Today's feature is Ashante, the owner of Ahyoka Nail Studio in Squamish!
Prior to launching her nail business, Ashante was an English Language Teacher, gallivanting around the globe, from one work contract to the next. She actually graduated from University with a degree in Ancient Art & Archaeology but ended up having no desire to be an archaeologist or work in a museum, she did have a huge passion for travel though, sparked by lots of childhood trips all over the world with her parents So she figured teaching ESL (English as a second language) would bring good money and enable her to live and travel overseas. She grew to absolutely love the ESL world but was missing fulfilling her creative side, always knowing that was her true calling. So when she moved back to Canada in 2016 she decided to go back to school but this time to become a Nail Tech/ Nail Artist. Her obsession with nails begun when she was a little girl. So she figured why not turn her passion for nails into a business!? So here she is today! Ahyoko actually started here in Whistler, which is actually how I know Ashante from the OG days of getting my nails done by her.
Even though she can paint a great plain nail Ashante's true genius is in nail ART, think Cardi B style talons with lots of colours, drawings, glitter, stickers and even glue on bling! Which we are obsessed with! Obviously though for lots of us these are so hard to wear for day-to-day life which is why Ashante also makes press on's! So you can have Cardi B nails when you want and take em off when you need your hands back! how awesome is that?! and the best bit is they're completely vegan, annnd we're going to be selling them at Velvet real soon!! So stay tuned for that! In the meantime go check out her page for some nail inspo!
Here's our chat with her-
1. Where’d you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. And I currently live in Squamish.
2. What is your definition of strength?
Being dragged through the dirt, and having the ability to stand up and keep moving forward, with a huge smile on your face.
3. What is something that’s important to you now that never used to be?
4. How would you describe your style?
Part boho, part femme fatale, part funky
5. Favourite food to cook at home?
6. What’re 3 books on your bookshelf?
The Happy Hooker
Rise Sister Rise
7. What’s something you want to accomplish in the next year?
8. Tell us something people would find surprising about you:
I smuggled tortoises over the US/Canada border with my high school boyfriend, in order to breed these tortoises and make money...we made bank;)
9. Favourite movie?
10. How do you want people to remember you?
I want people to remember me as a positive individual who always made others giggle & feel loved.