Nail Gyptian: Compton Based Nail Artist Inspired By Ghana and Black Femmes

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Compton, CA– Kira G was living her life in D.C as a Howard University grad student when the coronavirus pandemic halted life as she knew it. Rather than be thrown off and wait patiently until things went back to “normal” the Compton native used the time to continue growing and expanding her nail art business, Naked Gold Online.

“I was displaced when covid happened and everyone was quarantining. Most of my school went online and I was pretty much forced to come back home,” Nakira expressed one afternoon at the non-profit Color Compton.

Although she has managed to stay busy and afloat during the pandemic, Nakira understands that many college students have been affected by the pandemic in various ways due to campus closures and the lack of institutional support. Students were forced to pack up and move back home and many were left to figure it out on their own due to a lack of resources.

In December, Nakira collaborated with Compton Community Garden to distribute care packages to HBCU students who live around the South Central community. The HBCU care package in L.A event was also accompanied by a panel discussion.

“I just wanted to support other students like me, who might have been stuck in L.A or had to come back home, especially because there are no HCBU’s in L.A. Care packages are kind of a academic tradition all across the board. December and January is a time when students expect to get care packages from their families and friends so we just wanted to keep the tradition going.”

Nakira has been doing nails since she was 15-years-old, practicing on herself for the first two years. She has also had the opportunity to work at ES Nails, one of the top Japanese nail salons in Los Angeles.

While a student at San Francisco State University, Nakira traveled abroad and attended the University of Ghana her senior year. This helped her to not only broaden her understanding between the African diaspora and herself, but she was able to learn their nail industry and techniques.

This is where she developed the idea to create art decal for press on nails and she started her business while in Ghana. While there, Nakira also met model Ebonee Davis. This encounter would later lead to Nakira doing the nails in Ebonee Davis new music video “222” released December 2020.

“When I saw how women in the salons did their nails, I was inspired to do the press-ons and the full cover tip because I saw there was a market for that which could be sold inside salons, vs in America, these are sold outside the salon.”

Thanks to studying business and African-American studies, by the time Nakira finished her undergrad she had a clear sense of Black-business, from the academic standpoint, to personal. Her biggest focus has been figuring out what Black people need and ways to provide that without exploitation.

Follow and support her work @Iamnailgyptian

Slauson Girl is a South Central native who has a love for journalism, history and all things Hip-Hop. She holds a B.A in Critical Race & Gender Theory & a Minor in Journalism. Follow Me on IG @Slausongirl

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