Meet Missy’s nail technician

Mandi Lennard gets “Blessed by Beedy” in New Orleans.

Mak­ing my way through a storm so bad I close my eyes wait­ing for my Uber to crash, I final­ly reach the Low­er Ninth Ward for my appoint­ment with Bian­ca Williams, aka Beedy, who has been cre­at­ing talons for Mis­sy Elliott for the past five years. Beedy reg­u­lar­ly flies to Atlanta from her home in down­town New Orleans, nego­ti­at­ing with air­port offi­cials over why it’s vital that she gets her nail pol­ish stash through cus­toms, before fash­ion­ing Missy’s nails into embell­ished bal­leri­nas’ (which for those of you unfa­mil­iar, are a cof­fin shape with a very slim top). Mis­sy is big on bling,“ explains Beedy. It don’t even make sense for you to show up if you don’t have the crys­tal box.“

Accus­tomed to square tips and an air­brush, I’m alarmed when she starts to file my nails into a pre­ci­sion sharp point – I recall the intri­cate crys­tal work I saw on her Insta­gram feed and I tell myself that I’m in the hands of a mas­ter. Peo­ple always think when it comes to nails, you’re just a nail tech,” explains Beedy, but you’re a coun­sel­lor, you’re a ther­a­pist, you have to give so much advice.” 

Unfet­tered by my con­stant reminder that I have a flight to catch, Beedy’s laser focus is as star­tling as the light­ning speed with which she applies the crys­tals, in dif­fer­ing for­ma­tions, to each of my nails. 

Have you always lived here?

I was born and raised in New Orleans. After Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na hit and I had to move away, I was gone for two and a half years.

Was that because your home was affected?

Yes, it was total­ly under­wa­ter. We stayed in the shel­ter for like a month, and then relo­cat­ed to live with fam­i­ly mem­bers. I had two daugh­ters at the time so it wasn’t just me I had to deal with. I lost every­thing. Now, so many sur­vivors have come back and are push­ing through. We’re resilient. We can bounce back.

Did you enjoy grow­ing up in New Orleans? 

Yes, of course. It’s way dif­fer­ent now, there’s a lot more gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, rental rates are crazy here. The city is more cul­tur­al­ly involved now. Peo­ple from here play more of a part in the culture.

How did you get into nails?

I’m a ful­ly licensed cos­me­tol­o­gist. I used to do hair, but I was involved in a car acci­dent which caused me to not be able to stand up for long peri­ods of time due to lum­bar issues. I was always into art, and I can do more art with nails than I can with hair. It helped me pay atten­tion to my artis­tic nature.

If you’re Blessed by Beedy’, what do you get?

Well, you are cer­tain­ly Blessed by Beedy’ today. You most def­i­nite­ly get­ting a bless­ing, because I feel like I put a lot of effort into my art­work. I like peo­ple to have a good expe­ri­ence. Peo­ple always think when it comes to nails, you’re just a nail tech, but you’re a coun­sel­lor, you’re a ther­a­pist, you have to give so much advice.

That’s a seri­ous stash of crys­tals. Are they Swarovs­ki?

Yes, all of them. Every shape, colour and size. I’m clear­ly spend­ing a lot of mon­ey on these crystals.

What does every­body want at the moment?

Crys­tals are the big thing. Jel­ly, too – the trans­par­ent colour ones, but not as many clients are request­ing those.

How did you meet Mis­sy?

Her assis­tant is a good friend of mine and she was com­ing to get her nails done in New Orleans and trav­el­ling back to Atlanta. Mis­sy was like, why haven’t I got my nails done, when you got your nails done?” She was like, who is this nail tech, I need her!”. So from then on, when she came down for Essence [a music fes­ti­val], I did her nails and I’ve been doing them ever since. It’s usu­al­ly a trav­el sit­u­a­tion – I fly to Atlanta. I’m busy prep­ping for her new video at the moment.

Does she have a reg­u­lar style that she has done?

Mis­sy is big on bling. It don’t even make sense for you to show up if you don’t have the crys­tal box. 

Is it dif­fi­cult to get all those crys­tals through cus­toms?

You know what’s crazy, I have a prob­lem at the air­port with pol­ish. They’re like oh no, you have too many!” I say I’m a nail tech, what am I sup­posed to do? I usu­al­ly try to have at least 25, all in sep­a­rate clear bags. For the most part, the peo­ple in New Orleans air­port know me, so it’s not a big hassle.

What are you lis­ten­ing to at the moment?

Right now I’m into Solange’s new album. I also have an R&B playlist Mood that was up on Apple. I was born in the 80s, so I kind of lis­ten to a lot of the ear­ly 90s music while I work.

When are you com­ing to Lon­don?

When some­body says, Beedy, I got you a flight”, then I’m on my way!

@beedy_the_black_nail_tech


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