We had the good fortune of connecting with Kirstyn Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kirstyn, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I believe that my balance has changed over time because in the beginning of my career I worked really hard, better yet I overworked myself really hard. Some days I would work 12 hours a day and do it again the next day. Sometimes I would work 12 hour days, six days a week. While the money was great, it was draining on my mental health and my physical well-being. In 2019 I contracted Covid and it was one of the most traumatizing experiences that I have ever been through. It put a lot into perspective for me in terms of making me realize that, me having everything that I wanted materialistically meant nothing if I didn’t prioritize myself first. It taught me that time is something that I cannot get back. That no amount of money can buy your time. After getting over Covid I began to prioritize my mental/physical health and well-being. I had to learn to find a balance between my work life and my home life, even if that meant cutting back on my work hours. I always felt that the more I overworked myself the more I accomplished, But I soon realized that in everything that you do you have to have balance. If there is no balance the system will fail; you are the system. Now balance is one of my biggest priorities. I will tell anyone to always prioritize you first, your career will still be there, your job will still be there, your friends will still be there, but you will not be there if you do not learn the importance of finding balance.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In my line of work I believe that what sets me apart from other nail techs is my style of nails. I love nails with an exaggerated curve, and so does the majority of my clientele. When it comes to my work I am honestly proud of how much I’ve grown in the industry and how much of a name I’ve made for myself. I know that I still have a very long way to go, but I appreciate my process no matter what season I’m in. I did not see me being as far as I am in my career today five years ago, because there were numerous times that I wanted to quit. I am also proud of the fact that I still have a genuine love for what I do. I know lots of people that fall out of love with their craft because it becomes more of a job to them than something that they love. And don’t get me wrong I was one of those people, before I learned balance. Getting to where I am today took a lot of rejection, there were a lot of “no’s”, but I honestly didn’t let that hinder me from pursuing my career, if anything it made me push myself even harder. I remember applying for job after job as a nail tech and no one would hire me. So that motivated me to work for myself. Getting to where I am today was not easy at all. There were days where I wanted to quit because I did not have the clientele. There were days when I wondered how I was going to make ends meet because I was not making any money and I honestly remember praying for the clientele that I have now. I began to prioritize my career first. I had to decide that I was no longer going to work for anyone, I was going to focus solely on my career. I had to sacrifice a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of relationships. i’ve learned to always prioritize myself first. I’ve learned that rejection is protection, I have learned that rejection is also redirection. To me there is no such thing as no for an answer, because I will always find a way to make it happen. When one door closes God will always open another one for me. I’ve learned that sometimes you don’t get what you want because God gives you what you need. throughout my career I have learned a patience unlike any other. I’ also know now that you cannot skip the struggle. You have to go through it. Every successful person has to go through something. There are no shortcuts in success. This is only the beginning for Kandy Koated Nails. I feel as though there is so much more for me to accomplish, and I haven’t even put a dent on what it is that I want to accomplish before I leave this earth. I want to show the world that black women can do and be anything that they set their mind to. I want to inspire young girls and other black women, or just women in general. I want to show them that it can be done.

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.
So I am fairly new to the Houston area, but I will admit that if you’re looking for a great time or the perfect spot(s) to bar crawl I’d have to say go downtown in Houston. The vibes and the atmosphere is truly amazing. In my opinion if you are a brunch type of person The Breakfast Klub is hands-down the best! The food is amazing and you will not be disappointed! The line can get pretty long so I recommend going really early. Prospect park is also a pretty chill spot that I’ve been to.

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?
Honestly if I had to shout anyone out, It would be God, my clientele, and of course my family. I believe that my clientele has pushed me to limits unimaginable, They hold me to the highest standards, and they always motivate me even when I don’t believe in me. Some of my clients have been with me through the majority of my career and I honestly could not ask for a better group of people that support me and love me. My clientele has become more of a family to me than just clientele. My family and my significant other has always been there pushing me and motivating me, in anyway possible, wether it be promoting me, sharing my posts or just keeping me grounded. I especially have my sisters and my mother to thank. They were the first people to let me practice on them, and I messed their nails up terribly but they didn’t mind, they still believed in me and they saw potential in me when nobody else did. I had to save the best for last, my personal favorite, God. I owe everything that I have to God. Every single thing. I would not have my family, my career, my clientele, the support, anything at all if it had not been for God. God has truly guided my footsteps each and every step of the way throughout my journey, he has opened and closed doors for me and he continues to bless me each and every day. He has placed my name in rooms that my feet have not even entered yet and for that I will forever be grateful. I owe everything that I have to him.

Website: Kandy-koated-nails.myshopify.com

Instagram: Kirrybae

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.