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Meet Elena Rabaza

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elena Rabaza.

Hi Elena, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
Hello, my name is Elena Rabaza, I am 25 years old born in La Habana Cuba. Throughout my life, I have traveled to different countries seeking freedom when I was 9 years old my family and I left Cuba to Mexico for a better life, after a few years living in Mexico my parents decided it was time for a greater change. In 2009, we traveled 36 hours to the border of Brownsville, Texas and from there we were sent to Portland, Oregon for half a year and then left to Miami, Florida where I lived most of my Middle and High School until we moved to New Braunfels, Texas in 2014 during my Senior year.

My passion for nails started wayyyy before I had even realized it. I remember my mom taking me to her manicure appointments in Cuba and when we moved to Mexico I would polish her nails & toes all the time. In Miami, I would do all my friends & myself manicures with nail art. I was obsessed… but it didn’t really hit me how much I loved doing nails until 2015 after Graduating High School. My aunt had bought an Acrylic Kit and after that, I knew nails were MY EVERYTHING. In 2016 I was close to starting College and I decided that College was not something I really wanted to do, but I was too afraid to tell my parents, I didn’t want to crush their American Dream. Surprisingly my Mom and Dad were beyond supportive and they told me “Whatever you decide to do in life if it makes you happy you’ll succeed” and that will forever stay with me.

In 2017 I started the Manicure Course at Mims Beauty School, mind you, I lived in New Braunfels and I did not have a driver’s license because I was too afraid to drive (silly me), my then boyfriend now Fiancé sacrificed his job hours to drive me to school every morning, after dropping me off he will go to his job and then he would get off early to pick me up from school every evening to go back to work. Making it a total of 160 miles a day for 6 months of school. I will always be so thankful and great full for him, he is my biggest cheerleader and believed in my dreams from day 1.

In school, I remember we had these fashion calendars on our desks, and every day they had a different clothing style, so I started creating nail designs inspired by the clothes and after that, I just couldn’t stop. I shortly came to the realization that my passion for nails went beyond doing just regular manicures… I then started creating tiny pieces of art.

In 2018 I started working at a Local Spa/ Nail Salon in New Braunfels, where I learned about Nails Magazine, Nails Competition, Contest, Shows, etc. I had the desire to be known as a Nail Artist. I entered a few contests that had me featured in NAILS MAGAZINE. That made me so hungry for MORE!!!!. I then thought to myself— I wish someone would’ve taught me what this career can offer you and how much you can actually grow in the Beauty Industry. I learned there’s so much more in the Nail Industry than just being a “Manicurist”, with that desire to share and teach other upcoming nail techs that the sky is the limit and that we do not have to settle on the basics they teach in Beauty School. I decided at the end of 2018 to go back to school for my Instructor license.

I started school again in 2019 to further my education as an Instructor. My passion for nails and teaching came hand to hand. I became so much more fascinated. After graduating I started working at another Local Nail Salon & a couple of months later the Covid19 Pandemic happened & we went into quarantine. During that time off I quickly figure out that doing nails it’s really something I had the aspiration to do my whole life. During that time as well my fiancé & I were trying for months before to have a baby & I got pregnant with my first child at a really scary and unsure time for the whole wide world. I then gave birth to the most precious little angel at the end of 2020.

In 2021 after returning from maternity leave I picked up back on doing nails at the salon and started planning to do 1-on-1 Nail Trainings by this year. I have started teaching classes and now I am pregnant almost fixing to go on maternity leave. I have so much to offer and share, it has been such an amazing journey since I started teaching classes. I am so thankful to all my clients and students for believing in me. I have so many more plans for the future and I will keep working hard to make an impact in the Nail Industry with my nail services and training. This is my story and although I am not yet where I want to be, I am definitely where I once prayed to be today.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I wouldn’t say it has been a completely smooth road, but so far in the past 4 years, everything has been falling into place within my career. I went from having 0 to 1 client a day to being fully booked for an entire year. It has all been really hard work but also a lot of blessings.

This business has changed my life, and I know it’ll change many others too. I believe the biggest obstacle is our minds. Have confidence in yourself and like I always say fake it until you make it!!! My advice is to be yourself, and embrace every little and big step along the way because if it makes you happy you will succeed. REMEMBER YOU ARE MEANT TO SHINE.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in Builder Gel Overlay on long natural nails. Builder Gel is a medium to thick viscosity overlay used to create a beautiful arch and strength to help the natural nails grow past the breaking point. It is stronger than Gel Polish -although they’re in the same family- builder gel strength could be compared to that of acrylic and dip nails but wears more flexible on the nails.

This service can last 3-4weeks with no chipping of the polish or lifting. I also offer Gel X Extensions, these extensions are pre-made out of the gel and look super natural on the nails! With those services, I mostly offer hand-painted tiny nail art.

What I am most proud of in my work is keeping my client’s nails healthy while having tiny masterpieces walking around. I believe that’s what sets me apart from others and why my clients keep coming to me because I care for their nails and I always make sure they are happy with the designs I do.

I also offer Personalized Nail Training for those who are looking to further their education or for those that need to learn completely from scratch!

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
This is such a good question. Colors make me happy. Helping and meeting new people makes me happy. Doing nails makes me happy. Being and choosing myself makes me happy. My family makes me happy.

I can go on and beyond with things in life that make me happy. I believe that we all choose our own battles and even though life might get a little hard to understand sometimes I always try to accept all the negatives and positives with happiness.

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