In a time where it can feel scary to be yourself, Cute Nail Studio is making it a mission to help people feel like their best selves. The Austin, TX-based nail and esthetics studio has partnered with Out Youth, a local nonprofit that provides health and wellness services to LGBTQIA+ people ages 18 to 23. Through the partnership, Cute Nail Studio will provide weekly salon services to Out Youth clients enrolled in the Transgender Wellness Program, free of charge.
“One of our main goals in opening Cute was to create a safe space for genderqueer people to come and feel beautiful,” says Jason Darling, co-owner of the studio. “I personally know how scary it can be to ask for beauty services that don’t conform to social norms—I’ve been doing it my entire adult life! Because of my experiences, I wanted to make a place that helped people fearlessly pursue their personal definition of beauty.”
Darling and Cute Nail Studio have always wanted to create a safe experience for trans and non-binary young adults. The studio’s website makes that mission clear—the Lisa Frank-90s-esque site boasts “LGBTQIA+ safe space! Everybody is welcome!” right at the top of the homepage. Under services, viewers will see options like all gender-waxing and no-judgement nail services. If you’re in the Austin area, the studio is hard to miss. Cute Nail Studio is located in an old school 1920’s home that’s since been painted bright rainbow, just another aspect of Cute’s accepting foundation.
Trans Wellness is a part of Out Youth that provides support groups, short-term counseling, and other resources to trans and non-binary teens and adults. Out Youth’s mission is to present LGBTQIA+ youth and their allies with opportunities to develop positive self-esteem, identify and cultivate peer support networks, and prepare for a successful adulthood, many of which can be facilitated through a trip to Cute Nail Studio, as the partnership provides complimentary nail art and esthetics to Out Youth clients.
Says Darling, “We’re really grateful to Out Youth for doing awesome work for our community, and we’re super excited that they’ve given us the opportunity to help out."