Nails by Boon creates nail art that will make you swoon!

Nails by Boon is one of the coolest nail shops we’ve ever had the pleasure of walking into and engaging with. Jaimie’s work is fun, quirky, and exciting, and it fits into absolutely any aesthetic [5 stars from us]. We got to chat with Jaimie about her shop, her work, her life, and her inspirations. We even have a super cool list of Top 5 Miley Cyrus eras! Read the article below to see some of Jaimie’s cool nail art and to be put onto some really good music too.

Who is Jaimie?

It somehow feels bizarre to try to sum myself up in a few words.

I suppose I am an artist, a creative, a musician, I’m a dog mom to two dogs (I talk about my pets a lot), I’m a lover of tattoos and style and yeah I’m pretty goofy.  I love rewatching tv shows and movies, I love music- I’m a huge fan of Bon Iver, Ry X, Billie Eilish and Mile Cyrus (to name a few), I basically love all things art and I love my dogs (did I mention them yet? 😉 ) I also play synth and add vocal harmonies in a band called Orah & the Kites, with my best friends, which also serves as another creative outlet for me. I’m generally a big softie, I guess I just have a lot of feelings (that’s a Mean Girls reference for sure). 

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Zimbabwe where I grew up in a small rural area outside of a city called Mutare. I immigrated to Cape Town at the age of 14 where I have lived since. 

When and how did you discover your love of art?

To be honest I think I have always loved art or creating in some form. When I was little I was always drawing or singing or creating worlds to play in. I grew up in those early years with parents who loved music and art. My mom has always collected beautiful paintings, tapestries and ornaments and she has impeccable style- I think that also influenced me a lot. My dad was also very artistic too, he was really good at drawing when he was young. Plus my sister Thea Nicole is also an artist so I’d say it runs deep in the family. 

I guess a noteworthy thing I made as a young kid was this boss babe plane I drew at the age of 8 for a British airways competition. It was a plane with hearts and shapes and it was absolutely adorable. I won a load of toys, got to tour the concord plane (which for some reason was a big deal as an 8 year old in Zimbabwe) so that was cute? 

I think it took a long time for me to actually feel comfortable calling myself an artist- it was like one of those things where I thought “you should let other people call you that”. Like it’s only true if other people say it’s true. Which is absurd but that was my mentality. It’s been an interesting journey acknowledging and accepting and appreciating myself as an artist and a creative and actually believing it. 

What was the first thing you ever created?

I mean I don’t really have any recollection of this cause I was “just a baybeee” but it rained a lot where I grew up and we made little statues and pots and shapes out of clay in the garden and dried it in the sun. It was super cute and I wish I still had them. 

How did you get into nail art?

My mother in-law Erika Breytenbach is a nail trainer and was a tech for many years and she got me into the industry. She knew my love for all things arty and asked if I’d like to teach a nail art class. I didn’t wanna be a con artist (as I had never done anything with nails before) so I took a nail art class with nails by Matthew (who works at Paradise cosmetics. I had really never been into nails before which is wild because it’s my whole life now and you would never catch with me bare nails. So yeah- I took a class and fell in LOVE. I so badly wanted to do it full time but was terrified to quit my stable day job and risk failure. But it was a dream that was constantly nagging at me and so I took a moment in that first lockdown of 2020 and made plans to start my business. I quit my job and then in July of that year I opened Nails by Boon and never looked back. And that’s my origin story! 

What have some of your favourite creative nail art pieces been?

I did a wild tarot set that I loved so much, another cute set with little houses, tattoo inspired sets- this question is actually really hard to answer cause I don’t even know how to label or list some of the sets I’ve done. I’m like “oooh what about that wild kinda abstract one?” 

There was this other navy blue set with flowers and birds and shapes and figures that really was gorgeous. I guess the pictures will do it more justice than I can 

What is your daily creative process?

My creative processes differ with the different creative pursuits I have. With my bigger art, I do body prints and work into those- which are always inspired by nature, birds and insects. It’s a little more immersive and i have to find myself in the right mental and physical space as it involves me painting my own body and pressing that to paper. So it’s messy and just takes time. I take great inspiration from shapes found in nature or sometimes music or my emotional space inspires the progress of a piece. 

With nail art I guess I also tend to just go with the flow as I work- I try to prepare some nail flash ideas but it’s often an “in the moment” kinda thing. Clients do bring me inspiration that they find, whether it is something they have drawn, another nail tech’s work (which I always try to credit the inspiration for) or we work together and come up with something cute. I have a few clients who let me just fly and create whatever comes to the surface. I think the thing I love the most is seeing how people like to express themselves through me. It is a strange space to find balance and trust and I feel honored to hold that space for people. 

 I really do draw a lot of inspo from artists I come across on insta and sometimes have that imposter syndrome feeling of “omg when will I ever be as good as these artists”  like @naileditbyalyssa “bhambinails  @theeditorialnaill @nailthoughts @asabree @thenailritual @buffbarbristol and @nail.apy @happyhandsnyc

It is so wild because so many of these nail techs who have thousands of followers and feel like giants in the industry to me have been so welcoming and friendly and helpful. It is such a moment for me and I want to be like that in return- sharing knowledge and empowering others is very important to me and I am trying to find ways to do it more and more. I really feel there are enough clients to go around, there is enough space for us all to exist and to help one another. I hate the vibe of gatekeeping knowledge or trying to jealously guard your position in an industry. I mean my dream would be to become a household nail name and to also become a giant in the industry but I really want to be more known for helping others within this space who maybe seek guidance or help. I am also just trying to take it all as it comes and to be patient and grateful at each step of the journey. I am in no rush and really I’m just happy to even be where I am right now. 

It’s also important to reference some local creative nail artists that inspire me daily like @khanyisanailz @minelliart and @nailsbymatthew_ @nailenvy_sa to name a few.

How do you tap into what inspires you?

Honestly sometimes it’s tricky- sometimes it comes to me in a momentary flash and if I don’t latch onto that- I won’t create. With my work doing nails it is a little different because I HAVE to be engaged, I HAVE to be creative and present and so it does challenge me to create and think. I think music inspires me a lot, spaces inspire me, nature inspires me. My mental health is something that moves or motivates me and can sometimes be either the spark that ignites it or the water that dampens it.

Tell us about your daily routine.

Omg, trying to create routine in my business is probably the biggest point of contention in my life. Sometimes I work pretty crazy hours and then all hell seems to break loose in my life. I have a partner that helps stabilize and support that, which I think is really the most important thing that helps keep me together. Each week I try to set a small goal and structure of routine for that specific week and it feels more manageable to do it that way. I wake up early, have tea, walk the dogs, shower and get ready for the day. Sometimes (very rarely) I throw in a trip to the gym. I think being out in the park with my dogs is something that helps find routine-cause really it’s for them which in turn helps me cause i love it there. My work routine is pretty standard- I try to set 2.5 hrs for each client and I see around 3 or 4 people each day. It tends to be quite deep focus work so I’m trying to find ways to be a bit easier on my eyes and hands outside of work (I’m super addicted to my phone) so right now I’m working on other ways to rest and recuperate after work. 

Who are you currently listening to?

My friend @nannaventer introduced me to Beabadoobee and I am playing ‘Talk’ on repeat. I’m also listening to a small playlist I’ve been creating ( I am never intentional about playlists I always just throw what I love on there) but I’ve been creating a playlist called “All the Babes” and it is just badass babes doing the most and being the best. Plus Miley Cyrus’ latest live album compilation she dropped is a biggie for me right now. 

Some songs include: 

‘Hardcore happy’ by THE BLSSM

‘Love on repeat’ by Mikhaela Faye

‘Aphotic Waters’ by Diamond Thug 

‘Circle the drain’ by Soccer Mommy

What inspires your personal aesthetic?

Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, tattoo culture, I love knitwear and antique jewelry, I don’t really know if i have a curated aesthetic of any sort. I always wanna try to tap into current trends but every time I do I just revert to the stuff that feels more like me. I love comfortable shoes and loads of rings, I love long wild nails, I generally just vibe with whatever feels most like me. 

Top 5 anything under any topic you like?

Choosing a top 5 in any category made my mind spin! Like how do you narrow down anything into a set of 5? And then how do you choose something to even rate? So I listened to my gut and maybe this is ridiculous but here you go:

Top 5 Miley Cyrus Eras (in terms of aesthetic) 

  • 2019 ‘She is coming’ Era- the hair, the look, the vibe- absolute banger tracks. This was a moment and her 2019 Primavera performance is something I frequently refer to when I need to feel more like a bad bitch.  
  • Hannah Montana- specifically when she got her new wig for the movie (it was a moment) – this actually should be item number 1 cause it’s the OG moment. 
  • Bangerz album era- short hair and all tongue- this era was wrecking ball, it was her flying on a giant hot dog in the stadium and it was a new moment of personal freedom for me
  • Plastic hearts era- really should also be at the top because it influenced my own mullet era but heyo- this era feels so authentic and she is just entering her icon stage. Powerhouse vocals, creative lyricism, collars with incredible artists like Billy Idol, Stevie Nicks, lil Nas x – Miley lives with what comes across as total freedom (in terms of sense of self)- she is always reinventing and exploring and i wanna live like that
  • Malibu era- it was everything soft and gentle and loved, with references to country moments and being in love 

Is it weird that I did my top 5 in Miley Cyrus?

What can we look forward to for the rest of 2022?

2022 feels like a year of finding stability and moving towards personal growth. I always set myself big creative goals and then shy away from exposing myself and being vulnerable with it. I am planning for a potential exhibition this year, I am releasing a small line of merch in collaboration with another local artist I love, and a few other projects I don’t quite want to speak on just yet- but will release on social media in the coming months. 

images have been sourced from FilmAffinity



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