5 minutes with tomoko beauty

Profile – Tomoko Hiratsuka, Owner of Nail Salon, Nails by Tomoko


There are so many amazing people who are insured with Salon Gold and we wanted to speak to those that have experienced incredible journeys and give you an insight into their lives. This week we speak with Tomoko Hiratsuka, owner of Nail Salon, Tomoko Beauty.


Tomoko Hiratsuka, 34, grew up in Tokyo, now living and working by the seaside in beautiful Holywood, N. Ireland, with my husband and two children.

I’m responsible for…

I run my Nail Salon, Tomoko Beauty, a high-end nail design and nail care business on the High Street in Holywood. We focus on bringing the Japanese ethos of “only the best” to the UK. Hence our tagline of “Japanese Perfection.”  We also offer high-end eyelash extensions from Tokyo that look natural and elegant.

What helped me get the job…

I trained in Tokyo with a world-champion nail artist (or “nailist,” as they say in Japan) and have had my own nail salon business there for more than 15 years. When my husband and I decided to move to the UK a few years ago, it was an easy choice to go into business here.

My typical day at my nail salon, Tomoko Beauty…

We usually have a few early gel nail clients, then a quick break for lunch if we’re lucky, followed by anything from creating new designs to eyelash customers or some fine detail work on a set of acrylic extensions. No two days are the same, and it’s still a young business, so I expect that variety to continue. I could never work in an assembly-line style nail bar,  there’s no time to consult with each client properly and create something genuinely suited to their needs and style.

The best/worst parts of my job are…

Definitely meeting new people.  I have been on the shop floor for all my adult life and would hate that to change!  Also, Holywood is a really welcoming little town where everyone knows everyone else – perfect for a newcomer like me!

It’s never easy to fail to please people, but there are occasional clients who expect miracles – high-end work for dirt-cheap prices. I offer a quality service, not a quick fix that will look awful tomorrow, so it’s hard to turn those people away. We’re building expectations about what a properly trained, experienced nail artist can do and that takes time.

In my down time, I like to…

With two small children, there’s never much downtime! Still, I like sightseeing around this amazing part of the UK.  I also love a little golf and have even learned how to follow cricket! (Yes, I do know how weird that sounds!)

My plan B is…

Well, given that most of my family back in Japan work in the beauty business, it was always likely I’d be in the same field, but I also trained as a pianist and would have loved to give that more of a go. Never say never!

Do you want to be part of our next interview profile? Email lauraw@catpr.com for more information.

Salon Gold provides insurance for nail salons and freelance & mobile nail technician insurance. See further information on insurance for salons and freelance insurance.


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