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Milwaukee woman follows dream and starts nail tech school amid pandemic

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Posted at 6:58 AM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 12:57:36-04

MILWAUKEE — Motivational quotes like "Live Your Dream," hang on the walls inside of Milwaukee's Advanced Nail Tech Academy on N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

The messages are reminders passion and faith can take you to new heights. Tokara Henry knows all about that.

"I'm from the community and I want to have a business that is of the community," Henry said.

Henry is opening up a new nail tech school. She'll be the headteacher for 13-week courses she offers where students can learn to become manicurists. The first session starts on June 14

"When the students become licensed, they will be able to really find some financial freedom. They will be able to open their own business or go work for an already established salon," she said.

Rewind a year ago to our virtual interview with Henry and times were tougher. Back then, her business was Bijou Nail Salon and Company and she had four employees.

"This pandemic, it just completely wiped us out. We went from being successful and thriving for ten years, to absolutely nothing," Henry told us back in May of 2020.

"At some point during that time, were you thinking, I don't know if I can get through this?" TMJ4 News' Kristin Byrne asked Henry.

"Actually I was not," she answered.

"I have been through worse things than this. My life has been my testimony and my life is my ministry."

"It was really about having a moment to reflect and again just having a moment to chart my next course."

At Advanced Nail Tech Academy, students will learn how to do nails, but also how to build clientele and how to market a business.

"It's a 300-hour course and we will do a part-time schedule for 13 weeks," said Henry.

Classes will be held Monday through Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m. Henry says that gives people who work other jobs an opportunity to try something else.

"So, in 13 weeks you can get your license to become a manicurist here in the state of Wisconsin."

Students don't have to look hard for inspiration. Henry herself is a person who makes her dreams come true.

"You can cry over the things you don't have or you can think about what's coming next," she said.

"It's just time for me to give back to other individuals who want to grow as well," she said.

Advanced Nail Tech Academy will have an open house on June 2 from 5 to 7 p.m.

No experience is needed to sign up for the course.

Click here for more details.

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