Meet Andrico Thompson, North Carolina native and owner of Manny's Nail Spa. Thompson, formerly a songwriter and music producer, has taken the title as the first black male nail salon owner in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Read our short interview with the entrepreneur, and learn about how he got his start in an unexpected field.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got your start in the nail/ beauty industry?
I never had too much of an interest in nails until my partner had me pick up a pedicure chair she got for free from another salon. When I saw it, I had an “ah ha!” moment. My friend and I were joking about it, saying “wouldn’t it be crazy if guys who look like us did women’s nails?” A light bulb went off in my head and I hopped online to enroll into the first school I found: Academy of Nails and Esthetics.
As a POC founded beauty brand, we stand behind your mission of breaking stereotypes across industries. But, why nails?
Working on something as small and detailed as nails helps me to be patient. You have to pay attention to the details and be gentle. Did I mention it’s a 4 billion dollar industry?
What is your favorite part about being an entrepreneur?
I love the freedom of managing my time and being my own boss. Seeing the fruits of my own labor is really rewarding too. Although there are definitely huge challenges associated with keeping a business afloat, it’s worth the hard work!
What was your greatest challenge you faced when starting your own business?
Essentially, I went into entrepreneurship blind– I didn’t have much information or start-up money to make it all happen. I had to learn on the job. Social media marketing is huge, and if you manage it yourself, it’s essentially free. Word of mouth marketing is also a huge asset. Learn and do as much as possible, and be scrappy about it when you’re first starting out!
We strive to build a community amongst our customers. How do you achieve this with customers of your own?
I’m always myself– I have a strong personality and a huge sense of humor, and customers are able to connect with me when I’m real. Also, time is really valued in this business! Respecting my customers and their time is the best way to build a community. In fact, the community builds itself when your actions are pure.
Can you tell us about how Manny’s Nail Spa got its name?
My partner came up with the name! She combined ‘manicure’ with ‘man’, and landed on Manny’s. It was that simple! She also designed our logo. It’s all been uphill from there!
Is there any advice you’d like to share about starting your own business, or about what it means to you?
Do your research, and make sure you're passionate and understand that success does not come easy. The business may not be profitable for the first few years, but don’t cut corners along the way. If you fail, get back up and just keep trying!