serenanailtech
Serena Goes to School (globalgrind.com)

I know it sounds like an outlandish question, but apparently Serena Williams is one of Palm Beach, Fla.’s budding nail technicians. This, ladies and gents, is not a game for Ms. Williams.

“Don’t be surprised if you hear about a part-time job I’ve picked up at a local nail salon,” she wrote on the celebrity blog site, Global Grind.

The younger Williams sister says she will be producing a nail care collection with HairTech, a company pushing “the world’s best hair extensions” by way of celebutante Paris Hilton. Wonder how much Paris knows about the inner workings of the hair industry? Well, Serena is determined to know all about taking care of your fingers and toes—which is admirable. So many celebrities attach their names to products—Kim Kardashian with Carl’s Jr. (accused of being paid up to $10,000 per Tweet), Rachael Ray with Dunkin’ Donuts (later rumored to only drink Starbucks coffee)—and for many of them it’s all about the money.

But Serena and her sister, Venus, have proven to be shrewd businesswomen. They were known for the bright and fashionable tennis outfits, and in 2004, Serena launched her fashion line, Aneres. In August 2009, the Williams sisters became part owners of the Miami Dolphins, making them the first African-American females to own part of an NFL franchise.

So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that she’s taken a serious interest in nail care, upon inking a deal with HairTech. If anything, Serena’s latest endeavor has me thinking about my own trips to the nail salon. The industry is dominated, just like the “black hair” industry, with Asian-owned and -operated salons. I’ve never been to a black-owned nail salon. And I know there are several black-owned, full-service day spas out there. But for me, the quickie nail salon on the corner seemed to be much more convenient, much cheaper, albeit sometimes less sanitary, than the more high-end, high-priced day spas that many black entrepreneurs own.

In today’s celebrity-driven, product-placement riddled, I-can-say-what-I-want-cause-someone-else-will-say-something-even-more-ignorant-tomorrow culture, it’s nice to see Serena doing something worthwhile. And if, like many in my generation, I’m supposed to admire a celebrity for their efforts—on and off the court, field, TV screen or stage—then maybe I will let Serena do my nails, too.

—ERIN EVANS, FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER.