Candice Idehen is a force to be reckoned with. At just 25, the aspiring entrepreneur opened Bed Of Nails and immediately made it Harlem’s premier nail bar. Fast forward almost two years later (the salon’s anniversary is this October) and business is thriving. Providing the latest nail trends and top of the line products including Chanel, Deborah Lippmann, Tom Ford, Essie, Marc Jacobs and Christian Louboutin, Bed Of Nails uses the healthiest and most natural products for nail services and spa packages, facials and waxing.

A graduate of the Christine Valmy International School, Candice's work has been featured in publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue France. She’s provided nail services for a number of celebrities including Jessica Alba and Estelle as well as multiple fashion designers including Gap, Louis Vuitton, Victoria Beckham and Calvin Klein. For all her incredible accolades and more, Candice’s rise has not been without hiccups. She’s learned a lot along the way and is sharing her invaluable lessons to becoming a small business owner with Fluff readers.

1. Know Your Industry

“Starting a business requires a passion and understanding of your specific industry or field. My best advice would be to fully submerge yourself in your industry to get a clear understanding of the pros and cons, the ins and outs so you know where your product or service can improve or fill a void. You will also be able to make and build relationships with individuals in your industry who can lend their expertise or knowledge to help launch your brand.”

2. Do Your Research

“Research goes hand in hand with knowing your industry. Through research you will be able to gauge prices, come up with products, understand your audience and demographic to help narrow and identify your customer. It will also help you decide if you want a brick and mortar or if your company can survive solely as an online entity. Through research you will come up with the greatest ideas, but it is your research that will change a good idea into a lucrative one.”

3. Set Up Your Finances

“Having financial security when it comes to business is one of the biggest keys to success. Knowing your credit score, cleaning it up if necessary or establishing credit is a must.”

4. Build A Support Team

“Let your friends and family help you! Your support system will be the make or break factor of your business. Allow your team to do research for you, identify competition and give you feedback. Be open to it.”

5. Create A Business Plan

“With the above information, you’re on your way to having a well-organized business plan. A business plan is your blueprint or road map to getting your business up and running. Your business plan is the launchpad for your success. It will help you identify exactly what you want to do and how to get it done with the help of key people, a timeline and a strategy. It will also help you plan an exit strategy if you decide to leave the business."

Bed Of Nails is located at 2272 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.