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Inspiring Conversations with Lachelle Bender of GIMMEAHAND Academy Of Nails

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lachelle Bender. 

Lachelle, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
GIMMEAHAND was Founded in 2005 and was recognized by the Ohio State Cosmetology Board as the first nails Only beauty school in the entire state of Ohio. 

After working in salons in the Cleveland area for many years, I realized that school had not properly prepared me for business. There were no schools located in the inner city they were all in the suburbs which made commuting difficult and left a segment of women marginalized when it came to having access to this industry. 

Now 18 years later we have served hundreds of women, manufacture and distribute our own brand of professional nail products such as gel polish and acrylic and currently are in our 3rd facility. 

We started on Buckeye Road in 2005. 

Reopened on Broadway Avenue in Slavic Village in 2018 after a complete renovation and the pandemic shifted us to our newest location on Euclid Ave in the Chandler Park Building. 

We are committed to the women and men in Cleveland and surrounding areas who desire and deserve a quality manicuring program that serves their needs as they pursue independence as entrepreneurs. After completing our program, they can work as independent contractors, or own their very own salons if they want to. They can launch into products or education if they desire to pursue the next level in the beauty industry space 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being an entrepreneur is one of the most brave things any person can do. There’s not a day that comes where you don’t have challenges. However, being able to build your dream and see the work you’ve done in real time is rewarding. Helping other people see that what they want to achieve is possible is worth all of the struggle, all of the sacrifices, and all of the tough days that come 

I’d be lying if I said it was smooth. It’s been very bumpy. The process is not linear. There is no playbook, no manual, and oftentimes no mentors or coaches to help you make tough decisions about your business. You have to make really tough decisions and trust yourself. You have to stand on your knowledge, your ability, and your integrity. You have to be radically invested in your business and everyone won’t understand. Then you have to make the commitment to keep going even when people let your hand go. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about GIMMEAHAND Academy Of Nails?
GIMMEAHAND is The Home of The GEMS. (That’s was we call our students) we believe everyone has something special and rare that makes them unique. Gems are priceless and should be regarded as such. Our motto THE GEM WAY believes in working together, building our community, supporting each other’s dreams, and believing in our own God-given talents. We serve the community where we live and offer services to the public Monday-Friday noon-4 and Saturday 10 am-2 pm. A manicure is $5 and all services are performed by students under the supervision of a licensed instructor. 

I’m proud that all these years later after many setbacks and challenges we can still serve our community while not compromising our principles and core beliefs as an organization. As an educational leader in the beauty industry space, we continue to raise the bar for ourselves and others to provide quality education. Manicuring doesn’t have to be a hobby. It is a career. The difference depends on how you plan approach and navigate the space with your state-issued license 

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
Even though I no longer provide nails services and I only instruct, I’m a girl’s girl. I love glitter and bling and sparkly things. 

I love the teenagers. I call them BabyGems you can get your manicuring license at 16 in the state of Ohio. So, we get quite a few baby gems 

The constants in my life are my faith, my 4 children and GIMMEAHAND 

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