Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisset Velasquez.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Lisset. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up, my older sister Tanya gave me the nickname ‘Girlie’. I never thought how much of a girly girl I was until I was about eight years old. My mom gave me money to get a pedicure and I came out of the salon with a fresh set of acrylic on my fingernails. Fast forward 13 years later and I’m a broke college kid. I’m enrolled because I kept telling myself “You don’t know exactly what you want to study but hey, at least you’re here. “ I was so unhappy that I quickly learned that I was wasting my time and money. One day, I wanted to get my nails done but I couldn’t afford it. I went to Sallys thinking they had everything I needed and more to start but once I got there, that was not the case. The lady at the cashier noticed that I was a beginner and told me to check out a local nail supply store in Dallas. I went, they were hiring, I applied, got hired, and the rest was history. I learned so much from being around NOTHING BUT NAILS and different nail techs. My life was forever changed when I had a conversation with a nail tech who told me to go to cosmetology school. Her advice was, “Get it on my own because there’s no better feeling than knowing you got things yourself.” I understood that I needed to become an independent woman, something I thought I was too young for. A year later, I was a licensed cosmetologist! I wish I remembered her name because that conversation changed my life.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think anything in life is ever as smooth of a ride as we want. What I’ve learned is that life is like a roller coaster. You go through ups and downs but when you’re down you know you’ll be right back up soon. I also think that when we’re down we shouldn’t stay in a negative mindset. My downs never seem so bad because I have an extremely supportive family & friends. I am beyond blessed to have an amazing job at Cute Nail Studio in Austin, TX (it’s literally cute). I made the move in February 2020 and right as I was getting used to being on my own in a whole new city, COVID-19 happened. I went back to Dallas to quarantine with my family. I found myself being a bit depressed because I wasn’t doing what I love. Then, it hit me… PRESS ONS! I started practicing my line work & drawings on the daily. I found myself getting lost in the art again. That’s when I realized it’s not about finding yourself, it’s about CREATING yourself and riding the ride.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about ItsLitSetNails – what should we know?
I specialize in Nail Acrylic, Press ons, and Gel Manicures. What sets me apart is my custom work with Swarovski crystals and blingy claw style nails. I love freestyle design, I never recreate a look, it might be similar but NEVER the same. I also believe in community over competition, and that we can all learn from one another. I share tutorial videos of my creations and share tips on my Instagram account on the regular. My guiding principal came from my amazingly talented co-worker, Chow. They said, “A good artist always goes the extra mile and takes that extra 5 minutes to correct and perfect when others won’t.” I’ve ran with that ever since and made it my work’s mantra.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My friend Tiffani has and will always hold a special place in my heart. She has believed and supported me from day one. She has yet to see another nail tech since I started doing her nails. She challenges me and allows me to always try challenging new designs. I couldn’t appreciate the love and support more. Also, without my mother Rosalinda, none of this would be possible. She never once complained about the long hours spent in my nail room. Or of the smells from my supplies that would overwhelm the house. Nope! Instead, she takes a seat, waits for me to finish practicing, and we do her nails. We gossip, we drink wine, and talk nails. My love for her is endless and I definitely wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her.
Self Portrait Series: Tanya Velazquez