A nail technician who overcame a life of unemployment and debt is honing her artistic skills to enter competitions and launch her own academy.

Rachel Shuttleworth has been creating jaw-dropping nail designs for her clients which include realistic portraits of celebrities, Disney characters, and even Burnley FC manager, Vincent Kompany.

Rachel has been a nail technician for the last 16 years. She started out as a mobile beautician then rented a room in a salon before building her own salon, Betty-Rose Beauty Boutique in Marsdenhall Road North, Nelson.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The 41-year-old’s success didn’t come easy and she entered the beauty industry after a difficult time in her life. After losing her job in her early 20s, Rachel was unemployed for months so spiralled into debt.

She said: “I started working five jobs, seven days a week. I fell pregnant two months into working an office job and when I came back I was told I couldn’t work more than 28 hours. I got a second job as a cleaner, then got emergency taxed so I needed another job.

“I was working in a few pubs in the evening and weekends, delivered the Yellow Pages, worked at Tesco, and cleaned a dentist's at 5am.

“It was absolutely chaotic, I never got to see my daughter so I took the plunge and saved up the money from all the jobs to pay for a nail course.

“I did art at school but I was actually inspired by my sister who was doing nails a year or two before me. It was a risk and no one believed I could do it, they said I had no patience but I wanted to give it a go.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Hand painted portraits of Nicki Minaj and Michael JacksonHand painted portraits of Nicki Minaj and Michael Jackson (Image: Rachel Shuttleworth)

Now, 16 years later, Rachel has grown a successful nail business and continues to push herself by taking courses to learn new skills.

Eventually getting bored of just doing the same manicures and plain colours, Rachel wanted to challenge herself and started doing nail art.  

She recently took part in a portrait course in London to improve her work and is now looking for clients who want a creative and unique set of nails.

A single portrait takes Rachel around four hours to paint and a full set with a few accent nails can take up to eight hours to complete.

Lancashire Telegraph: Lion King and Encanto nailsLion King and Encanto nails (Image: Rachel Shuttleworth)

The portrait sets start from £150 and although customers have told her she is undercharging considering the level of detail and time that goes into her work, Rachel’s priority is to develop her portrait skills first and build her confidence.

She said: “I would love to have more time. I currently do the portraits for one of my clients on my days off which are Sunday and Monday and I watch videos to get as good as I can before booking onto a course.

"I would love to enter a nail art competition in the future and also open up my own academy where I train people.”

Although Rachel is fully booked most of the time, she is open to new clients to practise her portraits. To see more of her incredible nail art, visit Betty-Rose Beauty Boutique on Facebook.