By Alena Nickell
WHEN Caroline Morgan’s Year 5 art teacher told her she would never realise her dream of working as an artist, she made it her mission to prove him wrong.
At 23, Caroline and older sister Jenny opened a nail salon in their former hometown of Orange and it was here Caroline’s nail artistry love affair took hold.
Family lured her to Tamworth about five years later where she opened Ego Hair and Beauty – arguably one of Tamworth’s most avant-garde salons.
Caroline says she was anything but dissuaded by her teacher’s comments, forging a career in the nail art industry and winning a swag of awards for her handmade creations along the way instead.
The mother-of-two won seven awards at the most recent Sydney international beauty expo in August, where she placed first in four categories, including fantasy art and 3D nail art.
But like anything, success doesn’t come without hard work.
“I’m constantly training, at least once a week ... I’m also educating as well,” she said.
The 31-year-old, who has added beauty therapist and apprentice hairdresser to her growing repertoire, abhors “the norm,” preferring surrealist art, pop art and cubism to the classics, which is reflected in her work.
Even as an impressionable 11-year-old, she couldn’t be manipulated to fit the mould.
“I was so different, even back then,” she recalls. “I’ve always been different.”
“Because I was so young and so different too, I think I was too much out of the box for (my art teacher).”
The successful business woman and her three employees keep well abreast of the latest fashion trends, which she was more than happy to disclose to The Leader.
For hair, “solid colours are in in a big way, and foiling, ombre and balayage are phasing out,” she said, while “pastel tones” for nails are booming.
Solid cuts with lots of texture and panels or “brave shaves” (where one or both sides of the hair is shaved) are also “in” for girls, she said.
If she met her Year 5 teacher today what would she say?
“Don’t ever tell someone they can’t do something,” Caroline said.
“I’d never do that.
Top 5 Tips for Perfect Nails
1. Don’t pick or bite your nails;
2. Invest in a good quality cuticle oil;
3. Follow a consistent maintenance program;
4. Use reputable products; and
5. Research your nail technician.