jen shadow box

Over the past 19 years there are fewer reasons in life that motivate me everyday than fully understanding the role an Educator can play in someone else's life.  And no matter how small of a contribution it seems like at the time, without even knowing, the impact can last a life time.

Most people who know me, know that if asked I could go on and on all day long about the ways I've been moved by all our TAOND students over the years and the career heights they've reached in so many areas of the nail industry - winning competitions, landing their dream jobs, gaining the personal satisfaction and freedom of opening their own Incredible businesses, and even quite a number who went on to become Educators themselves.

But it was one of our most recent Graduates Karyn, whose story, in just a few short paragraphs cemented to me absolutely everything we've ever done and everything we'll ever do as a Team at TAOND and the impact it can have. 

Anyone who knows Karyn, knows that she tells her story only to encourage, support and motivate those who maybe aren't sure if they can make a serious change in their lives, who may feel that things are too hard, or wonder if they have the time or energy to sucessfully complete their program.  Her story of a dream and then the hard work and determination to acheive that dream should motivate all of us.

Not only are we so incredibly proud of the work Karyn produced in her program (check out a couple of her sets below her testimonial) she was just such an absolutely wonderful human being to chat with and have as a student!

Karyn -  you may have written to Thank us, but we would like to Thank you!
              "I’m sharing my story not for pity, but to encourage those (especially those with disabilities) that think that they cannot follow their dreams...The Academy Of Nail Design (TAOND) MADE MY DREAM COME TRUE!

I’m an Army Veteran (Retired) and I served for 20 years before being injured on duty (spine injury and other serious injuries) and medically released due to all of my injuries, deemed 100% disabled and unfit for military service. I thought my life, as I knew it, was over. 

I have ALWAYS loved seeing people with beautiful nails and always wished that I could wear enhancements and be able to create beautiful nails (while in military uniform I was never allowed to have long nails or even wear nail polish).

A couple of years after my medical release from the military and after several spine surgeries and learning how to walk again (I went from a wheelchair to a walker and now I use a cane), I happened to come upon TAOND’s website when I was doing one of my many nail related searches on the web. 

I was laying in bed dreaming of becoming a Nail Tech, watching nail videos, looking at beautiful nail pictures and feeling hopeless, because my physical injuries wouldn’t allow me to attend school and a classroom setting.  Boy, was I surprised after I read through TAOND’s website and learned that they offered online classes!

This was the opportunity that I was waiting for and I signed up immediately for classes!  I’m unable to work, but wanted to become a Nail Tech so that I could professionally do my own nails, family members nails and it was always a dream of mine to be a Nail Tech. I purchased the student kit and other supplies, had the course materials printed off for me and I dove in to the course. I did everything from my bed...even the required sets of nails needed to pass the course! I’m unable to sit up for long periods of time, so, my husband bought me another hospital table (on wheels), cut out a piece in it, inserted the new professional dust collector that he bought for me in the center of it and every time my practise client came to have her nails done, I would have my second hospital table loaded up with all my nail gear and wheeled into my bedroom. I inclined my hospital bed to a comfortable position and created enhancements for the first time in my life and I loved every minute of it. I studied from my bed, I took all of my tests from my bed and I did all of my assignments from my bed.

It took me over FOUR years to complete the course, because during my course I ended up having a few more surgeries on my spine and brain. (I have titanium rods from my neck down to the base of my spine and I had experimental brain surgery to try and block the pain path, because of the severe amount of chronic pain I was suffering from. (Unfortunately, it wasn’t successful) I had long recoveries after each surgery (up to a full year each time), I live with chronic pain 24/7 and have other huge health problems caused by my spine injury, BUT I didn’t let that bring me down!

I kept working at my course every time I was feeling up to it, I studied and did my assignments and tests from my bed. This is the BEST thing about this can take all the time you need to complete it and work at your own pace!  

In closing, I want to say that this is an excellent, in-depth course, you learn everything you need to know about nails and the industry, and soooo much more! I highly recommend it.

You can go at your own pace, from home, and you have one on one training/tutoring live through the internet when you need it. The teachers are AMAZING and sooooo helpful and sweet. They ALWAYS replied to my many emails and answered my questions within 24 hours or less and they were always there when I needed them.

I’m sad that my course is finished, because I really enjoyed every second of it! I want to take this opportunity to personally thank EVERYONE at TAOND for always reaching out to me, for helping me along my journey, but most of all for helping me to fulfill my dreams!!!"

                                                                                                               Karyn Collins