Careers: Childhood hobby leads to career

April 21, 2016
Contributed Shaneka Davis
Contributed One of Shaneka Davis's works
Contributed One of Shaneka Davis's works

At a tender age, Shaneka Davis favourite pastime involved decorating her peers' nails with stickers. She had no idea she was paving the way for her career as a professional nail technician.

Davis, 30, now operates from her station at Dumbo's Plaza in Cross Roads, St Andrew, but she says she struggled to get started.

"I had my son at age 19, so I started wondering what am I going to do. I decided I'm going to do nails and hair. When I started cosmetology school, I didn't like the hair so much because they have too many different hairstyles going on, so I decided to venture in nails," Davis recalled.

After completing her course at Del's Beauty School and Salon in St Andrew, Davis' teacher recommended her to a salon owner who was seeking a professional nail technician. She said she gained valuable work experience at the Red Hills, St Andrew, location, but the conditions were not ideal, so she decided to venture out on her own.

"I saved up my money little by little and bought my products until I decided one day that I wasn't going back to work. I started working at home on my veranda for a while, but it was too small. There was a barber in the community who told me that I could work in his shop. It was good working in his shop because I even got his customers to do their nails," she said.

Davis, who hails from Arnett Gardens, Kingston, said things were going well at the barbershop, but the stigma attached to the inner city community was preventing her client base from growing.

She then decided to take another mammoth step by moving into a commercial area despite the fact that her finances were not in order.

Davis soon found an opening at Dumbo's Plaza to set up her workstation, and she hasn't looked back since.

"At first, two days passed and no customers! I said, Lord, I wonder if I must go home back. Then I started getting customers from the hairdresser, plus those I had from before. I never regret leaving my community," Davis admitted.


Over the years, Davis has honed her craft, and she works assiduously to keep abreast of the latest beauty trends.

Davis says her job is demanding and sometimes infringes on her personal time with her three children, but there are moments that make it worthwhile.

"I love when a customer feels good. I love when a customer looks on their nails and say, aww, me nails look good eeh! or call me and tell me that people love their nails," she said.

No stranger to embracing her dreams, Davis says her next move is owning beauty salon, which she intends to call Jatae Unique, a name she created from morphing her children's names together.

For others planning to venture into cosmetology, Davis advises that they should have a passion for it.

"You have to love what you do, because if you don't, you won't feel good going out in the morning. If you want to be a nail tech or any business at all, you have to be good at what you do and keep building it," she said.

For persons wishing to utilise her service, Shaneka Davis can be contacted at 884-7889.

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