We had the good fortune of connecting with Christie Schobel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christie, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I grew up in La Porte, which is about 20-30 minutes outside of Houston. I’ve always been crafty and creative and there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunities to pursue an artistic career there. I remember going to get my nails done and asking for little things like a leopard print design or flowers on my nails, and most places simply could not do what I wanted. It got to where I was going to get my nails done and telling them not to paint them and I would go home and paint my own designs. People would ask where I got my nails done and when I would say I did them they would ask why I didn’t do nails. I moved to Houston and continued to do my nails as a hobby until one day I realized I didn’t want to be a waitress forever and there actually was a market for “cool” nails in the city. I ended up enrolling in a nail tech program and continued to wait tables while I was in school. I remember telling my coworkers I was striving to be a nail technician and it was almost like they didn’t believe I would make it or didn’t want me to. Things were kinda slow the first year of being licensed, and I was still having to work at the restaurant while only getting a few clients a week on the side. I had a hard time finding a diverse salon that would give me a chance. When the pandemic shut down the whole world I took that as my opportunity to make my dreams a reality. I utilized my time to practice and get better, and started gaining more and more clients. Fast forward to today and I have been completely self employed for almost a year now. No matter where you’re from or what you’re limited to, you can be whatever and whoever you want to be.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When it comes to doing nails, I’m far from your average nail tech. Hand painted art is my specialty. I would die if I had to do white tips all day long. I’ve always loved to paint and draw, so being able to use a tiny canvas to make people’s visions come to life is a dream come true. I am a firm believer in “practice makes perfect” and I have spent countless hours perfecting my craft, taking master classes, and watching tutorials to become a better artist. There were plenty of times that I wanted to give up or felt like I wasn’t capable of doing a particular design, but as long as I continue to believe in and invest in myself, there isn’t anything I can’t accomplish.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would for sure take them to visit the Gas Gods gallery, which leads to the next stop. Food is the key to my heart. You can’t go wrong with the cajun bowl at The Turkey Leg Hut, the crawfish at Lost&Found, or some late night hype at the Hungry Heroz food truck. As far as libations, we would definitely have to pull up at The Address for strong drinks and good music or head to Local Seat for hookah and byob. Concerts are one of my favorite things to do so catching a show at Warehouse Live would be a must. I love pop-up galleries and any kind of funky art installations so if The Wilde Collection was still around we would most certainly pay them a visit. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh wow, where do I begin? First and foremost, my mom. She has always pushed me to strive for greatness and chase my dreams. She has always believed in my artistic abilities and didn’t let up when she felt like I was just being lazy and settling for a job that paid the bills. She has stood behind me throughout my journey and has always been my biggest cheerleader. Second, my mom’s best friend. When I expressed that I wanted to go to school to get a manicurist license, she gave me the loan I needed to get all of my supplies and enrolled in classes with no questions asked. She always told me I needed to go to school and do something better and thanks to her I was able to. Third, my friend and “hustle buddy” that gave me the opportunity to get into a salon setting and get away from doing nails in my living room. When she was preparing to open her own business she reached out to me and asked me to come work at her shop and it’s been lit ever since. Last, but not least, my day one clients that have stuck with me since the beginning. I wasn’t always the greatest nail tech and still have so much to learn, but their loyalty and trust has gotten me to where I am today.
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