When you’re passionate about the work you do, your abilities and talent are clear. The people who receive the end result of the work you do are impressed. Working with nails is Temeka Jackson’s thing. Whether polishing, taking care of them or coming up with innovative ways to give people a unique look, Jackson has made a business out of making peoples nails look good.
At the young age of 19 she found her interest in the health and beauty field expanding while she had an example set for her by a local woman who worked on nails. It was then that she felt a budding passion for the profession.
Three years later, Jackson earned her first spot working to hone her skills with the passion she loved. Just 24 hours after applying to the position, her work had earned
her the acknowledgment that she needed to turn a hobby into a profession. It was at TJ Nails, where the young artist had anticipated being the first Black nail tech that she began to encounter discrimination from customers who thought that her being in the establishment was out of the ordinary.
Young, motivated, and with the attitude that nothing would discourage her, Jackson continued her journey. It was that attitude which has since allowed her to earn national recognition for her trend-setting nails that have depicted historical, political, and sports related messages.
In 2009 while the whole country was adjusting to the first Black president, Jackson was working on a way to translate that historical message through nail art. Her ability to do so earned her a spot in Nationally Nails Magazine. While earning magazine recognition was a great way to be acknowledged, Jackson’s Obama nails gained so much attention that she was recognized on News Eight and CNN. The hard work and her unique design, helped her work in the world of fashion and beauty to do something that even the Mayor of the city acknowledged with a letter.
Being versatile and creative worked in the favor of the New Haven native again for the second time by receiving a letter, from the Los Angeles Lakers, a sports team known for creating a winning legacy. Putting her mind to it and taking real care in nails has earned Jackson recognition and acknowledgment on a local and national level.
It is clear that hard work and dedication has led her to be one of the hottest and most sought out nail techs in her area.
Her most recent accomplishment of being honored at Fantasias in North Haven, was bittersweet for Jackson who became the first African American to earn an award in the Nail Tech business.
For Jackson the award was a long step up from having clients second guess her talent and ability because of her color. Her attention grabbing method which is inspired by Canvas art that comes from her imagination and the inspiration she draws from remembering her Uncle Katro Strom’s work as an artist has helped her create art that conveys messages through design.
With the support of family, friends and a strong customer base, Jackson has elevated what it means to be a nail technician. Taking the nail business by storm is more than just painting nails for Jackson who aspires to be a traveling technician that spreads the message about working to succeed and overcoming discrimination. Her ambitions include working behind the scenes on television shows, traveling outside of the country with her talent and establishing a spa in LA.
The hard work and dedication along with the national acclaim earned by Jackson who is more than a technician make it clear that she will go as far as her imagination and creative thinking takes her.