Determined to continue to pursue her dreams of being a professional nail artist despite her battle with cancer, luxury manicurist and acrylic specialist, Shara Lise Taylor, shares the story of her salon and nail journey.

Qualifying in 2017, Shara has continued to hone her skills as a nail tech with a variety of in-person training from CJP educators and resources from The Nail Tech Tribe, run by Joanna Tompkins.

Starting her first nail salon in her living room in 2017, Shara began using friends and family to practise her skills. Her confidence grew as her skills developed, and her business quickly expanded.

Outgrowing her living room set-up in favour of her garden shed, Shara then moved across the country to Bristol in 2019, setting up a separate room in her home for her salon, to further develop her growing nail business while still supporting her family.

However, Shara got a devastating diagnosis of cancer during lockdown. “At the age of 29, we found out I had Hodgkins’s lymphoma whilst the country was in lockdown. I didn’t manage to set up my business properly how I’d intended until I was clear of cancer and restrictions were lifted,” she remembers.

“My salon used to be pink and white, and was very clinical, but after having cancer, it reminded me too much of hospitals,” Shara shares. “I decided that while the floor of the house was being redone, I would renovate the salon room, too.

“Originally, the design was taken from a photo with a mid-century, modern design, with some contemporary elements. I love to have plants around the house, and the salon is no exception. Every once in a while, I will have a clear out as it gets too busy, and I like it to be minimalistic.”

Shara now offers a range of nail services using products from CJP Nail Systems, including acrylic, gel, builder gel, sculpted extensions, and full-cover tips. “I specialise in acrylic extensions, so most of my treatments revolve around that.”

“Managing director at CJP Nail Systems, Jemma Porch, is so down to earth. I love how dedicated Jemma and the CJP team are to improving the brand.”

Shara has big plans for the future of her salon, hoping to use her experience in the industry to train other nail techs to use the right tools and receive qualifications to pursue their own dreams in the nail industry.

“I always research and choose the best tools and products to use. I have cleaning supplies and e-file tools from Willow, tools from Katie Barnes, and the Air filter unit from Vodex,” she says. “I love to research and try out new tools, products and brands to make sure I’m offering the best services.”

“I always choose the best products, and this reflects in my work and what I provide for my clients.”

“I call my salon luxury as I provide a 5-star service to all my clients. They have a guaranteed 5-day, no-quibble nail repair, as I know my work is of a high standard. This has been proven by my reviews and the client’s nails not breaking.

“I also have free parking outside, a luxury coffee maker and I always have refreshments available. I have Chanel hand cream to use on clients having the Chanel Luxury Manicure, and they love the softness of the cream.”

“Our Nail Biter Package is the most popular treatment,” Shara reveals. “Females and males trust me and come to me for me to help them with previously bitten nails. I use acrylic to sculpt small extensions, and then usually transfer over to builder gel after a couple of months, or when they have growth and healthier nails.”

Despite being the only worker at her salon, Shara has a wide variety of clients looking to have their nails done, including Emma Jay Webber, the first lesbian Ms Great Britain finalist.

Shara prides herself on her minimalist, mid-century decor, to which she’s added contemporary touches. Her salon design has seen her selected as a finalist for Best Salon Decor at the Hair & Beauty Awards 2023.

The ceiling also has DIY clouds made by Shara herself and plants placed around the room, adding to the calming atmosphere Shara has created through her decor.

“I have a soft leather chair where clients can sit after treatments. I switch off the lights so they can immerse themselves in clouds above them,” Shara smiles. “I created this experience as when life gets too hectic, it’s where I can even go to relax, listen to rain and thunder and see the clouds above me flashing like lightning.

“The best thing about my salon is that I decorated everything, and it’s a space that’s just mine. I’m allowed to be myself in that space, to believe in myself, and it’s where I create happy clients!”

Follow Shara Lise Nail Designer on Instagram and Facebook.

By Editor