Updated: Oct 8, 2021
From East Arlington, Texas, to San Diego, California, Eloisa Perez, better known as Marie Nailz, went from being a high school dropout to a celebrity nail artist. Perez got her start in nails in 2016 at the age of 17. She has always had a creative spirit and grew up watching her mom flaunt long nails, but she found inspiration on social media to start her craft one day.
Perez was a part of the inaugural Arlington Collegiate High school. She was one of 112 people who got accepted as the first class. Her mother and Grandmother always instilled drive and hard work into her attitude. The death of her grandmother in 2009, motivated her to work even harder. She started her first job at 13 years old, selling shoes in Mexico. At 14, her family moved back to the United States, working at a dry cleaner. After being kicked out of her mother’s house by her stepdad, her best friend's parents, Michelle and Gabriel, took her in and helped her enroll in Hutcheson Jr. High School. “I recommend to anyone who feels like they are stuck or something is not right to leave that toxic environment,” she says about being kicked out.
She worked at Whataburger while going to school but saw an opportunity for success.
Perez always had a passion for cosmetology. She dropped out of high school and after saving $253, she ordered her first nail kit and hasn’t stopped doing nails since. She built her clientele, starting with girls at school and then from social media.
While working at Trader’s Village one day, she met her now-fiancé, Pete. The two connected over their hustler mentality and support for each other. “We always feed and water each other, like plants do to grow each other,” says Perez. As they grew a network here in Arlington, they always had a plan to move to California after a vacation. With $7,000, the couple bought an RV, sold everything and moved.
This quick decision landed them in some tough times. “It is very expensive out here. We didn’t know anyone. We didn’t know anything. We learned about a shelter,” she says. Perez and her boyfriend Pete lived in a shelter and hit rock bottom out in San Diego. While discussing her time being homeless in California, Perez says this was one of the best times of her life because she did not have to worry about bills.
“That moment gave me the mental clarity to build what I have now and not go to the extreme with materials.
Planning & Networking
During her time being homeless, Perez educated herself on society, the government and came up with her purpose on this Earth. While she worked at Walmart and Pete worked at Jack-In-The-Box, the couple decided to save three paychecks which they invested into her nail business. She gained clients in San Diego and eventually landed her first celebrity client, Blac Chyna. Perez and Blac Chyna grew a relationship that helped to expand both of their business ventures.
“Being in the streets helped me a lot with my personality and communication skills”
While doing nails for Tokyo Stylez, a celebrity hairstylist, Perez was questioned about potentially working with different celebrities. A few days later, famous rapper Cardi B needed a nail tech that was available that night. Working off two hours of sleep, she created a set for Cardi B, which started a relationship. Marie Nailz has worked which many celebrities such as Cuban Doll, Lyrica Anderson, Lira Galore, A1 Bentley and even did a mini manicure for Kulture Kiari (Cardi B and Offset’s daughter) during her latest years as a nail innovator. Her attention to detail, personality and dedicated attitude help to continue her business.
Perez has created a nail empire for herself that is built to last. While still doing celebrity clients, she teaches other people online and in person by selling her knowledge and expertise in nail art. Having once gone through hard times; she and her fiancé now have an apartment overlooking the shelter they once called home. They commit daily to giving back to people who are in challenging situations like they once were.
Marie Nailz is an inspiration and a gem to Arlington, Texas. Her nail innovations are all over social media, the internet, ad campaigns and music videos. Thank you for sharing your story and creativity with us.
To learn more about Marie Nailz, check out the info below:
Official Website: https://marienailz.com/
Personal Links: https://linktr.ee/marienailz
ARLINGTON SPOTLIGHT is a monthly series created by Arlington Urban Media & Entertainment (AUME) to highlight the stories of Arlington natives who are impacting communities, industries, and the lives of others with their gifts. Tune in at top of every month to see what person from the City we put the spotlight on next!