Melbourne Via Bali: Manicure Laundry Hopes Her Nail Art Takes Her Home One Day

Photos via Manicure Laundry/iStock / Designed by Briar Clark
Naraya Latinisha (AKA the creative genius behind Melbourne-based nail salon Manicure Laundry) has established a loyal client base in one of the city's most affluent suburbs for a reason. Her Instagram feed is a flurry of brightly coloured designs, 3D flowers, bejewelled accents, and familiar Australian faces like MAFS star Martha Kalifatidis and fashion influencer Jacquie Alexander. A quick browse through her Toorak-based business' extensive Google review portfolio and it becomes evident rather quickly that Naraya (known to her customers simply as Naya) possesses both an artistic talent and a perfectionist sensibility. "Her attention to detail is unmatched," says one review. "The sweetest person and the most talented nail artist," says another.
However, her popularity in the Australian nail industry was never something she imagined for herself.
Originally from Bali, Naya always knew she wanted to work in a creative field, but she was hesitant about the way it would be perceived in the Asian community. As a result, she's explored many different careers — "law, language (translation and interpretation), and mostly corporate environments, but it just wasn’t where my passion laid," she tells Refinery29 Australia.
She always had a desire to work in the beauty industry, but it wasn't until a friend of a friend said they were teaching a nail course that she realised she had a way in. "I spontaneously decided to dive into the nail industry and learned from them," she says. "From the moment I started, I just knew it was something I wanted to explore. Little did I know how far that step would take me."
"Growing my business from quite literally nothing to having my own shopfront in one of Melbourne’s most affluent suburbs is still such a pinch-me moment," she gushes. "I get to work with people, artists and brands I never imagined I would have the opportunity to work with if it wasn’t for Manicure Laundry."
Speaking to Naya, it's abundantly clear that she approaches life with a glass-half-full perspective. It's this positivity and belief in limitless possibilities that allows her to evolve creatively with such frequency. She's inspired by everything and likes to familiarise herself with art in all its forms, from various mediums, to help expand her own knowledge. "See how far your creativity will take you and how you can translate your ideas into art," she says. "If there is passion, the creative juices will never stop flowing."
"Crafting nails is an art form in itself, and I have always loved getting my nails done to express my creativity prior to being a nail artist," she continues. "So being on the other side of that chair and being the one to help others feel good as they embrace my artistry is an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding experience."
From a client perspective, it's not hard to see why Manicure Laundry customers are so keen to return to Naya's chair: she has a knack for adapting and elevating current nail trends and experimenting with new techniques. "Currently, I love playing with textures, 3D gel, charms and chrome — a lot of stuff you would usually see on my Instagram," she says. "But my heart will always be with clean and perfectly structured manicures." 
Despite her winning attitude, she still deals with relatable issues. "There are still so many things I wanna do to grow Manicure Laundry and feeling time-poor creates additional hurdles," she says. "Operating the business whilst also being the labourer. I’m also raising kids. Trying to be present for your people and making time for myself outside of office hours is a juggling act; time always gets away somehow as you try to be all of these things at once, and the next thing you know, you’ve burnt yourself out before you even get to tick off your to-do list." 
When we ask her what her goals are for the next decade, she has an interest in educating other nail artists and distributing a nail product line, potentially even collaborating with other nail artists in the future. But ultimately, she hopes there's a possibility she can eventually take Manicure Laundry back home to Bali. "That would be a full-circle moment for me," she says. "Taking it to the next level and turning it into a one-of-a-kind concept store and salon that offers and sells unique products and experiences."
"10 years is a long time ahead — you never know what can be achieved."
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