We had the good fortune of connecting with Caitlyn Huffman-Derouen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caitlyn, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I first started venturing into the press-on nail world in early 2020. Covid-19 had caused the Houston area, among other cities, to shutdown completely and I was left with a lot of time and an Amazon prime account. This lead me to buy my first gel nail kit along with other nail supplies I would need. Making press ons started out as a fun way to pass the time and keep my nails looking fresh without the commitment of a full acrylic set or manicure. As time went on it became more of a way for me to escape and have some peaceful time where I could let my creativity flow. I struggle with depression and anxiety and as a result, making press-on sets became one of my coping mechanisms. After a couple of months, lots of planning and back and forth, I decided to start my press-on nail business with the support and encouragement from my friends and family. In early 2021 Cait’s Custom Press On Nails was officially brought to life!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Cait’s Custom Press On Nails specializes in custom, handmade, and reusable press on nails. This is truly something that I’m passionate about as I personally cannot stand having long or painted nails for an extended period of time. I’ve tried a million different things to keep my manicures for longer than a day and nothing besides press on nails has worked for me. As a child I would always wear the little stick on nails that can be found at the drugstore but they would never last and were too cheap to withstand all that i put my hands through. This led me to make my own brand of nails that could hold up and do exactly what I needed them to for as long of short amount of time as I wanted. Being a young small business owner I have encountered some challenges as far as growing my business. From a personal standpoint I am not very good with social media and rarely keep up with it, but as a small business I’ve had to learn to post and keep my business pages updated. This not only added stress to a hobby that I love but it also opened the door for new insecurities about my business. As I began setting up my business Instagram and Facebook I soon encountered the self comparison that typically comes with social media. I began to constantly compare my business to those who were also on the same field. The overwhelming comparison of my business to others caused me to lose a little passion for what I do and I over time began to post and make less. As someone who struggles regularly with anxiety and depression you can imagine this did not have a positive impact on my mental state either. It wasn’t until I finally realized the press-on nail industry is more about community than competition that I regained my passion for making nails and stopped obsessing over how my business social media pages were doing.
I’d like the world to know that Cait’s Custom Press On Nails is here to make anyone feel more beautiful and to give a little joy to anyone who needs it. My hope is that press-on nails can make others just as good wearing them as I do making them. Whether you need nails for one day, a week, or if you can only wear them on weekends due to work, whatever it may be Cait’s Custom Press On Nails is dedicated to making you feel and look great.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a friend were visiting out of town our first stop would have to be Whataburger (assuming they are not from Texas). It’s pretty much the hang out from the part of Houston that I’m from. I’d also have to take them to the Houston National Science Museum because as a science lover I feel like you just have to see their exhibits at least once. As a matter of fact the whole museum district is a must see in my opinion. It has just about anything that you could want to do, even nice trails and sidewalks for if you’re just looking to walk around. My personal favorite spot to walk around and relax is Hermann Park. After spending some time in the Museum district I would most likely take my friend to one of my favorite boutiques Suburban Girl for a little retail therapy. To end the week I would take my friend to a family owned restaurant called Mandi Cocina Mexicana that my family and I truly love and visit at least once a week!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to give the credit for the courage to even begin my small business journey to my family, specifically my Husband, Mom, and Dad. They were the ones who encouraged and pushed me to start selling my press on nails. I truly do not think I would have started this if I did not have them to support me.
Other: Our LinkTree with all social media and website links is https://linktr.ee/caitscustomnails