Now working with major pop stars like Katy Perry and Pink, Celebrity Manicurist Pattie Yankee has come a long way since her days teaching at a dance academy in Florida. That’s right, the former dance instructor got hooked on “all things nail-related” and enrolled in nail school after she was asked to be a hand model for a nail art competition.
Upon graduating, she moved to New York with plans to continue to teach dance. But on a chance visit to a salon, she was hired to fill in for a nail tech, and voila! Her full-time nail career began. More doors opened for Pattie when she met with an educator for Creative Nail Design. From this connection, she also became a nail educator, and worked her first Fashion Week, where she immediately began building a list of celebrity clientele.
Fellow Celebrity Manicurist Kimmie Kyees began sending even more celeb referrals to her when they needed a go-to in New York. This continued to help build her celebrity roster to eventually include Katy Perry, Pink and the Kardashians. In return, she sent referrals back to Kimmie on the west coast. “It made me realize how important it is to respect your peers and have a good working relationship, instead of trying to compete or outdo your fellow nail techs. We can all benefit from helping each other,” she explains. Find out what’s in her set bag, the best advice she’s ever received and what she’s digging in the way of fall nail trends.
WHAT WAS SOME OF THE BEST ADVICE YOU RECEIVED AS YOU WERE FINDING YOUR WAY IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY??
The nail tech who inspired me back in Florida and got me my start told me, “It is better to take the time to do one client perfectly than to do a mediocre job on 10 clients. You will get more referrals and return clients on that one client then the 10 you didn't invest time in.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING MANICURISTS?
Give 100% to everything you do, and do every service the way you would want it done on yourself.
WHAT CLIENTS HAVE YOU WORKED WITH RECENTLY?
Khloe Kardashian, Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Katy Perry, Mariqueen Reznor and Rita Ora.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE NAIL TRENDS FOR FALL?
For the fall, I love gunmetal metallic, various shades of gray, foil art, and variations on the reverse French or "moon" mani.
DO YOU HAVE A SIGNATURE COLOR THA TYOU PERSONALLY WEAR?
Recently I've been wearing my own color, Presence, from my polish line Patricia Nail Lacquer. I prefer to wear neutrals or nude shades, and this shade was perfect for the summer months, but now I will move to my shade called Flesh for the fall, which is a mauve-based neutral shade that is warmer for the winter months.
YOU'VE HAD A LONG CAREER IN THE NAIL INDUSTRY FROM BEING AN EDUCATOR TO AN ENTREPRENEUR AND CONTINUING TO BE A WORKING ARTIST. HOW DO YOU MANAGE IT ALL?
I cut out sleep from my schedule! I feel there aren't enough hours in the day as it is so I tend to not sleep very much so I can get everything I need finished.
IF WE GRABBED YOUR KIT OR SET BAG, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STAPLES THAT WE'D FIND IN THERE?
A full set of my own Patricia Polish Line and some other miscellaneous colors from other nail lines, several sets of my Inspire Press-On Nails, a variety of gel polish colors, an LED light, tons of Swarovski crystals and other typical nail tools, like clippers, nippers and nail files.
WHAT'S SOMETHING WE'D NEVER KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT WE MIGHT BE SURPRISED BY?
The fact that I taught various styles of dance for 15 years.
WHAT'S THE NUMBER ONE BAD THING WE CAN DO TO OUR NAILS?
Peeling or ripping off gel polish, it peels layers of the nail bed off and leaves severe, long-lasting damage.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?
For now, I want to expand more on my product line and consult with other companies and artists to elevate the nail industry - to innovate and establish new trends and products. After that... who knows! I take opportunities and walk through doors as they open for me and trust God to lead me where I am supposed to be.