Nail Tech Talk: Carlie Fidgett of Bycarlie

Scratch chats to Carlie Fidgett of Bycarlie about her nail journey and the difficulties she’s faced dealing with diverticulitis…

Carlie’s nail journey began in 2019 while she was working a full time job at Centre Parcs full time, when she enrolled on a gel polish course with Gellux. Following from this, she also enrolled onto an acrylic course with Glitterbels. “It was after this that I discovered my love for nail art and I started to practice on family members and friends.

“After posting my work on my personal social pages, I noticed my inbox blew up with enquiries,” Carlie remembers. “In 2020, I made the decision to open my own home salon and this is when Bycarlie was born. I am lucky enough to have a big space in my hallway which is perfect for my clients.”

“My diary was filling up fast and I noticed I was starting to get fully booked, up to 4 weeks in advance,” she recalls. “This was so exciting, and I was so grateful for all the support from my clients.

“My side hustle was growing and then Covid came along, which meant I was furloughed by Centre Parcs, but I took this as an opportunity and took advantage of the free time I now had, enrolling onto any online masterclasses and nail art workshops that I could find.”

When lockdown restrictions eased in July 2020, Carlie was able to open up her business again. “This also meant a return to my full time job, but I already knew I had fallen out of love with the job I had given the last four years to. Because of this, in August 2020, I gave in my notice and opened Bycarlie full time.

“In February 2021, all salons and close contact treatments had to close again for a short period, but we were allowed to reopen in April,” Carlie explains. “I was so excited about re-opening, but then I became very poorly with a condition called diverticulitis, which led to me having an ileostomy bag fitted and meant I couldn’t work.”

“I noticed a rapid decline in my mental health being out of work and I became more drained and depressed. I had been forced to leave nails behind and deal with receiving no income. I was also learning to live with a stoma bag,” Carlie explains. “My whole body had changed, my stomach was covered in scars, and it’s so hard to love yourself when you do not like what you see in the mirror.”

In September 2021, Carlie was told she could have a reversal and the ileostomy bag could be removed. By December, following her recovery from her second operation, she was ready to start work again. “I found it extremely hard getting back into as I had lost a lot of my client base and I was also learning to love myself again. I also had to make sure I had a break in between each client as it was still very uncomfortable to sit down in an upright position.”

Bycarlie was my dream before this awful disease got a hold over me, and despite the struggles I’ve faced, I will not let it beat me or define me.”

“Months of hard work followed and my commitment to Bycarlie was relentless, so much so that I am now again fully booked 4 weeks in advance. My confidence and self esteem took a real beating but day by day it’s returning, and my progress reflects this,” she smiles. “I am still working on regaining my confidence, but I love my job and I will continue to learn and progress in any way I can.”

“I returned to the nail industry as it has always been my dream and in the short time I was able to work, I was definitely at my happiest. I’ve been lucky enough to build a friendship with eight other girls all over the UK who are in the same industry, these girls have supported me throughout this whole journey and we have spoken every single day since May 2020 on our WhatsApp chat. We have even met up a couple of times.”

“If there are any techs in a similar situation to mine, I’d tell them to take it slow. Take time to fully recover before jumping right back into things. Your life can go on even with an ileostomy bag and bad days do not last forever.

“I’m so glad I took the time out I needed and returned to work when I had recovered,” Carlie says. “I love that I get to meet so many beautiful people everyday, and even more so that I have built a relationship with every single client. I feel like I’ve made amazing progress in my career, business is thriving and I am enjoying the ride”

“My diagnosis has made me see life in a very different way, it has shown me that life is far too short and if you have a dream then follow it.”

Follow Carlie on Instagram, here.

By Editor