On the body

On the body

On the body / We’ve all heard horror stories about the rise in college tuition; in fact, this past February, President Obama publicly scrutinized the education system and raised the problem as an election issue. But instead of turning to more government, perhaps we should look no further than press-on nails.

Artist Wendy Agbayani, a college student at UH-Manoa, says she’s combatting 2012 tuition blues by starting a new, unusual business venture–hand-painted acrylic nails designed for those looking for something more than the humdrum nail salon.

“I’ve always loved painting and when I came upon Etsy a few years ago, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to integrate my artistic creativity and start a new business at the same time,” Agbayani says. “I decided to create wearable art while showcasing my paintings and creative skills.” Her idea turned into Kawaii Factory, a local Etsy shop where the ‘80s meets 2012, and they’re getting along fabulously.

Agbayani says she feels that the success of her online shop is due to a reasonable and consistent pricing structure (a set of 10 hand-painted nails costs around $20, and that includes customizing each pair to fit). “My customers know they will always receive quality work and the best prices,” she says.

A true pioneer in the hand-painted nail industry, Agbayani is hungry for the unusual, extraordinary, and bizarre. “I once received a custom order for 3D alien nails.”

Besides custom orders, her collection of designer nails includes thematic sets such as “The Mob,” black nails accented with gold-link chain and the image of a gold tooth, and this writer’s favorite, “Wonder Woman Comic Book” nails, which speak for themselves.