Meet Cait Iskra, the pamper queen behind Fitzroy-based nail studio Horni Nails. We sat down with Cait to explore her journey as a nail artist and the empowering self expression that nail art embodies.
Taurus sun, Gemini rising, Aries moon.
GO TO DRINK?
Dry Gin Martini with 3 olives.
TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE?
It really varies. I'm an intuitive thinker, feeler and doer. Usually I'll wake up at 7 and meditate, I like the freedom of going to a pilates or boxing class especially if I have a full day of clients. My morning time allows me to feel into my day, coffee is a must, followed by listening to music. Sometimes I just float around, lounge and require serious hermit time alone, and other times I really enjoy being amongst people. I'm the eternal optimist, always up for experiencing something new everyday as there's so much to experience feel, see and learn about myself. I've recently discovered I can't be consumed by routine too much, as a creative person who utilises this on the daily I like to embrace change. It's about living as present as possible and keeping those channels open for new possibilities. As much as my Taurus sun craves consistency and comfort, I now try to actively break the rules of routine.
WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND HORNI NAILS?
The concept is to feel Horni. The richness of this is that ‘Horni’ can mean whatever you want it to. For me, it's about exuding confidence, embracing your feminine & masculine sides, tapping into your creativity and diversity, and exploring what it means for you to feel good. I've found that often sexy can be taboo, the exposure in our society feels backwards and shameful. We associate sexy with sex, although these are two entirely different entities. There's no limits or right and wrong here at Horni Nails, I want it to feel safe for people to feel sexy. I care about people & I want them to feel like they leave feeling...Horni.
In some small way I'm contributing to someones confidence and that makes me feel good.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE HORNI NAILS?
I was and still am doing full time freelance makeup and styling.
WHAT WAS THE IDEA THAT STARTED HORNI NAILS?
I've really adored nail art for the last 3 years. I was in Japan the start of 2019 and spent $300 dollars on a set of the most pristine curated nails, with a different pattern, piercing and gem on each tip. I came back to Australia hoping to re-create the designs I had bottles up in my mind but I was reluctant to achieve it. Only now I can create whatever I like, worth the wait.
There was no instant realisation that I would start a nail side hustle, it was being in lockdown and facing the hard truth that nail salons were shut and I was about to chew down that last 2 years or hard work. I ordered a nail kit with a few supplies, did a course. Once I learnt how, I couldn't stop! I would change my nails weekly, match them to outfits, I found that it wasn't just about nails, it began to be personality that would take over as each set exposed another side of me.
I began to do friends nails and surely friends of friends and then found it upon myself to create a Instagram. Horni was my equivalent of ‘That's Hot’ (thank you Paris Hilton), so I combined my love for nail art and desire to exude confidence and voilà; 'Horni Nails’’.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?
Everywhere. I find beauty in imperfections, I like when things look weird, strange or misleading. I find my inspiration in everything, nature, colours, texture and often colour combinations I'll see in my wardrobe or scrolling through Instagram. My saves are the most random stream of what I can only describes as my subconscious mind running off martinis and toast... perfect delirium.
Although my most recent streamline for inspiration is; surfboards, same shape and the art work is magnifique especially circa 1970s. Fluro is making a come back.
YOUR FAVOURITE NAILS TO DATE?
I'm obsessed with the most recent ones I did on myself. They are black, blue, fluro yellow and green blob like nails that look like giant lego blocks on my fingers, with the radical texture to match. But whats a gal to do, I'm in love. I wish I could do them on every client.
ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO START A BUSINESS?
I just do it for the right reasons. Because you love and enjoy it, it should be an extension of your style and taste, it'll shine through. Also try but don't really try. Also prioritise rest.
YOUR FAVOURITE NAKEDVICE PRODUCT?
The Jas Black Heel. Hello.
WORDS TO LIVE BY?