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When I finish school my biggest question is where should I work? I live in a tourist/wedding destination area. There is only one place on the island who offers gels only and she is great at her work. There is a spa here who offers everything but artificial nails who told me that they would look at hiring when I got my license. My friend does hair at her own shop and told me that I could do them there if I would want. I also have an empty space underneath my house where I could set up a shop. The spa is really busy during peak months. My friend does really well doing hair. The downside to my house is it isn't noticeable from the main highway but I know a lot of people who would refer potential clients to me. Thanks so much Smile
Here's my .02 on it.....a lot depends on your skill level. The girl who's excellent at gels might be a good place IF she's willing to mentor you and let you do some overflow, if she has it. If she's really busy tho, she might not be able to mentor you or even want to. Learning from a master would be great, and you'd have the benefit of starting at a respected salon.

If you go to the spa, will they LET you do gels? Are they going to furnish the stuff and keep the supplies up, as in you being an employee or will you be booth rental? It's hard to start fresh out of school and try to build clientel with no experience.

Your friend sounds promising, you'll have a steady flow of clients comin thru that you can introduce yourself to. Doing pedi's til your business takes off will help pay the bills. (that's what I did when I moved to the area I'm in now)

The area beneath your house....I'd say save that til you've built up enough clientel to make that work. It'll take $$ to get a place ready and just starting out that might be hard. Once you're established, it shouldn't be a problem.
Are you thinking of only working on Hatteras Island? or are you open to a commute? I know there are more salons/spas to the north and even in Manteo that you might be able to work at in the off season. I agree with Donna on the options you presented- the friend sounds best to me. That way you will be helping one another.
And yes.....I wish I was there- OBX is my most favorite place in the world!
the spa would let me do gels and acrylics but they have already shut down for the year due to hurricane irene. the lady that does gels is not willing to help. my friend has many local clients the spa has many weddinngs during the peak season. My friend however vacations a lot but if I can't see that being a big issue. I'm not tilling to drive to manteo it now takes 5-6 hours without ferry lines due to Irene. I have two toddlers and I'm not willing to miss out on there whole day driving north. I', so excited that you love the OBX where did you stay while you were here. Thanks so much for all the advice.