Everyone can start a nail salon in Curacao. There are neither guidelines nor legislation nor control. Even though experience teaches that doing nails well is a profession for which you have to be trained. Faysuri Restrepo is enthusiastic and fierce when she talks about her area of expertise.
She doesn’t speak about doing nails, but explicitly talks about the technique of doing nails. “You really need in-depth knowledge of the chemical composition of the different types of nails and nail polishes to choose the right product for customers”, explains Faysuri. Her company is called Faysuri’s Nail Spa Academy, referring to the classes she offers to teach others the tricks of the trade.
It did not happen automatically, Faysuri worked very hard to get where she is right now. She is born in Colombia and came to Curacao in 1999 as a young girl to work in a family as a live-in housekeeper. One day someone asked her to apply acrylic nails, but she did not know what they were. Thus, she decided to do some research and had them put on her own nails. She immediately realized that in order to be able to do the work well one needed knowledge and expertise. It became a new dream to chase after. She wanted to be an educator in the field of doing nails. The future entrepreneur wrote a letter to an internationally known nail polish firm and shared her dream. After receiving their positive response, she went to work immediately and managed to assemble a group of enthusiastic people. The American nail company in turn sent a trainer to Curacao. This was the beginning of a long training career which Faysuri completed as the only certified master educator to do nails in the Caribbean region. “I remained loyal to the American parent company and until a year ago I only used their products. However, since I wanted to expand and develop my own products, I went on independently from 2018 onwards”, says Faysuri.
“I approached Qredits for a loan to finance the expansion“
Her passion to train people is still present and at her academy she already prepared dozens of women for an independent life as a nail stylist. The curriculum of her academy is made up of different modules that can be followed separately or as a whole. Students start with the basic module acrylic and gel nails. They come to the academy twice a week for two hours and can obtain their certificate in about one year. Enthusiastically, Faisury tells a few success stories. The first one is about a girl, who at first only wanted to know more about nails as a hobby, but became so passionate that she followed the whole course. In addition, she convinced her boss to give her leave to do the training course during working hours and now she runs her own salon. Another lady who started to do toenails of tourists on the beach of Jan Thiel, now has her own salon with several employees.
After one active academy year Faisury was ready for a new impulse. In order to host more students at the same time and teach both manicure and pedicure, she went to microfinancier Qredits in Curacao. “I approached Qredits for a loan to finance the expansion. With the funds I received, I have been able to make the practice space twice as big and add more practice facilities.” Faisury does not stop dreaming. She would very much like to develop her own brand and is already negotiating with a manufacturer in Los Angeles. She hopes to make that dream come true in 2019. She also wants to give something back to the community. In line with the chances she has been given, she decided to support the international BELIEF Foundation. It is an organization that makes wishes for young men and women come true. She also contacted Bos di Hubentut, a local foundation that helps and supports children and young people who have had to deal with (sexual) abuse. Some of the girls of the foundation get free lessons.