We met this week's Nails of New York at a 6AM workout class at the beautiful Nike studio in Soho. Despite dragging our feet to get there, Rachel's radiance and mentality of meeting people where they are quickly transpired into immediate peacefulness and energy to last throughout the class. She's quick to admit that when you're training with her, there are no labels, no judgements, and no expectations of what you should be. You may not love her while she's kicking your butt, but you will always be safe and supported through her tough love (a great feeling!).
Rachel is proof that women aren't just one thing and don't fit into molds–she's also an actor and trained doula, in addition to a mind/body-focused trainer. Her days consistently begin remarkably early, so she can maintain the much-desired work-life balance and drink wine and cook in the evenings with her now- fiancé, Sam. And despite fitness being a large part of Rachel's day-to-day, she's also a deep-rooted beauty girl at heart. Read more to learn about the way her mother taught her the importance of always having her nails done, and how her childhood nail business has been influential in building her own brand and clientele.
Why do you paint your nails?
My mom got her nails done every two weeks and still does. Growing up, she always took me with her, and it taught me at a young age to take time for self care. It's crazy–my mom and I are 3,000 miles apart, but sometimes we get the exact same color or design. We're totally in sync when it comes to our nails.
My nails have always been something I am known for, and I always found it to be a way to express myself. My aunt used to say, 'All on or all off.' Chipped nails were unacceptable in my family. It sounds silly, but it really taught me to take pride in my appearance and take the time to pamper myself–whether I painted them myself or went to get them done.
When I was in 6th grade I started my own business. I gave manis and pedis out of my "kitchen" salon. I had regular clients and a purple Caboodle that was filled with various colors, files, buffers, and cuticle cutters. My nail habit taught me more than caring for myself or being cute. I learned an art, a craft, and made money by starting to promote my services.
Can you tell us a little about your job?
I moved to NYC to study acting. After school while I was auditioning, I started to take a lot of fitness classes–I got hooked on barre and hot yoga. I have always played sports, but group fitness and yoga were new for me. I decided to do a yoga teacher training out of curiosity about the philosophy (not necessarily the teaching aspect) and was blown away by how much I enjoyed it.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Supporting and encouraging people as they work to achieve their goals. Teaching brings me so much joy. My purpose in life is to affect change in my community. I feel successful about creating change when I act and tell the stories of the voiceless and powerless. After my yoga training, I received my barre certification from Exhale, followed by TRX, prenatal/postnatal fitness, Pilates, Kettlebells, and I also became a DONA doula. I love encouraging and serving others. My mother is a teacher so I share her passion for teaching and helping people.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Books, travel, family, my amazing dog Zia and my fiancé Sam.