the end of it all God came through for me.
After leaving the country doing my masters I came back to Nigeria to properly start my nail business
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR NAIL PRICING THEN & NOW?
NAIL PRICING now
Stick on – 3,500
NAIL PRICING then
Range between 500 – 2,000 NGN
ONE MAJOR CHALLENGE YOU FACE AS A NAIL ARTIST?
Taking a deep breath Sarah says; Convincing people of the worth of my service, not just because of my masters degree but I have spent thousands of pounds going to beauty schools in the UK.
Sarah goes further to enlighten us
In the US/UK or anywhere outside the country you can’t do nails without a license and an insurance. Let’s say you fix nails for a particular person & she reacts to the glue, if you have no license you can be sued and your business shut down.
WHAT DETERMINED THE CURRENT PRICING?
Sarah sheds more light on the reason why her price is what it is now:
- My expertise I’ve invested so much into my craft I deserve to charge what I deem fit. Something I learnt in the UK amongst the midst of professionals during seminars was “the only time you can justify increasing your price is if you have invested so much in your craft”
Take blogging for example: if you spend 20k you out an outfit together and 10k to pay a photographer or even something as little as buying a vscopresent for 600 NGN one way or another I need to make my money back.
TELL US ABOUT NAIL TREATMENT ?
Sarah shares a bit of knowledge concerning nail treatmentSarah shares a bit of knowledge concerning nail treatment
S: One thing I was taught in beauty school as a professional, firstly there’s a terminology called:
“Contra indications” which stops you from carrying out your service. A good example is what you call hang nails (that bit of flesh that pops out at the sides of your nails or bottom) that’s a contra indication but it won’t stop me from doing the nails
But if I spot a nail disease, infection or disorder I have no right to threat that, all I’m obligated to do is refer you to see a doctor but if its something a nail treatment can do like making your nails stronger I’d give you physical treatment and that’s basic nail care.
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON MATCHING YOUR NAILS TO YOUR OUTFIT?
S: My clients pay me and have a right to their preferences but I’d always advice a bride to go for something neutral because after your wedding you would go back to work but if you want a yellow nail to match your owambe then I’d do it.
FUTURE PLANS for EMBELLISHED BY SARAH JAMES?
S: Currently working on launching The “Embellished Academy” properly but for now we have one student graduate and this was my drive to get a certificate when I was in the UK because if I want to issue out certificates over here in Nigeria I need to be Certified Myself.
With a BSc. in Industrial Relations & Human Resource management and Masters in Strategic Marketing; Sarah James as fully gone into the business of Nail Artistry with the mission to impart this knowledge into others.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE?
S: A white shirt, Skinny jeans and a pair of heels
N: That’s simple and quite classy, I Love!
TELL US WHERE YOU SHOP?
S: A variety of stores from Asos curve, Forever 21 Plus, Eloquil, Lane Bryant, Love yours and also some thrift stores
Note: Too SHOP from your favorite International brands Click here
WHAT IS THAT ONE QUOTE YOU LIVE BY?
S: Whatever God will not do, He will not show you or lay it on your mind.
I ALSO GOT INTERVIEWED BY SARAH JAMES TALKING ABOUT BLOGGING & BEING A FASHION INFLUENCER IN NIGERIA
Contact Info: For appointment bookings call 07010298220, Address: Suite 19 Oadis Plaza CMD Road Magodo, Lagos Nigeria