Like many great ideas, Trophy Wife Nail Art came from humble beginnings. “The nail technicians I used to go to would think I was crazy because I always wanted my nails painted 10 different colours,” says the woman behind the business Chelsea Bagan. She decided to take things into her own hands.

“About two years ago I started experimenting with nail art at home. I bought a bunch of tools off the internet and I would change them every day. I got so many compliments all the time and suddenly friends and then friends of friends were asking me to do it for them.”

So with the degrees of separation beginning to grow, Bagan decided to take things off the kitchen table and turn it into a profession. “There’s just not really anywhere that offers cool nail art here. Well, not that I could easily find, anyway,” she says.

“The thing about nail art is it can be different every day. I love that it can be a statement and that you can match your clothes around it.” Opening for business eight months ago, things have been on the up and up for Bagan ever since. And it seems that she caught the trend just in time.

“Fashion designers now incorporate nail art into their runway shows and look-books. I think nails have been a wasted canvas until now. People are starting to realise that their nails are a really fun and accessible fashion item.”

And with an ethos like that, it’s hard not to fall in love with Bagan’s fantastical designs. Starting at the more traditional end of the spectrum, Bagan’s designs might draw their inspiration from anything from flamingos and the Milky Way, to mushrooms, lightning bolts and watermelons.

Rising to the challenge is something Bagan clearly relishes and she admits, “A lot of people come in with the idea that they want to keep it conservative, but I think that once they sit down and have a look, they come to the conclusion that if you are going to do it, you might as well go out and get something you can’t do at home.”

With the future looking bright for Trophy Wife, there is only one thing left to conquer. “My ideal client is Seal, but he won’t return my emails and I think that show is ending now, so I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

Trophy Wife Nail Art
Level 3, 70–80 Wellington Street, Collingwood

Mon & Tues 7pm–10pm
Wed & Thurs 11am–10pm
Fri & Sat 11am–7pm
Sun 11am–5pm

Bookings are by appointment only, check the website for details. Home visits are available for groups of three or more.