Salon Spotlight: NAF!
You have probably seen NAF! Salon all over Instagram. Their nail art is serious goals, and their fun, ’80s interior is enough to make you book a ticket to Scotland just to get your hands on a mani.
Located in the heart of Glasgow, you can find a friendly neighborhood nail gang, aka the #NAFIA as they like to call themselves, ready to create works of art on your hands and feet. But behind these rockstar women is the nail artist and boss who started it all, the mani maven, queen of color, Tammy Koslowski.
When we were traveling through Scotland, we were inspired by her love of nails and how she injected her colorful personality into her salon, which is why we knew we had to spotlight her for our Fall 2019 collection.
A: I’ve always loved painting my nails. I used to do each of them a different color and play with nail stickers when I was younger, but I really got into it while I was at university studying fashion. I was writing my dissertation and missed being creative, so I practiced recreating simple designs like leopard print on my nails. After I graduated, I decided to get my qualifications and pursue nails as a career, and I’m so glad I did! I started out doing nail art at vintage fairs, then manicures at fashion shows and photoshoots, and 8 years later, I have my own salon!
A: I just wanted to create a cool space for cool people, and uncool people. Me! Nah, I’m joking! I never grew up in an environment where going to a salon was a regular occurrence, and I guess I just didn’t feel that any places I’d been to before reflected my personal tastes. That’s what inspired me to open NAF! Clients can spend a long time in the salon, and some of my team members spend 40+ hours at work every week, so I wanted to make sure it was a nice environment to spend time in. The salon is mainly white, but we have touches of pink and baby blue, as well as inspirational prints on the wall, and fun photos of our team and clients.
Q: What’s it like being a nail boss of a nail artist?
A: It’s a rollercoaster, but a good one! I’m really focused on my team and making sure that they have the best working life possible so that our clients can get the best experience possible, but it can sometimes be hard to find the perfect balance between creating a sustainable business and keeping everyone supported! I think we do very well though, I’m proud of them every day. I stepped back from doing nails on clients about two years ago so I could focus on this, and I miss doing nails so much, but I’ve also loved watching NAF! grow into the salon it is today.
A: I really draw inspiration from my peers in the industry, and keep up with their work through Instagram. There are so many incredible nail technicians out there and such a wonderful online community. I also think clients provide the best inspiration, and I love the process of taking their ideas, references, outfit details, and personal lives into consideration when creating a nail design personal to them.
I’ve grown up with OPI. The first polish I ever bought was OPI. It’s the brand I chose when I started doing nails on clients and it’s still the nail polish brand I use in my session kit and in our salon. I’m so happy to have a Scotland collection. I just think the colors are so true to art and history and everything in Scotland.
Q: What shades in the OPI Scotland collection are your absolute favorite?
A: As a Glasgow girl, I obviously love “You’ve Got That Glas-Glow”! It’s a really gorgeous nude that applies beautifully and can be layered from a subtle sheer on natural nails to a more opaque color as you need it. I also love “Suzi Needs A Loch-Smith”, the burnt orange color is such a great one to represent Scotland – it reminds me of highland cows and the beautiful color the countryside turns here in the fall.
A: Nail piercings! I love hardware on nails. I also really love anything with a negative space aspect in the design.
Q: OK, we have to know. What is your best nail tip?
A: Cuticle oil, cuticle oil, and more cuticle oil!
A: Don’t be so hard on yourself! As creatives, we’re really detail-oriented and always strive for perfection, and I’ve never met a nail tech who doesn’t critique every set that they do. It’s hard to find balance. We need to flex all of our skills to ensure that the client gets the most out of their set, so being critical ensures that we’re always learning and developing ways to make their set even better. When any of my team doubts themselves or a set they’ve done, I simply say, “was the client happy?” because that’s your goal at the end of the day.
Inspired? We don’t blame you. Be sure to try out some of Tammy’s favorite shades from our Fall 2019 Collection, then show us your work of nail art on Instagram with #OPIScotland.