I haven’t had my nails done since I went to my partner’s, brother’s wedding at the end of September. I’m sure you can imagine how they look now. They have grown out about 1cm and I have 2 missing nails on my right hand. Yeah, I’m definitely not proud of my upkeep. However, in my defence, I have been busy with school, shooting and finalizing my short documentary, working full-time overnight, and taking care of my 2-month-old puppy. Also, I won’t lie, my ass is a broke joke right now.
Recently, I promised myself to start supporting local, black businesses and buying black. It’s part of the reason why I started this blog – to highlight and review different businesses in the Six. Having said that, this weekend I decided it was time to do something about my nails and wanted it done by a black nail technician. That’s when it occurred to me that I don’t know of any black nail salon’s in the GTA. I reached out to a Facebook group, and unsurprisingly, a number of women wonder the same. Where are all the black nail salons in Toronto? A few recommendations were posted. 5 to be exact. The salons mentioned were:
Unfortunately, none of these salons are close to my house. With the tight schedule (and fucked up nails), I will have to go to the spot walking distance to my house; however I have every intention of checking some of them if not all of them out and writing a review on my experience.
Anyway, in search of a Black nail technician, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a reason why Asians were the dominant face of the nail industry. And, is their a lack of Black nail technicians or do we just accept Asians as our go to?
While writing this blog, I discussed this topic to a co-worker of mine at work. She said, the problem is that Black people don’t support Black businesses in Toronto like they do in the States. I agree. We prefer to go where it is cheaper, regardless of who is doing it. In addition, the nail salons that do exist lack real marketing and promotion. No one knows about them or where to go to find them. I went on to ask her “Well what if Black nail technicians were matching the prices of the Asians. Do you think Black women would then support Black nail salons?” She didn’t hesitate to tell me “No”. Black women don’t like trying new things. We would rather wait for a recommendation then take the chance on a business or service. The problem is that there aren’t enough salons and/or customers promoting these nail technicians for any [black women] to go to.
I don’t think the problem is the lack of Black nail technicians. I think the problem lies in the marketing and promotion of the ones that do exist. I know there are more salons than the one that I mentioned, but if it wasn’t for that Facebook group. I wouldn’t have known who to ask (I will be adding a directory to my blog that will include different Black owned businesses and services as well as reviews (both good and bad)).
I believe in this day, Toronto’s black community are slowly uniting. We are “buying black”. We are opting to black services. We are starting to recognize that we are stronger working as a whole than maintaining this cutthroat mentality. There is definitely a market in the nail industry for black women. The ones that due exist need to promote and market their services better. This will not only inspire other black women to join the industry but also encourage other black women to trust in their services.