Daniela Melo, a sophomore studying communication, started her small business, Nail Creations Dani, in the fall of 2021 to fulfill an assignment. Little did she know that this assignment would change her reality.
Melo wanted to learn how to do her own nails because going to the salon wasn’t in her budget. She decided to buy the tools that would help her achieve this goal.
Shortly after, a social media class required Melo to create a social media page for a business, and since she already had the equipment, she decided to make it about nails.
Initially, she only did her sister’s and roommate’s nails to get content on the social media page and credit for her class. As she posted more often and showed a variety of designs, she started receiving direct messages asking for her prices and availability.
“It was just so sudden for me,” Melo said. “I started getting all these messages on Instagram and only after my first paid client I realized that I could actually make this a real thing. I was super scared to make mistakes on the designs or shapes but I kind of just went for it, and here we are.”
This small business started with only six nail polishes, a lamp and a file. After six weeks of starting Nail Creations Dani officially, Melo purchased all the remaining equipment needed for a more professional service: UV lights, more nail polishes, brushes, fake nails, a table, etc.
“Nails just make women, and even some men, feel like they have their life together,” Melo said. “It’s a self-esteem booster and I wanted my customers to feel valued and taken care of, so I decided to invest in all those tools for that reason.”
Through nails, Melo has had the opportunity to meet and network with a lot of people from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds. She likes to think that during those 60 minutes of work, the client feels comfortable and welcomed.
Most of Melo’s clients have been through referrals, and as her reputation keeps growing in the Rexburg community, so does her work quality.
“I heard about Daniela through my roommate, who heard it from a girl in her class,” said Michelle Velasquez, a senior studying political science. “The way she pays attention to detail and genuinely engages with me, as a friend, makes me have the full nails experience within an affordable college student budget. I love it!”
Melo feels satisfied to be able to help women build their self-esteem. She hopes to keep her business during her time as a student in Rexburg and is open to the idea of making it a career.