Fashion / Life&style

Teesside woman has nationally acclaimed nail business

Above: Sophie Dale – owner of Nancy Loves Nails

A young Teesside entrepreneur  has set up her own nationally acclaimed nail business.

Sophie Dale, 20, from Normanby,  started her business Nancy Loves Nails when she was only 14-years-old after spotting a gap in the market for vintage nail designs.

She said: “I didn’t have any interest in following the crowd.”

“I didn’t want to go away to university like everybody else and I didn’t have a particular interest at school.

“However, I enjoyed creative subjects such as Textiles and English Literature.

“I liked the idea of having complete control over what I wanted to create.”

Now six years later she is working full time as a self-proclaimed “Nail Queen”.

Sophie  also won the Gelish Gives Back award in 2013, being given the title of one of the top five nail technicians in the North of the UK.

Sophie has been described as “a credit to the brand” by Gelish owner Jason Smedley.

Sophie works full time as a nail artist in her studio in Normanby, however this hasn’t always been the case.

She said: “When I first started, I worked from home a few nights a week in my mam and dad’s dining room.”

“It was a bit strange at first because I was inviting people I didn’t know into my house.

“Over the years, I have made friends with my clients.

“I wanted to create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where people could come and have a chat, a cup of tea and a good set of nails.

“It’s lovely to see people happy with your work, and it makes them feel good too.

“Working from home to start with definitely helped my image of being a friend more than just a nail technician.

“I hate small talk and so I think it is important to get to know your clients and build a relationship with them. There’s so much more to talk about than the weather.”

Above: One of Sophie’s floral designs on a client

Sophie started her business when she was  at school after watching YouTube tutorials and practicing on her friends and family.

She then went on to do childrens’ parties and birthday parties – word soon spread about her talent and her reputation grew from there.

At 16, she started charging people for her services and established her brand – Nancy Loves Nails, whilst also doing her GCSE’s at Eston Park Academy.

She also went on to study her A-Levels at Prior Pursglove College, achieving A, B, C.

She said: “It was sometimes hard to juggle my business and education, but it was worth it.

“It was great to be able to control your own working hours and give yourself time off to study if needs be.

“It was also good to be earning my own money at the same time as doing what I love – money can often be a worry for most students, but this wasn’t the case for me. I enjoy being my own boss.”

She then went on to become a fully trained, qualified and insured nail technician.

After gaining 1,000 Facebook followers in her first week of trade, Sophie became more and more popular as the appointments flooded in.


Above: Sophie’s Fried Egg design on a client

Sophie does a wide range of designs – from floral, stripes, glitter, polka dots and even fried eggs!

So, what is next for Nancy Loves Nails?

Sophie said: “I’m only at the start of my career.”

“I want to gain more experience in the nail world.

“I want to build on my client base – I have 5,000 Facebook followers and almost 4,000 followers on Instagram, along with followers on both my personal accounts – but I want to build on my reputation.

“I think the next step is to employ somebody to work alongside me.”


For appointments, contact Sophie through the Nancy Loves Nails Facebook page.

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