DIY

Nail Artist Turns Old Camper Into A Blossoming Mani-Pedi Business

by Rebecca Landman
Rebecca is a writer living the Los Angeles dream. She loves hiking, music, and crocheting on her couch to the background lull of Netflix. She believes our world is complex. By sharing and listening to each other’s stories, we unpack that complexity layer by layer, learning more about who we are and how we want to live our lives. She writes to keep learning.

Amber Morgan has always loved being a nail artist, but hated the monotony of sitting in the same boring salon for hours on end.

One day, while riding in the car and painting with her watercolors, inspiration struck — What if she built a mobile mani-pedi business?

She dreamed up the idea on a Tuesday. By Friday, she was the proud owner of an adorably grungy 1973 Shasta camper, and the real fun began.

Morgan told LittleThings, “Whenever I’m utilizing my creativity I always have my most creative ideas. Sometimes they’re good ideas, but then other times they quickly leave me. This one stuck.

“I couldn’t get it out of my head. I was determined from that moment on to make it a reality.

This hardworking entrepreneur upcycled her camper into a one-of-a-kind mobile nail salon, appropriately named, The Mani-Camper.

Scroll through below to see how she and her father transformed this tired old camper into a gloriously retro mobile mani-pedi camper.

old camper

Recently, Amber Morgan started brainstorming ways she could best bring her talents to the masses.

Creatively-minded gal that she is, she’s always found that her best ideas crop up while she’s actively engaging in her craft.

So while riding in a car during a day trip, she began painting with watercolors, letting her creative brain out to play.

It wasn’t long before an idea popped into her head: “Has anyone ever built a mobile mani-pedi business?”

Morgan writes on her blog, “I Googled other mobile nail salons and the only ones I could find, that were similar, were in the Orange County/LA area and Paris, France! None anywhere else!

“I knew this would be something special, along with the craze of food trucks and other mobile businesses, so why not a mobile nail salon? From that moment forward: It. Was. On.” 

supply trip

And just like that, The Mani-Camper was born.

Morgan dreamed up this business on a Tuesday, and by Friday, she had purchased an old 1973 Shasta Camper.

She and her father immediately got to work transforming this old camper into the mobile mani-pedi salon of her dreams.

color choices

During this redesign, color was key.

Morgan had a very clear vision for how she wanted the space to feel, and deciding on the right color palette was a crucial step toward realizing that intention.

She told LittleThings, “I went with an Art Deco—Palm Springs theme, and I wanted it to feel a bit retro. The vintage campers, like this one, are fairly small, so my main goal was to make it seem bigger.

“I knew I wanted to use a lot of white to brighten it all up. Then I wanted a girly color palette and since Rose Quartz is a 2016 Color of the Year, I knew I wanted to incorporate that.”

rehabbing old camper

Her father was the brains behind the camper’s construction process.

Morgan writes on her blog, “He literally gutted the entire thing and re-built it! He’s incredible and I’m lucky to have such a handy dad who can do anything!

“I was always in awe of everything my dad could do before, but this took the awe I had to a whole new level.”

mani camper

Both the camper’s exterior and interior got a thoughtful facelift.

mani camper

Morgan and her father ripped everything out, and started reconfiguring a new layout to maximize space.

mani camper

Morgan wanted The Mani-Camper to emit a truly retro feel.

Achieving that tone included outfitting the space with classic appliances.

mani camper

Applying a fresh coat of white paint throughout the whole space made the interior feel much more spacious than it had felt before.

mani camper

Morgan told LittleThings of this experience, “I’m just so glad that I went for it and didn’t let my own doubt or someone doubting me stand in the way.

“If it’s something you believe in, go for it. If you end up making a mistake or failing, it’s the process that’s rewarding and it’s something you can still be proud of.

“You took a chance to make something great and memorable and that’s more then a lot of people can say.”

mani camper

She continued, saying, “Anything worth having is worth working for. This was a huge undertaking, but I knew in the end, it would be rewarding, no matter what the outcome.”

mani camper

And Morgan’s hard work is certainly paying off.

She’s created a gorgeous, inviting space that’s true to her intention.

mani camper

Not only is Morgan a fabulous nail artist, but she’s also a pro at designing original prints and patterns.

She told LittleThings, “I got my fine art degree in Fabric Styling at The Fashion Institute of Technology and one of the things I learned to do was surface design.

“I love prints and patterns so I made sure to take the opportunity and create an original design and have it turned into wallpaper. I love the outcome.”

mani camper

The public is starting to really take to The Mani-Camper.

Morgan told LittleThings, “I just love it when someone walks in for the first time.

“I don’t think they quite understand when I tell them about it. Then to see the look on their face when they step in, it’s priceless.

“It’s just so different. Nobody can say they’ve ever had their nails done in a camper. To me that’s the coolest thing ever.”

mani camper

Thanks to Morgan and her father’s hard work, this creative entrepreneur is now bringing her gorgeous nail art to the masses.

mani camper

Now that The Mani-Camper is up and running, Morgan has her sights set on growth.

She told LittleThings, “I’d really love to expand this business. I think mobile nails could be huge everywhere, catering to parties or any kind of event. I foresee at least one in every state… I’m ambitious!

mani camper

This entrepreneur trusted her gut and transformed her inspiration into a completely innovative business.

For more on this incredible business, check out Morgan’s Instagram or website!

What do you think of The Mani-Camper? Have you ever started your own business? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

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