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Let the artistry begin: Check out these nails!

By Darlene Bowers

A little girl growing up in Bowling Green, Ohio, loved to go to Woolworth’s with her mother. Even more she loved to save her coins to purchase with great delight a little package of glue-on fingernails that could be painted in an array of colors. “I’ve always had a fetish for pretty fingernails. I don’t know why,” recalls Jane Lee, a resident of Ada for 44 years.

Jane’s fingernail obsession continued as she grew up, married Ted Lee and together raised two sons. Jane and Ted also now have four grandchildren ranging from 5th grade through 10th grade and a 7-year-old yellow tiger cat named Chub.

Many people will recognize Jane as one of the friendly faces behind the counter at Liberty National Bank on Main Street. She worked a couple doors down at another bank before it was acquired by Liberty seven years ago and has been a teller for 32 years in all.

Jane’s fingernails have been decorated every day at Liberty and every day for the past 15 years!

“I always have them done,” says Jane. Lima Nails at Eastgate is Jane’s nail heaven. She visits the shop approximately every three weeks to obtain a new set of artwork for her hands.  When asked about maintenance or upkeep, Jane details that if one nail breaks a little filing may be needed but for the most part little maintenance is necessary. 

“Having them done every three weeks is just about right for me as they start to grow out by then,” explains Jane.  A board filled with colors and designs from which to choose greets Jane upon her arrival at the salon. “Or you can come up with your own idea,” explains Jane.

After the application of base coats in a solid color or combination of colors, the artistry begins. Small brushes are used to add flourishes of magic and design to Jane’s nails.  “She’s so fast and talented,” Jane exclaims about the nail artist. The board also often includes trendy color schemes, designs or embellishments for upcoming holidays or occasions. 

On this day, Jane’s nails are colored a beautiful mauve with a swirl of thin black lines detailing the tip. A diamond shaped application of glittering silver polish adorns the center of the tip. Jane’s favorite selection recently was a half purple and half pink design with circle flourishes all over the nails. The length of Jane’s nails extends just slightly above each finger.

“Some [people] get the extra long curved nails,” states Jane, “I don’t know how they can pick anything up or use a mouse with those!” These are two tasks vital to Jane’s occupation as she completes transactions for her customers. Those customers often compliment Jane on her perfectly adorned and manicured nails.

The most commonly asked question is if Jane does them herself. Jane enjoys her nails and she enjoys her customers too explaining that it’s almost like another family as you get to know people over the years. 

When asked why she always has her nails done, Jane says, “It’s something I do for myself, it’s ‘me’ time. It’s relaxing.” Anyone who gets a glimpse of Jane’s nails can appreciate that. Most would say that they share in the joy of her nails and seeing a little flourish of beauty in an average errand such as banking.

Away from the bank, Jane enjoys crocheting and reading, especially books about the Amish. Jane also enjoys attending the school and sports activities of her grandchildren.

As you are thinking of ways to drop in on Jane and get a glimpse of her ever changing fingernail artwork, better not wait too long. Jane will be retiring at the end of the year but won’t be retiring from getting her nails done. They will continue to sparkle just as Jane’s personality sparkles for all her customers and all she meets.