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Home-based nail technician creates unique bonds with clients

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In January 2020, Lilibeth Lopez, 25, took the leap and moved from Mexico to the U.S. to follow her dream of becoming a nail technician.

Lopez gained interest in doing nails during high school in Mexico. After teaching herself, she would offer to do her friends’ nails for free so she could practice.

She then landed in Denton and began working at a nail salon, but in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. While nail salons across the country closed, Lopez decided to continue her work at home, calling her business “Lele’s Moon Room.” 

The name of the business was inspired by her family nickname, Lele, and her love of astrology and the moon.

“I really enjoy [seeing] the moon, full moon [and] any phase of the moon,” she said. “All of the astrology and crystals inspire me to make my business like that.”

Working as a home-based nail technician has given Lopez the freedom to chose her own schedule.

“[At the salon] they told me, ‘Hey, you have to rush because there [are] so many clients waiting for you, and you’re the only one to do nails here,’” she said. “I was like, ‘But I can’t. There’s quality in your nails — I have to do a process.’”

Lopez’s entire process takes about three hours but can last longer if a specific design is requested. Clients who book an appointment with Lele’s Moon Room are able to have Lopez come to their home and have their cuticles thoroughly cleaned and acrylic nails sculpted for them, opposed to the pre-made nail tips used by other nail technicians. 

“Her attention to detail and patience, and honestly, her overall OCD about her work to make sure that every line is done correctly when she does designs on nails [makes her work unique],” client Khris Douglas, 44, said. “I appreciate [the time she takes]. This is why I love [her] and love coming here.”

By sculpting the acrylic nail, Lopez ensures that the nail will stay longer and fit the natural shape of the client’s nail better.

“[The nails] don’t ever lift,” customer Cara Atkins, 26, said. “Whenever I go to a salon and get my nails done, they end up lifting and they get caught in my hair. That never happens [with Lopez], and I’ve never met someone else that sculpts the nails like she does.”

Since Lopez’s process is long, it allows her the time to connect and chat with her clients. She bonded particularly well with Douglas because they both moved to a new place at the same time without family.

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Douglas moved from Louisiana, leaving behind her daughter, who is around the same age as Lopez. She felt she was able to become like a mother-figure to Lopez, who is also living in Texas without her family.

“[Lopez] is a very genuine person,” Douglas said. “I think we connected spiritually. On top of both being new to the area, my child is not there with me, [Lopez]’s there without her mom. It just made for a natural bond and she felt confident in confiding in me with a few personal things.”

Along with this bond, Lopez and Douglas have worked to help each other with Spanish and English, respectively.

When Lopez first began her business, she primarily spoke Spanish. Douglas had first contacted Lopez in February 2020 over Facebook and tried to communicate through her coworker’s translations. Not wanting to bother her coworker further, Douglas then found out that Lopez could speak some English, but she still tried to accommodate Lopez by speaking the bit of Spanish that she knew. 

“Because [Lopez] wasn’t speaking as much English as she is now, I was trying to overcompensate by trying to speak Spanish,” Douglas said. “I was all messed up all the time, so she just laughed and said, ‘That’s okay. We’re gonna get it. We’re gonna help each other. You’ll help me with my English, and I’ll help you with your Spanish.’”

Many of Lopez’s clients allow Lopez to take free rein of the design, only choosing a color or two. Her designs are usually inspired by nail trends she has seen on social media apps like Pinterest or Tiktok.

“They tell me, ‘Do whatever you want. I just want this color,’” Lopez said. “Or maybe they pick two colors and I can create something.”

In addition to doing nails, Lopez hopes to create a brand with Lele’s Moon Room, expanding with different types of products. She currently sells custom press-on nails and is in the process of designing candles, scrunchies and T-shirts.

“I hope that [Lilibeth] would continue to grow her business and her relationships with individuals,” Douglas said. “Overall, I want her to grow as a business and grow individually, and to continue to perfect her craft.

Featured Image: Lilibeth Lopez’s nail art is displayed for clients to see on April 9, 2021. Image by Maria Crane

Article Originally Published by Kelly Tran on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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