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From Russian Welder’s Daughter To Million Dollar Nail Success Story. One Girl’s Journey to America.




Every year, more than a million immigrants will arrive in the United States. For the majority, the reason is in the pursuit of a better life. The United States is home to one of the most advanced opportunities for commerce. The beauty industry itself, toppled over $511 billion last year, with an upward trend coming from online sales.

The two factors that accelerated one woman’s net worth to the millions in the span of five years, was her immigration to America, and her leverage of the billion-dollar beauty industry. 

April Ryan is the inventor of the Silicone Hand model, and the owner of Red Iguana, which oversees an online store with subscription products for nail technicians. 

These are the specific actions she took that propelled her success in the beauty industry.

Overcoming your Background

For the majority of immigrants, the reason for leaving their home countries are for political or economic reasons. There’s a long list of challenges that come with immigration. For one, it’s challenging to have credentials approved from another country. Hence, immigrants might need to rely on low-skill labor jobs to survive. In the beginning, work may just be a means to an end.

But for those that seek to change their destiny and find success; the key is to be observant. A new country provides an abundance of opportunities; you just need to learn how to identify and leverage them to create a new path for yourself.

Originating from a poor family in a small Russian town did not hinder Ryan’s perception of her future and potential. She started her first business at 23, and won many nail competitions back in Russia. She immigrated to the U.S in 2014 and started working at a nail salon in Beverly Hills. In six months, she had left to establish her own influencer career. She connected the knowledge she gained from manual labor, to what she observed in the booming social media market, and found a way to generate income by putting her knowledge and creativity to work.

Your background can be a driver and not an inhibitor to what to achieve. Coming from humble beginnings can act as motivation for you to elevate yourself financially. One day, your beginnings will be a part of your success story.

Leveraging your Expertise

By working in different occupations, you start to learn about what you’re skilled at, and about what customers or other employees need. Finding ways to leverage these skills to create value is the initial key to starting a business. You can have the most innovative product on the market, but if you lack the skills to, for example, market it, or have an efficient delivery system setup, this product will never see the light of day.

Ryan leveraged her knowledge of the nail industry to open the doors to start her own business. She opened an online store in 2017, after gaining knowledge through her experience at a nail salon, and her influencer career to identify what nail technicians needed to be successful. As a result, she created product lines based on her original nail art techniques. She leveraged the Youtube platform to share her techniques and capture a greater audience globally.

Innovate, innovate, innovate

The core of business is innovation and bringing something valuable to the market. Not being afraid to experiment and test out different ideas, will give you a more general knowledge base about business. Even from the ones that fail, there is always a piece of the process you can apply to the next project. This also requires the willingness to put more time in to explore and refine a business model.

A year after Ryan opened an online store for nail products, she invented the original Silicone training hand for nail artists. This was a big hit because she created something that satisfied a professional need for many aspiring and senior technicians. Being able to practice on models instead of real hands, became a reliable and hassle-free method to perfecting a nail artist’s technique. The Russian nail technique she developed, gained popularity around the world. She also worked with laboratories throughout the US and Europe to create new ingredients which made her products healthier.

The ability to maintain an innovative spirit, and to always search for new ways to create value for the market, is a great asset that helps an entrepreneur break new limits.

Scaling the Model 

Once a successful model has been established, the way a business will reach six digits and beyond comes down to the ability to scale. Identifying the tools that are needed to grow your business becomes crucial. This might mean building a solid team that can help you delegate operations, advance marketing, improve client experience through technology, or even re-working the business model to increase sales.

 For Ryan, she realized that packaging the products that nail technicians found the most useful, into monthly subscription boxes saved time on the customer’s end and guaranteed repeat business for her. Both her businesses, the silicone hands, and nail subscription boxes became immensely popular in the nail industry and were copied many times over by other companies. Her originality and ability to scale to the market contributed to Red Iguana’s success. In 2020, both her businesses received over $3 million in revenue.

Finding your Niche

A successful business is not one that benefits everyone, but one that benefits a select few. What this means is that it’s impossible to create something that everyone wants. When you find a certain service or product that is valuable and personalized to a select audience, it will be far easier to retain these as loyal clients, especially if you continuously provide excellent service. 

Red Iguana is specifically targeted at nail technicians. Originality proved to be important to Ryan’s success. It also targeted a specific class of people who care about the environment and quality. Red Iguana products allegedly use the best ingredients to avoid allergies or chemical reactions. As well as every purchase goes towards efforts to plant trees and minimize carbon emissions. 

Ryan found her niche, and created a snowball effect from there, by continuing to produce more products and introducing new sale models.


The road to establishing a seven-figure business in the beauty industry takes intention, grit, and smart business practices. April Ryan demonstrates a prime example of how a female entrepreneur can overcome structural barriers to create her own path to success. Through leveraging her knowledge of an industry, she created multiple hit products and changed the way nail art is practised in America.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Skin Design Tattoos and Robert Pho Take NYC




For over two decades, Skin Design Tattoos has been a leading name in the tattoo industry. Recently, it opened its flagship studio in the vibrant Soho district of New York City. The launch, sponsored by Philipp Plein and Villon, attracted a glamorous crowd, including top figures from New York’s entertainment and tattoo scenes. Notable attendees included comedian Shiggy, members of VH1’s “Black Ink Crew,” and renowned tattoo artist Keith Hernandez. Photographer Josh Sobel elegantly captured the event, which was coordinated by PR professionals Shawn Germain of Tomorrow’s Group and Johnny Donovan.

The studio’s design, featuring sleek lines and raw brick, provides an elegant backdrop for the intricate black and grey realism tattoos that Skin Design is famous for. This aesthetic is echoed in the collections of sponsor Philipp Plein, known for his use of stark lines and intense shading to add depth.

Robert Pho, CEO and Founder of Skin Design, shared his artistic vision at the event, describing his designs as “not just art; they are narratives of life’s stark contrasts, capturing tales of survival, redemption, and transformation.”

The studio is also known for its comprehensive apprenticeship program, where artists like Reena Pho, now a seasoned tattooist at Skin Design, hone their skills under Robert’s mentorship. Robert also hinted at future philanthropic efforts through a non-profit aimed at supporting aspiring artists who face financial constraints.

Since its inception, Robert Pho’s dedication has driven Skin Design Tattoos to international acclaim and a respected position in the tattoo world. The opening of the flagship studio at 285 Lafayette Street in New York is a testament to the brand’s enduring influence and innovation in tattoo artistry. Visit the studio in person, book a consultation at, or follow their creative progress on Instagram via @robert_pho.

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