New York Called Eda Levenson

Besides my West Coast friends, I'm not sure I've ever interacted with another New Yorker who uses the word "hella." I met my match, however, when chatting with nail artist, Eda Levenson of Lady Fancy Nails. Eda and I crossed paths on Instagram (no surprise here) and I was excited to finally meet her in person for an #NYCALLED interview. Not only did Eda share her New York City story, but she also gave my nails quite the Coachella makeover as our interview was a week before the festival.Eda LevensonEda is a super cool transplant, originally from California (outside the Bay Area), who moved to New York from Boston after receiving her masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Although she is passionate about nail art, her main line of work is in youth development. In fact, her first experience with nail art came from one of her students while she was living in Oakland.Lady Fancy Nails"One of my girls was doing her nails at lunch and I asked her what she was up to. I sat with her and she taught me how to use the nail art brushes. At that time in my life I didn't feel like I was nurturing my artistic side and this got me excited again. She sent me to all her favorite beauty supply stores and I started practicing on my friends. I wanted to explore this new art form for myself but I also learned it was a really special time for women to get together. I've always been a tomboy and this was the only space in my life that my women friends and I could connect and have this exclusively female space. The only problem is...I can't really play basketball anymore! Basketball and modern dance were always my things but you can imagine how hard it is to practice with done-up nails..."Lady Fancy NailsHer newfound passion in nail art followed her from Oakland to Boston where she spent her free time outside of class manning the mini nail studio she created in her Harvard dorm room. When Eda graduated she was uncertain of whether she wanted to head back to the West Coast or remain on the East Coast. Ultimately, her father's NYC upbringing and her sister's residence in the city, persuaded her to make the move. Intending on living in NYC for no more than a couple of months, Eda has now lived here for over two years.Lady Fancy Nails"I thrive off of challenge and need to be pushed - I feel that energy in New York. The city is accentuating things about my personality that have always existed but never come to life - I am truly redefining myself. Being raised by in California by a New Yorker (my dad) I felt out of place - he taught us street smarts that didn't apply to our environment at the time. Those learnings have helped me thrive out here, a place where you can't hide behind your insecurities."Lady Fancy NailsFor a long time Eda questioned her legitimacy in the art space, wondering if nail art was on the same level as sculpting, painting or making music. Positive encouragement really helped validate nail art as her form of art and much of that positivity came from her NYC peers.Lady Fancy Nails"I had a bunch of friends in NYC that I knew from college who helped connect me. They would encourage me to practice my art by setting up nail tables at day parties hosted by DJ's I knew. I began meeting other nail artists through events and, you know NYC...you meet one person and then another and you can hit the ground running. I feel really lucky for that."Lady Fancy NailsEda currently works at a public health organization during the week but on evenings and weekend she pursues nails, whether client appointments or fashion shoots. Not only is it a creative outlet and a nice break from her day-to-day, but the experience of nail art involves inherent healing aspects that naturally appeal to her. Her goal this year is to mix her two worlds, teaching other young women the practice of nail art and helping them understand ways in which they can change the world and become community leaders.Lady Fancy Nails"Teenagers are some of the most magical and brilliant influencers in the world. I do a lot of affirmation building to tap into their source of power as people and show how they can impact the world. I know I haven't even scratched the surface of what's possible out here in NYC."

*Follow Lady Fancy Nails on Instagram and Tumblr, and email Eda@ladyfancynails.com to book appointments or events.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. zentai store says:

    Hi there! This article couldn’t be written any better!
    Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send
    this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

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