Once again, Long Beach has another reason to call itself one of the best cities to set up your artistic practice, whether you’re a sculptor, a musician or... A nail tech. Just in time for the second to last week of Long Beach Arts Month, we can proudly say that one of our more successful business owners will appear on television to show off her self-honed nail-driven talents.
Kandi Banks, proud owner of KandiLand Nail Art Studio in Long Beach, will compete in Oxygen’s Nail’d It, hosted by Adrienne Bailon. The series pits 18 of the best up-and-coming nail artists against one another as they claw their way to the top to claim a life-changing grand prize of $100K.
Banks will be featured in Episode 103, set to air on October 21 at 9:00PM. She will be competing against two other nail artists, Winnie Huang and Ashley Craig, while creating astrological designs for psychic clients. The contestants then must step out of their comfort zones to create life-sized fantasy wedding bouquets with enough of a wow-factor to make any bride proud. Bouquets and nail art will be judged by Tom Bachik and Elaine Watson.
While Banks was discovered by way of her very successful Twitter account (with over 8K followers) and is known for her growing success within the celebrity realm, she wants to prove to everyone that she’s “not just a celebrity manicurist,” but that she can do “pretty much anything."
Banks explained, “I’ve never competed before, but I wanted to see what I was capable of doing. I had no idea, but I’ve always had a lot of faith in myself.”
A Bay Area native, she moved to Long Beach three years ago, while still working for a nail salon in LA. Two years later she quit her job and opened up KandiLand in Long Beach in September 2013. The store is now a success and a testament to her self-confidence.
“I felt like I would do better on my own, that I would make more money that way,” Banks said.
The 23-year-old nail tech has been an artist her entire life and was introduced to the profession by a roommate in college.
“I had a roommate in college who had come home from with these simple nail shop designs. I found it fascinating because I never used to get designs and I could never get my nails done because my mom would never pay for it. She would say, ‘If you want to get your nails done you have to pay for it yourself!’ So I went out and bought all the nail stuff and started designing myself.”
While Banks wants to grow outside of her reputation as a celebrity manicurist, I had to ask who her favorite client was. Although Banks has handled the digits of Nicki Minaj, Demi Lovato, Christina Milian and more, her favorite celebrity client was Evelyn Lozada, who took Banks to a Rihanna concert and got her backstage passes.
Unfortunately, Banks is moving her entire shop to Melrose, so Long Beach nail lovers and residents should book her while they still can.
We can’t wait to watch this Long Beach resident compete on television next week. We’ll definitely be rooting for one of our city’s most passionate local artists, although we’re pretty bummed about her move to Melrose.