“A nail bar with a voice” Supporting nail newbies with the “In Your Hands” project

By Nathan Taylor on December 7th, 2022

About us

Whilst the nail industry can be a place where marginalised people can flourish, I have experienced significant barriers to my career as a queer, disabled, biracial, working class person working as a nail artist.

I currently run Buff Bar Bristol which I describe as “a nail bar with a voice”. I’ve found significant empowerment in running my own nail business and am a passionate and sector leading advocate for improving diversity and inclusion in the nail industry.

I have sat at the heart of a growing movement of outspoken diverse nail technicians, and have gathered experiential anecdotes across the sector. I hear time and time again that my bad experiences when working in the nail industry, particularly from a workplace culture and disability rights perspective, are not unique.

I have been flying this flag by myself or with small groups of like minded people for years, and I welcome the opportunity for partners to get involved and share this responsibility.
My latest project is called “In your hands / (IYH)”. It is a fully funded program made up of a small group of professionals (including myself) who are donating their time in order to support nail newbies, specifically people from marginalised backgrounds.
IYH is currently applying for funding in order to ensure that the project is able to continuously contribute support for marginalised people within the industry.

(@jiggzandginger our first mentees)

What we do

We are creating a pipeline of diverse talent by taking on 2-5 people throughout an expanded one year training course to teach them everything we know about the nail industry. We hope that we will be able to grow the project in order to mentor as many marginalised nail newbies as possible.

IYH provides the required industry recognised qualifications, and offers its own expanded education, resources, equipment, networks and mentoring that the mentees need to start their own nail art business.

Through workshops, networking opportunities, 1-2-1 mentoring and coaching, a community of practice and expert seminars, the trainees will not only qualify as nail technicians, but will leave with professional networks, an education in financial management and business insight.

IYH encourages and supports the industry to change and to pave a new culture within the nail industry to remove barriers and to lead with compassion, empathy and accountability.

We hope to connect marginalised people within the industry by creating an environment where relationships can develop and go on to be extremely supportive outside of the project.

(IYH mentee training)

How we are going to do it

We are creating a pilot programme as a way to understand what we can sustainably offer and what impact we can make to the industry by supporting new nail techs.
We hope that through this pilot, we can build new models and process structures that will promote inclusion within the industry.

The pilot will be designed specifically for each person and will focus on the areas in which they face hardship. For example a disabled person’s needs may be different to a person of trans experience and we hope to be influenced by these nuances to create person centered learning and development.

This pilot is possible because of funding, brand partnership and donated time from industry experts. We are currently working with industry pros, brands and companies to construct partnership agreements so that no ground is left uncovered. For IYH it is vital that our programme offers the following to each mentee FOR FREE!!

  • A fully accredited nail course
  • A full nail kit (including nail art materials and tools)
  • Student insurance
  • Subscriptions and memberships to online resources
  • Networking events
  • Article features in leading nail magazines
  • Workshops and masterclasses
  • Drop in sessions with nail pros & brands
  • And much more

IYH & industry partners will also cover the following subjects;

  • Vision & mission development
  • Aesthetics & branding development
  • Marketing
  • Social media management
  • Finances – taxes, budgeting, pricing etc
  • Content and photography
  • Business plan support
  • Understanding IP, NDA’s, collaborations and contracts
  • Networking
  • Trusted products and brands
  • Building a portfolio
  • Boundary setting
  • Conflict resolution
  • And much more!

Why we are doing it

Firstly as the director of IYH, I know how difficult it can be to start out in the nail industry. I have a personal mission to not only support people with similar experiences of marginalisation but also to set a new standard of how we address the issues of inclusion and diversity within the industry.

IYH recognises the social and economic limitations that can often leave marginalised people in the nail industry frustrated, facing widespread limiting attitudes and systemic barriers to succeeding.

We would like to help our mentees to build confidence, learn and develop skills, become financially independent and to have agency.


Now it’s in your hands

Although I love doing this work, I am mostly working on this by myself and in order for IYH to reach all of our aims, we need support!

We need you to help us in the following ways;

  • Apply to become an IYH industry partner
  • Offer your skills and time as a nail pro
  • Offer nail art materials/ kit
  • Offer specialist advice to IYH
  • Offer your time to help with our social media presence
  • Offer your time to help with administration

Donate and fundraising

  • IYH will be releasing a crowdfunder in 2023, all donations will go towards mentee accessibility costs and reimbursement of time for the core IYH team.
  • Let us know if you know of any funding that may be relevant

Follow our journey…

  • Follow IYH on social media
  • Follow our mentees!
  • Share, like and comment IYH posts
  • SPREAD THE WORD! Tell your family, friends and even your dog about what IYH is up to!
  • If you can support us in these ways, the future of many great nail techs would literally be In your hands!

Email IYH – Emailinyourhandsproject@gmail.com
Follow IYH – @inyourhandsproject
IYH Partner application form – https://forms.gle/uESX9f23uoU9Qno2A

Nathan Taylor

Nathan is the founder and proud owner of Buff Bar Bristol. Buff Bar Bristol is described as “a nail bar with a voice”. Nathan found significant empowerment in running their own nail business and is passionate and sector leading advocate for improving diversity and inclusion in the nail industry. Nathan is currently running the In Your Hands Project which Salon Gold is a proud supporter of.

All articles by Nathan Taylor

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