Many students from St. John’s study abroad; however, not many make a business while overseas. Madison Vogel, a junior marketing major, saw an opportunity and seized it. Vogel started her own nail business, MaddNailss, while studying in Rome.
“I saw that it was very expensive to get your nails done in Rome,” Vogel said. “My cousin and I always had our nails done, and she was very homesick.”
Noting that her cousin was feeling nostalgic, Vogel purchased the necessary products and began doing her nails to calm her down.
“I figured I would just do our nails, but my other friends told me I should do everyone’s because I had the supplies.”
Vogel said she was happy that in an attempt to help relieve her cousin of her homesickness, she succceeded.
“Getting my nails done by Madison did help to alleviate some of my homesickness,” her cousin, junior student Lindsay Ryder said. “I am very thankful to have had her do my nails while abroad.”
After Vogel realized it was turning into a business, she started her own mini nail salon and set prices for the services.
Vogel offers regular manicures for $7, UV-gel manicures for $15, powder gel manicures for $20, powder gel tips for $15 and full set of tips for $25. After buying the appropriate products, she practiced and taught herself how to perfect each technique.
While abroad, many students took advantage of her business.
The Long Island native said that her business took off abroad so much that she even worked with customers from other schools. She also had customers that worked in bars in Rome and a lot of people in Bus2Alps, which is one of Europe’s leading tour operators.
“Having customers from other schools while abroad was exciting to me,” Vogel said. “I met new people that went to different schools and it really made me feel like I was a real business. It made me feel good to help students around Rome who couldn’t afford to get their nails done by the professional salons.”
Now, Vogel is back on the Queens campus. She offers the same services and does nails in her own room in the townhouses.
“I continued to do nails after I came back from being abroad because people from my home town wanted me to do manicures on them,” she said. “My services are cheaper than nail salons around me, and the manicures that I give are just as good as a professional nail salon; if not better.”
“My nails come out amazing every time! Salon quality with at home convenience,” Lisa LaGrandier, a customer from Long Island, said.
Vogel said her decision to go abroad came from her desire to experience new
things in different countries.
“I wanted to get to know who I was as a person,” she said. “Going abroad helped me to figure out who I was and what I valued. I found myself when I went abroad and it was the best experience of my life.”
For students who are going abroad and need help navigating the nail scene, Vogel recommends taking a nail kit along.
“I would say to purchase a cheap nail file and one or two colors from the Essie Gel Couture collection along with the top coat that goes along with the colors from the Gel Couture collection,” she said. “You can find these products in a beauty supply store or maybe even a drugstore. There are a lot of La Gardenias around Europe and they have these products for sure.”