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Vans Community Series: Rebecca Ramsdale

Vans Community Series: Rebecca Ramsdale

We recently caught up with Toronto based nail artist Rebecca Ramsdale, she invited us to check out her brand new nail salon @rebeccapaintsnails and show off her amazing designs. She also filled us in on how her booming business came to be, her favourite Toronto fashion designers, what makes a great ‘Fit Pic’ and which Van’s she’s currently wearing the most.

Photos by: Giulz Rucchetto @semipreciousgiulz

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Hey Rebecca, you’ve recently made a pretty exciting move, to open your own nail salon, how’s it going so far?

It’s going great thanks! I love doing nail art so I’m super excited I get to do nails all day long now, and having a private studio of my own is something I’ve dreamed of!

How did “Rebecca Paints Nails” get started? And what inspired the move to full time nail art?

Things really kicked off a few years ago when I started designing my nail sets based off runway shows. I used to spend hours in photoshop drawing up my ideas then taking them into salon to get done. Fast forward a couple years, and a few months into the pandemic, and I was hand painting and selling press on nails online, with the dream of opening up a little studio to take clients. A few months later from then, I started taking clients part time when I wasn’t working at my other job, and eventually I knew this was what I wanted to be doing as my career.

How did you find the location to open up your new salon? How would you describe it’s interior design style?

I found my studio through a friend! Long story short, he had just bought a building with some commercial space in it and had plans to do some big renovations, but because the reno process is not a quick one, he offered to rent me some space so I could set up my studio. So really a huge shoutout to him because I truly wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for his kindness! 

Describing the interior style is hard! It’s cute, a little kitsch, but still fairly simple. There was a lot of DIY involved (see hand painted checkerboard floor, pink mirror), but I tried to include a few of my favourite things without going overboard.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to start their own business?

Start slowly, and make sure you love what you do. I dove head first into my nail obsession, spending all my free time watching YouTube videos and absorbing as much as I could, but when it came to the business, I eased my way in. I kept my job so I always felt secure and gradually let the business build around me until I was ready to take it on full time. I saw a meme floating around the internet (lol as if I’m about to quote a meme in an interview) that said ‘I didn’t want a 9-5 but now I work 24/7’ which feels so wildly true when running your own business. It’s important to enjoy what you’re putting in all the effort for, otherwise it might not feel worth it!

Other than nail art, what are some of your creative outlets?

Clothes and fashion have always been my thing. I went to school for fashion, spent all my time (and money) on clothes, and while most of my thoughts are now focused on nails, I still love putting together an outfit, and will never pass up a trip to the thrift store. 

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

Truly just the warmth and being outside. I love walking around the city, and there’s nothing quite like doing it when the sun is shining.

You’ve been known to drop a great ‘fit pic’ on the feed, who are a few of your favourite designers and are there any local labels you’ve been into lately?

Kathryn Bowen is a Toronto-based designer and I’ve been fan-girling over her pieces for ages - she’s so talented. Not local, but Quiet Ceremony from Ireland makes some amazing pieces. Lucinda of Quiet Ceremony refers to herself as ‘Eco-punk’ and makes tons of the pieces from dead stock fabrics and yarn. 

What music/podcasts/tv shows have you been getting into recently?

Honestly I just got myself a library card and have been deep diving into all of the audio books the Libby app has to offer haha. 

Do you remember what your first (or favorite) pair of Vans was?

Yes! My very first pair of vans I got in middle school. They were pink checkerboard slip ons, but rather than being the classic checkerboard, the squares were made to look like a crossword puzzle. I wore them until I wore holes in them.

What pair of Vans are you currently wearing and why did you pick this pair?

I’m a big fan of a half cab. I love how puffy they are, and the silhouette is pretty unique to them. I even have a backup pair still in the box for when my current pair is too beat up.

Any shout outs?

Huge shoutout to my boyfriend Pat! He’s not only my biggest supporter, but the person who has been pushing me to my full potential for the last decade. I couldn’t imagine doing life without him!

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