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How did you discover you could become a nail artist and turn it into a business?

Well I was always obsessed with nails, I painted and tried designs on my nails all the time. Discovering gels opened a new door for me because it was worth it to try new crazy designs since it would stay for long and the nails wouldn’t break easily. What pushed me to grow it and turn it into a business, and not just a fun thing to do for myself anymore was seeing other nail artists on the internet and the fact that in Kosovo almost everyone has their nails done haha.
Are there any unexpected good or bad surprises that have come with the job?

I definitely didn’t expect it to be trending that fast, I met parents who told me Serpent Claws is the number one topic on their kids high school, or a client telling me how she was buying some pancakes for her kid and the girl passing by shouted SERPENT CLAWS as she noticed her nails.
* * In this talk* they mention how visiting their hair salon was also like going to the therapist, as a hairdresser they were also therapists. In one of your latter Instagram posts* you also refer to the position as being a therapist at the same time while executing your work. Would you like to elaborate a bit on this subject yourself please?

Haha yes some of my clients joke about this. When they want to book their next appointment they refer to it as ‘my next therapy session’. I don’t know, I guess it happened naturally. When I do someone’s nails I always want to know more about them, what do they do, what do they like, to get a general idea about them in order to think of nail designs that they would like and feel good with. Nail sessions last from one to four hours depending on the design, so to me it’s very important that the client feels good and relaxed during that time because it makes me feel relaxed too, and the result is always better. Since the work I do is not just technical but also a lot of hand drawing, this of course leads to a lot of talking and sharing, so when they come visit every three to four weeks you definitely get close to them.

Serpent Claws is like a community of claws now, and that definitely makes me enjoy my work more! Recently I had a client from the UK, she told me how she heard a lot about Serpent Claws and how people book appointments to not just have their nails done but to also meet me.
What are your wishes for the future?

Visa liberation for Kosovo. When people invite me to be part of an exhibition/art project somewhere else, or simply people wanting their nails done by me it’s very hard to make it happen in time with the visa situation here. It takes a lot of your time and energy to deal with visa applications, and their requirements are ridiculously insane.
What have you learned about running your own business like this?

I learned that there are so many directions you can take, and that you certainly can say no to stuff. When you start a business, especially at this age, people tend to give advice on how to adjust to the norm in order to achieve financial success. I knew that that could be at stake by not compromising on my principles. I was scared but I still went with it. So I definitely can say that you can take a different path from the norm and still thrive financially. Your principles can be your assets.
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