How to Quit Your Day Job and Start a Nail Polish Empire
If your bathroom vanity is lined with a rainbow of nail polish colors and co-workers often remark on your tricked out nails (hello, sweater nails!), you might want to consider a career in the nail industry. Sure, it might seem like a fun hobby to mix your fave nail colors into unexpected nail color combos, but your passion for all things nails could actually turn into your dream job. In this week’s How to Quit Your Day Job series, we chat with Jin Soon Choi, the founder of the famed Jin Soon Hand and Foot Spa in NYC and the creator of the JINsoon nail lacquer line, about starting her company and what ignites her creative passion.
In 1991, Korean-born Jin Soon Choi moved to New York City and quickly became known as a creative freelance manicurist, nicknamed “Bicycle Jin” because she rode her bike from client to client. Unlike other traditional nail salon owners, she dreamed of opening a salon that offered more of a personal touch to customers. She opened Jin Soon Hand and Foot Spa in 1999 in the East Village, and that soon led to a West Village spot where fashion icon and actress Sarah Jessica Parker was her first client. Nowadays, Jin, deemed the “nail guru” by New York Times Magazine, spends her time developing curated nail polish collections, delivering high fashion editorial photo shoots and running her stylish salons.
1. Chase every opportunity. When Jin was first starting out, she followed every opportunity presented to her and relied on the help and advice of her friends. “When I was known as ‘Bicycle Jin,’ one of my clients recommended an agent for me, which eventually led to working on high-end photo shoots and fashion shows,” says Jin.
2. Swap skills with a friend. If you’re a pro at painting nails but want to learn some business skills, approach a friend who has those talents and offer her free manicures in exchange for business advice. That’s what Jin did when she was first starting out and wanted to learn English. “A friend, with whom I exchanged manicures for English lessons, helped me secure my first lease for a salon, which is how I met my architect husband, who designed and built all of my salons,” says Jin.
3. Explore when seeking out inspiration. Known for her chic aesthetic, Jin loves constantly being exposed to new colors and trends while working photo shoots and fashion shows and as a salon owner. “I love the idea of delivering high-fashion editorial colors that are edgy and different,” says Jin. But instead of following trends, she prefers to be inspired by nature and modern art.
4. Start now. Don’t sit on your dreams and wait for them to happen. Get started now, suggests Jin. If you have a career you want to pursue but are stuck in another job, start working toward that new passion. “Establish your own clear concept and then don’t wait to take the leap. The sooner you start, the more likely you are to be successful,” says Jin.
5. Fall in love with your creativity. For Jin, one of the best parts of being a nail guru is incorporating her creative vision on a daily basis. Part of what makes her business thrive is that she’s passionate about what she does, whether it’s working with her employees or launching a new JINsoon nail lacquer line. “The most important thing is to be passionate and creative about your work and to always work hard to see your vision through,” says Jin.
Perfect Your Skills
1. Nail Art Online Class ($19): Celebrity nail artist Stephanie Stone spends an hour showing you how to turn your nails into works of art with simple techniques like ombré, layers and fun geometric designs. Snag the DIY Nail Art Kit to follow along.
2. Fashion Photography 101 ($129): Develop your skills as a nail entrepreneur with a lesson in what makes fashion photography truly editorial. Fashion and advertising photographer Lara Jade teaches you her creative process, from selecting models to on-location shooting.
3. Join a Skill Swapping Network for Female Entrepreneurs (free): Vendeve is the love child between Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp and connects female business owners with each other for networking and swapping skills. Offer your expertise to another #girlboss in exchange for a skill set you want.
What’s your dream career? Tweet us @BritandCo to let us know, and we could feature it in the next column!
(Photos via Jin Soon)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com