We had the good fortune of connecting with Kalena Parker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kalena, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose to pursue an artistic career, because I’ve always been into arts and crafts for most of my life. As a child, amongst many other subjects, one of my favorites was art. I was always making crafty things in my spare time. I am at my happiest when I can simply create. It took me some time trying to find my way, but ultimately, it’s a no-brainer for me to make this a way of life.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My nail art is inspired by whatever aesthetic I’m feeling, or most times, random thought. I can get inspired by patterns, colors, etc. Often times I’ll see something, and wonder “how can I put my spin on it?” Or, “what would be my interpretation?” My hand drawn, originality is what sets me apart. There’s no machine vast producing my products. When you wear a set of my nails, I’ve personally painted and designed them. Each set is custom fitted, and bespoke. Rarely is each set of nails identical. I am most proud of the fact that no one around me has started a business from scratch. I’ve had no mentorship. I did this on my own, and I’m still learning, and powering through everyday. Getting to the one year anniversary of my business, was by no means easy. It’s been a challenge, but an eye opening, learning process that I wouldn’t trade. As a business owner, I feel as if you should always be trying to think of ways to improve or evolve. That’s how I personally overcome the challenges. I self reflect, and try to redirect my approach. I’ve learned that this is MY business. Others will lend their opinion, or get vocal about what they think would be better. Ultimately, you have to make the decisions that you feel are in the best interest of what you’re trying to achieve. I’d like the world to know that my brand is a truly custom experience. The fit is custom, and you can request designs that are as unique as yourself! It’s less expensive than the salon, and more convenient. You can change your nails whenever you’d like while being in your PJ’S, indulging in “me” time. With the added benefit of knowing they’re hand painted with love, and supporting a small biz.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a bestie visit the area, the most fun things to do in the city to me, are down at the waterfront. Riding in the paddle boats is always a good time. I love the cherry blossoms, so, if they were visiting during the peak, we’d definitely hang out there.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Firstly, I’d like to thank my mother for being my biggest supporter, and shoulder to cry on, amongst the various other jobs she has as a parent. I’d also like to thank my sister who cheers me on along the way. I have some amazing clientele, who believe in me fiercely. Having a strong support system helps encourage me when I’m at my lowest, and they all keep me going by reinforcing the faith I have in myself.


Instagram: @kalena_parker_

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