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Meet Terrance Terry: The Nail Artist


What inspired you to pursue a career in the beauty industry?

        I initially didn’t aspire to work in the beauty industry. I fell in it. A good friend named Jada was a very popular and successful nail technician back home in Detroit, where I’m originally from. She began to train me, and I started to catch on quickly. She decided to make me a part of her team. After a year and a half, I chose to attend a beauty school to get my formal training and obtain my Professional License & the rest is history, as they say!! 

Can you share a memorable moment from your early days in the industry?

      One of my most memorable moments early in my career was when I had the opportunity to work with the late Aretha Franklin. She was my very first celebrity client! I remember when I arrived at her condo in downtown Detroit. She is also from the same hometown of Detroit, MI! When I walked in, she said, “Oh, you’re a cutie pie. Hey, honey, I’ve never seen a Nail Tech that looks like you.”

How do you define your brand within the beauty space?

   My overall brand and aesthetic are elegant, sleek, modern, and elevated luxury. Regarding nails, I’ve always wanted my aesthetic to be luxurious but still fun and functional for the everyday woman.

What does being featured in the Hype Hair Magazine x Bronner Bros collaboration mean to you?

 Being featured in the Hype Hair Magazine and collaborating with Bronner Brothers is an honor to be recognized by these major beauty publications. They both have always encompassed the Beauty culture within the African-American community, and I’m happy to be a part of that recognition as a Nail Stylist.

Where do you see yourself in your career five years from now?

  Five years from now, I see myself doing more teaching and consulting. I’ve been a Salon Owner for nine years and an actual stylist for 20 years. I’m at the point in my career now where I want to elevate and teach others and move into a different space to help other up-and-coming salon owners and entrepreneurs. Working with more brands and creating creative collaborations is also on the radar, so stay tuned!

Who are some of your biggest influences in the beauty industry? 

 Some of my biggest influences in the beauty industry are other salon owners and Beauty moguls, such as Tashina Green Robinson (Poochiez Nails), Gloria Williams (Foot Nanny), Leighton Denny, Chaun Legend, and Pat McGrath. 

What areas of expertise set you apart from other professionals in your field?

   My expertise comes from being very diverse in all areas of Nail Care. I’ve worked with many products, from acrylics to hard gel to soft gel and, more recently, the GelX System. Being able to distinguish what particular product works best for each specific client is a skill set that not many other professionals possess. I pride myself on being very knowledgeable across the board and being able to service every client sitting in front of me. What works for one person may not work for the next person, and it’s up to you as a professional to determine just that.

How vital are diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry, and how do you contribute to it?

    Oh, it’s essential, especially in my area of expertise in nail care. Often, people need to be on the radar for non-Asian nail technicians. We do more to prove ourselves and our worth. So it’s essential that you are on top of your game and always go above and beyond in your services and professionalism because we have to compete ten times as hard as nail technicians. 

Can you share some advice for aspiring beauty professionals looking to make their mark?

   My advice to aspiring beauty professionals would be to find your niche. Figure out what you’re good at, focus on it, and perfect that. Market yourself accordingly. Figure out what your target audience is and appeal to that audience. Every client is not meant for you, and that’s OK. Make sure you know your value and worth and adjust your rates accordingly. Be willing to put in hard work, get out there, do the groundwork, and don’t expect something to fall in your lap. Try different things when it comes to marketing because not everything works; it only works for some.

What role does innovation play in your approach to beauty and haircare?

   Innovation and technology have taken the beauty industry to the next level. They play a huge role. That’s why I’m a firm believer in ongoing education. It would help if you constantly stay abreast of new trends and technology, and that’s how you become an innovator and a trendsetter. Always stay ahead of the learning curve. Learn new techniques and get yourself out of your comfort zone. Once you become stagnant and think you know it all, you lose motion, and you become stagnant.

How do you balance staying true to your style while keeping up with industry trends?

 I stay true to my overall aesthetic by always keeping in mind my brand and what I put out regarding my work. No matter what service I provide with Nails, I always ensure that some class and sophistication are displayed on every set of nails that leaves my salon. 

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how have they shaped your journey?

  I’ve been blessed because I’ve never faced significant challenges that have affected my business. The only thing that comes to mind is the pandemic, when all non-existent companies had to shut down. During that time, I created custom press-on nail orders for clients. 

What upcoming projects or collaborations can your fans and readers look forward to?

  I’m going to re-enter the television and reality circuit. I may be on a couple of television shows coming to the screen near you! 

What’s your favorite beauty hack or product you can’t live without?

  I can’t live without Apres GelX Systems! It’s the go-to for the Modern Nail Stylist. 

How do you stay motivated and inspired in a constantly evolving industry like beauty?

  When I tell you guys, I am a giant nerd, lol!

I constantly learn new techniques and take new classes whenever I can. As I mentioned earlier, I firmly believe in continuing education!

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