Laurissa Karas is a certified nail technician and runs Nails by Laurissa at her home studio in Earlwood. Having worked for a few years, she decided to chase her childhood art passion and took a nail course. She opened her business shortly after. Around that time, I found her on Instagram and was one of her first clients.
Since then, her business has grown and unless you're a regular, it's almost impossible to get an appointment which is impressive. She does wedding and event nails, and has recently started doing one-on-one training with people interested in doing nails or expanding their skill set.
I often tell people that seeing Laurissa is almost like going to a therapist. She has an easygoing personality and loves to chat while working. Her work is unique and never fails to draw attention.
During the lockdown, I caught up with her to discuss her nail business.
How did you get started doing nails? Where did you study and gain experience?
My passion since I was young has always been drawing and art. From my teen years onwards, I’ve loved having my nails done, so combining my passion for art with my love for nails was a no brainer.
Study and getting the correct training is important when taking clients. Although I did ensure I was properly trained in nail fundamentals from my early days of becoming a nail technician, I did teach myself many techniques that I use today with my clients. I knew the path that I wanted to take and there was a gap in the Australian market for modern nail art techniques that I wanted to focus and build on.
What was your process in designing your nail studio? What are some of your favourite pieces in the room, or must-haves?
I love designing, so getting the nail studio set up was an extremely fun part of the process for starting my business. Besides wanting the room to look pretty, installing extractor fans was a must have. The extractor fans take away any fumes or strong smells so that clients have a comfortable and fume free visit each time.
Also the inbuilt dust extractor fan in my nail table ensures that no one is breathing in dust from filing. This creates a very safe environment for not only myself but my clients too.
Do you have a particular aesthetic when it comes to doing nails? Are their styles or designs you love and gravitate towards?
Clients most of the time will have their ideas ready to go. Some leave it up to me. If I had to select a particular style, I really enjoy creating hand painted designs. Art is what made me gravitate towards this industry and so when clients request detailed designs, I’m ready for it.
What’s a challenge you sometimes come up against in your work? How do you overcome it?
A challenge to overcome was being too much of a perfectionist and so I doubted my work in the beginning. I think it’s good to be a perfectionist as it means you are always giving your clients 100%, but you cannot be too hard on yourself or compare yourself to those who are more experienced than you. Everyone starts from somewhere. I have overcome this challenge and I always give this advice to beginners.
What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
I am so passionate about what I do. I am grateful I can wake up in the morning and do something that I absolutely love. Also, training students and seeing them succeed is the best feeling and brings so much joy!
Covid affected a lot of businesses in 2020 and again this year. How did your business change during that time?
During the peak of COVID, my business had to shut. I needed to find another means of income and so I quickly came up with the idea for press on nails. Press on nails are temporary nail enhancements that are customised to each customer’s nail sizes and can be stuck on with nail glue. They are also re-useable if cared for properly. This kept my business going during the hard times.
Online orders came through across the country. Requests from overseas also came through but at the time, international shipping was uncertain and so I kept it to Australia only. Orders are still processed up until now for those who don’t want the regular up keep up or maintenance of acrylic enhancements. These are also great for one off special occasions.
When you do my nails, personally I love the long chats we have but I’m conscious that after a long day, it must be really draining for you, having worked for hours & constantly be thinking and talking. How do you unwind when you’re finally finished for the day?
After a long days work, focusing on making each clients nails look fabulous plus talking all day, can really leave you feeling tired. In the moment, you never realise it until the day has ended but it is honestly so worth it. Before I am ready to get into bed, lighting a nice candle in the room with a beautiful scent really helps me unwind.
What’s next for Nails by Laurissa? What do you have planned for the next few months?
What’s planned next with Nails by Laurissa is still a working progress but keep an eye out for bigger & better things! I’ve loved this journey so far and I cannot wait for what the future holds.
Editor's note: The nails above are mine <3
Want to find out more? Follow Nails by Laurissa here
Every Monday, Clare Makes sits down with an Aussie creator or business owner to discuss their life and work. These articles are curated with you in mind, to enjoy alongside a cup of coffee and your favourite scented candle. If you'd like to be interviewed for the blog, please email firstname.lastname@example.org