Specialty school coming to Whitehaven

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This week law makers in Nashville approved a school in Whitehaven that will create a pathway for people in the career of a manicurist.

Duriya Caldwell says has been doing nails for more than 15 years.

“I’ve been through this industry through the good bad and the ugly,” Caldwell said.

Her new school for nails is receiving a lot of attention.

“I’ve already had one personal assistant, I had to hire another one just to get all of the phone calls,” Caldwell said.

Monday she spoke in front of the State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers Examiners pushing her new school, The Black Pearl Nail Academy in Whitehaven. Caldwell’s school will only specialize in training people in the nail profession.

“Once those students actually come out of school and they pass state boards they haven’t gotten what they need to actually function in able to provide customer care,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell’s school will be the first full service nail school in Shelby County. Kasha McNeil is excited about the new school and the opportunities it will provide.

“We different avenues to grow we have a lot of people who are interested in nails in high school just like she was but they never get the opportunity to really pursue it,” McNeil said.

Caldwell says she is working with the city’s Department of Business Diversity and Compliance to allow incarcerated females to receive classroom training. Once they are released from jail, in the field training will be provided.

“Coming out of prison and they are on probation or parole and they’re not able to meet those requirements because they have no way of making income and it’s very difficult for a lot of them to get a job well here it is. This is a way to make sure they have a career path,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell says she will be prepared to enroll students and begin classes in May.

“I’ve gotten applications on top of applications, I’m actually working to fill up the second session of which I am hoping we’ll be able to start up the second session by October or November,” Caldwell said.

The school doesn't receive any federal funds so financial aid isn't provided. Tuition at the school is three thousand dollars to receive your license, there will be payment plans available.