I met self-taught nail artist, Taryn Multack, at a conference in February of 2013 and was completely impressed. She is a total sweetheart - one of those people you just want to be around. Her blog, Miss Ladyfinger, literally brings the best runway looks right to your finger tips, taking patterns and prints from garments and giving step-by-step instructions that detail how to get that same look for your nails. Her story is the perfect example of how to turn a passion into your full time job.
I'm originally from the suburbs of Chicago, but have been living in New York every summer since I was 16 when I had my first fashion internship. After graduating from Syracuse University, I moved straight back to NYC where I worked for a few years doing trend forecasting for Macy's. It was during that time that I decided to start Miss Ladyfinger as a creative outlet to merge my love of fashion and nails. I was sitting at a show during NYFW so inspired by all the prints coming off the runway that in September of 2011 I decided to try my first runway-inspired nail art. The rest is history!
Where did you move from and why?
I moved here from Chicago in 2009 right after college. I knew to be in fashion, this is the place I had to be.
First impression of New York in 3 words.
Energy, opportunity, and structure.
One item you moved with and will keep forever?
Home videos of my childhood burned onto a DVD.
Looking back, what advice would you give to the freshly arrived version of you?
Don't think you have to climb the corporate ladder to survive here. You can be anything you want.
What's the worst job you've ever had?
My magazine internship wasn't the worst job I've had, but it definitely was the most challenging. It was extremely fast-paced and cutthroat. Ten of us interns in the fashion closet would clamber for opportunities to impress the editors. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into that internship. At the end of the day, however, it was also the most rewarding job I've ever had. I was the only intern chosen to assist the couture shoot with Anne Hathaway. It made it all worth it.
When did you first consider yourself a "New Yorker"?
When I was able to direct someone on how to take the subway! That was an exciting moment.
How has New York influenced your career?
I've been coming to New York every summer since I was 16 for internships and fashion programs that could open my eyes to different avenues of the fashion industry. I definitely wouldn't have been able to get such invaluable experience anywhere else.
If not New York, where else?
Chicago - my second love and home.
What's your greatest moment of vulnerability since moving to NYC?
I was out with friends one night at a lounge and put my clutch down at our table for one second before all of a sudden it was gone. Many hours and tears later it turned up, but without my cell or wallet in it. It was violating for sure, but could have been a lot worse. I learned my lesson; always clutch your belongings for dear life (just kidding... no, but really).
What's your proudest moment?
The day I quit my corporate job to pursue my business full-time, I went straight to cover NYFW for Miss Ladyfinger. I was watching the runway rehearsal of one of my all-time favorite designers, and I just started crying tears of happiness.
I'm not a tourist but I still...get excited when I stumble upon a Sex and the City spot.
You'll usually find me... running along Hudson River Park.
One thing that's worth the money...Broadway shows.
Don't trust... street meat.
Do trust... that the best pizza is Little Italy's on University. You can thank me later.
When it comes to NYC I hate... vermin.
When it comes to NYC I love... that it never sleeps.
I'll move out of NYC when... my nail polish collection swallows me whole.
Three things you want people to know about anything.
1. Friends is one of my favorite TV shows of ALL-time and that's where the name Miss Ladyfinger came from. You know the one where Rachel tries to make an English Truffle and accidentally puts in a layer of ladyfingers
2. I have over 830 bottles of nail polish.
3. I haven't gotten a manicure from a salon since I was a freshmen in high school.