We are so happy for Tammy and our friends at NAF! that their salon is finally opening up again!! We’re sure many of you have got your bookings in to get your mani pedis the care they’re desperately needing - we are so thankful how those press on nails saved our little cuticles!! 
For this blog, we’re very lucky to have a catch up with Tammy ahead of the shop’s reopening. Being both the beauty and brains behind NAF!, we’re thrilled to get an insight into how she’s grown her business into a Glasgow staple and how she’s adapted in the past year. Keep reading for a peek into Tammy’s world!

Tell our readers a bit about yourself! What inspired you to start NAF? 

Hello! I’m Tammy, I’m Founder & Creative Director at NAF! Salon, NAF! School & NAF! Stuff and I love dogs (a lot) but that’s not really got anything to do with my career. I wanted to open my own salon after realising that, although there were some amazing nail techs in Glasgow, there wasn’t a big nail art bar with loads of nail artists like the ones I wanted to visit in other places. I’d never worked in a salon before but I had been doing nails on my own and as a session manicurist for a few years already as well as running a business that sold false nails and nail transfers to brands like ASOS, Nasty Gal & Urban Outfitters so thought if anyone was going to do it, it might as well be me - 6 years on I realise how naive that was but I’m glad I did it anyway! I opened the doors to NAF! Salon in 2015, and started our vegan and cruelty free hand & nail care brand, NAF! Stuff, in 2017 alongside it. One of my biggest passions is creating meaningful careers in the beauty industry, which is why we launched NAF! School, our training academy, in 2020! I’ve got a team of 19 across all three businesses and we work with 6 regular freelancers/consultants which can be a lot people to keep in touch with - luckily they’re all fab and I love a chat!

How do you keep creative when leading a business? 

It can be tough! In some ways, when you grow your business, you’re creating more avenues and opportunities to express your creativity which is amazing. Sometimes, though, it can feel like the more you grow, the less creative you get to be because you need eyes on all of those projects and if you’re overseeing everything it’s hard to feel that spark when you’re ticking checkboxes all day - although problem solving is also creative thinking too! I’m learning to delegate things and relinquish control of certain tasks so that I can do what I do best by building in some space to listen to my gut when creativity hits and get making/designing/planning!

The past year has thrown a lot of curveballs to small businesses! What were the biggest challenges for you and how did you overcome them?

The past year has just been challenge after challenge - all three of my businesses have been affected in a major way. The most obvious challenge was the lack of income, but in all honesty my biggest challenge was just getting through it. There isn’t an area of NAF! that hasn’t been impacted by the pandemic and I’ve felt so out of my comfort zone - which is hard when you’re leading a team who is also dealing with scenarios they’ve never dealt with or even had the need to plan for. It’s hard to make solid plans in an uncertain world and alongside that we’ve had to navigate 2/3 of our team being furloughed and the other 1/3 working from home and our freelancers and supply chain doing the same - communication is so difficult - Zoom is awkward, emails are so clunky and phonecalls can be draining. I’m so proud of how we’ve worked through everything and I’m SO proud of everyone in our team getting involved in NAF!’s Press On Nails in Lockdown 3, it was a big operation but we did it and couldn’t be more thankful for everyone who bought a set - it literally kept us going! We also got them featured in Stylist recently which is pretty cool!

We have loved watching NAF grow over the years which has undoubtedly been led by your creativity and business innovation, how have you adapted in the past year?

Aw that’s so lovely! I’ve had a really hard year and feel like it’s important to be honest about the fact that I have really struggled with my mental health - but looking back on the past 12/13 months has made me realise that we still achieved some pretty amazing things at NAF! despite it all. I’m not sure how I’ve adapted other than getting used to the constant blows and moving everything online but I’m sure once we get a little bit of normality back we’ll all be able to sit and unpack the ways in which we’ve grown over the past year and give ourselves a big pat on the back.

What has been the best piece of advice you have learned over the years? 

The best piece of advice has honestly been to look at any situation and ask “Will it matter in a years time?” - I guess it’s more like, "what will the impact of this decision be in years time?”. I like to ask this when I’m making any decision - big or small! I usually use it to weigh up the cost of something vs it’s value but it always helps me ask my gut the right questions.

What are you most looking forward to once NAF! Salon reopens on 26th April?! 

I honestly just can’t wait for the salon to have a purpose again - to walk through those doors and see our incredible nail techs being creative and passionate about their craft, to see our front desk greeting and tending to the clients we’ve so desperately missed and hearing music, chatter and laughter in there again. I can’t wait for our clients to have a spring in their step with their fresh manis and pedis and I’m just really excited to put energy back into the job we know how to do, rather than treading water in unknown territory like we have been for the majority of the year. It’ll just be so nice to have the team back together.
If you'd like to book an appointment for NAF! (highly recommended) click here: Sending lots of love to all the NAF! team, we will see you very soon. #NAFIA
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