Community & Business

9 July, 2024

Eager young teen dives into the nail industry

Although only 15 years old, Sophie Heinemann has been ardently working as a junior technician in training at Beccalicious Nails, carving out a possible career for herself in the nail industry.

Bec Clarke, proprietor of Beccalicious Nails, with her new staff member, junior technician in training, Sophie Heinemann.
Bec Clarke, proprietor of Beccalicious Nails, with her new staff member, junior technician in training, Sophie Heinemann.

Sophie developed a passion for nails, and wanted to know more about the industry after accompanying her mother to an appointment at Beccalicious Nails.

Owner of the salon, Bec Clarke, has been the sole nail technician since its opening  as a home-based salon in Warwick, in 2017.

Now, the burgeoning small business is fully fledged, and Ms Clarke has hired Sophie as her very first staff member.

“I had a need for it,” Ms Clarke said.

“I wanted to give Pittsworth, Millmerran and the surrounding areas more.”

Initially, Ms Clarke hoped to engage a qualified nail technician, or student who was studying in the nail industry.

However, when Ms Clarke saw Sophie’s passion and eagerness to learn, she considered the possibility of taking on the young trainee.

Her only hesitation was Sophie’s age, as she was only 14 at the time.

“Having her mum as a client cemented that intriguing little niggle I had about her [Sophie], and I could see she had the passion, and I thought ‘if only she was old enough’,” she said.

Ms Clark’s business mentor convinced her to take a chance on Sophie, with the aim of personally training her to perform the exemplary nail services for which Beccalicious Nails is known.   

“I was so excited,” Sophie said, when she was offered the job.

It’s still early days yet, with Sophie only working a few hours each week.

However, she does the occasional Saturday, and more hours during school holidays.

Ms Clarke hopes in the near future that she will be able to offer her young employee a school-based traineeship through TAFE or Busy At Work.

Sophie already has some clients and performs manicures, pedicures and gel extensions.

She has recently been deemed competent in using builder gel.

In May, Sophie was thrilled to be presented with her very own Beccalicious Nails uniform, solidifying her new position at the business.

Sophie explained how learning on the job with a small business owner, through personalised one-on-one training, is the best way of learning a new skill.

“She’s [Bec] able to go through everything well with me, being one-on-one is the best,” Sophie said about her training.   

In the long-term future, she hopes to become a qualified professional in the beauty and nail industry, or study architecture at university.

Beccalicious Nails has come a long way since being a home-based salon, and recently celebrated its second birthday in Pittsworth.

In 2022, Ms Clarke opened the salon in Short Street, before moving to her current workplace, at shop 6 in the Olympia Arcade beside the library, in June 2023.

She is a full-time working mother of two, and is also in the midst of planning her wedding, which is later this year.

Beccalicious Nails only uses Australian owned products, and offers a number of different services including manicures; pedicures; acrylic, soft gel and poly gel extensions; and nail repair, replacements and removals.

The small business has clients from all over the region including Millmerran, Southbrook, Westbrook, Oakey, Wyreema, Toowoomba, Goombungee, and Cambooya.

Alongside her employment of Sophie, Ms Clarke said Beccalicious Nails has a bigger, brighter future ahead.

New clients are always  welcome.

You can treat yourself to an appointment with Bec or Sophie online at


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