After 30 years in the business, nail technician cherishes career |

After 30 years in the business, nail technician cherishes career

Linda Marcus of A Artistic Nails in Nevada City.
Cory Fisher/ |

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A Artistic Nails

Owner: Linda Marcus, master nail technician

105 Argall Way, Nevada City

530-477-TOES (8637)

Open weekends and evenings by appointment

Linda Marcus worked for many years as a dental hygienist in Newport Beach, but she’d always felt there was something more out there. She was good at her job, but she’d always dreamed of being her own boss.

When her son Matthew was born, she quit her job to become a full-time mom. But when Matthew got a little older, Marcus started to get bored.

“I was ready to go back to work, but I wanted something with a flexible schedule,” she said. “I’d always loved getting my nails done — I had fun with it.”

As a result, Marcus went to cosmetology school to become a nail technician. Today, more than three decades later, Marcus insists that was the best decision she ever made.

Since relocating to Grass Valley in 1982, some of the clients that came to her during that first year are still coming back. Today her business, A Artistic Nails (the first “A” is so she shows up at the top in the phone book, she says), is in its sixth location, and her longtime clients say they will find her no matter how many times she moves.

“I’ve been coming to Linda for at least 10 years,” said Pat Lang, who drives up to Marcus’ Nevada City salon from Penn Valley for routine pedicures. “I just really like her because of the way she does things. She is very detail oriented, clean and careful. She follows all the state regulations when it comes to cleanliness and uses hospital-grade disinfectant. I guess the bottom line is I trust her — and your feet are so important.”

Marcus says her meticulousness comes from her career in dental hygiene. Not only does every piece of equipment need to be sterilized, the fine motor skills and manual dexterity required when cleaning teeth carry over nicely to the highly-detailed nature of manicures and pedicures.

Marcus’ broad range of services include manicures and pedicures with lacquer and gel polish, French manicures and organic, gel, silk, fiberglass or acrylic nail sets. She will also do repairs and fills.

She is known for her masterful decorations and colorful designs, as well as her hand and foot massages. A customer favorite is her hot paraffin wax treatment on the feet. As the wax hardens, the natural emollient softens skin and the heat opens pores.

When cooled, the wax is pulled away from the skin, removing dead skin cells and leaving skin smoother, said Marcus.

“I also do ear piercing, bridal parties and mobile services, meaning I can come to you,” said Marcus. “I offer group discounts and convalescent services. All of my work is guaranteed. Word of mouth has absolutely been my best advertising.”

A Artistic Nails is now located on Argall Way in Nevada City, across from Miner Moe’s Pizza. Marcus says her longtime customers find the easy parking a time saver.

At her old location on Mill Street, many found themselves endlessly circling in search of a space.

Marcus’ son Matthew is now 34 with two children of his own and another on the way.

He lives with his wife in Pleasanton and works in the computer industry. Despite the long drive between them, Marcus says she doesn’t get lonely.

“I have a built-in social life — I have wonderful conversations every day,” she said. “If you have your health and you feel cherished and loved, then you already have everything. I’m so lucky that so many of my clients have turned into longtime friends.”

To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at

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