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Interview with Reality Star Katie Cazorla of 'Nail Files'

Katie Cazorla at The Painted Nail
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Katie Cazorla may be more of a mouthful to say than "Snooki," but the New York transplant has made a name in for herself in L.A. and now has the reality show to go with her deluxe San Fernando Valley nail salon, The Painted Nail.The new show, Nail Files, premiers tonight on the TV Guide Network at 10 p.m. SallyAnn Salsano, who created MTV’s Jersey Shore, frequented the boutique salon and decided Katie had all the makings for being a reality TV star. There are plenty of ups and downs when you're building a brand, running a celeb-friendly business (Paula Abdul, Debbie Gibson and Snooki herself are all clients) and trying to find time to spend with your Grammy winning, music producer fiancé (Walter Afanasieff), and Katie let the cameras in to catch it all.

On tonight's premier episode, Katie gets invited to host a gifting suite at Sundance, but she only has 48 hours to pull everything together. LAist was at the gifting suite at Sundance and we think it came together nicely, but now we get to see just how much drama had to go down before Katie pulled that off. LAist popped in to The Painted Nail last week for a glittery manicure, the complimentary cocktail that accompanies such services and an interview with Katie and SallyAnn.

LAist: I just have to tell you that getting my nails done today was the most therapeutic, beautiful thing that I've had done in weeks.

SallyAnn: Well, you can go anywhere, and manicures have become like fucking part of an errand, like, "I have to go to the bank, I have to get a car wash, I have to get a manicure."

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LAist: Exactly!

SallyAnn: And now, if you come here, it actually feels different. It feels like it's something for yourself.

LAist: And I could actually take my mom here, it doesn't have that toxic smell like places where they do crazy things to nails. How did you come up with the idea for this salon.

Katie: I had a dream about what the decor would look like. I was getting mani-pedis all the time, and you know what those places smell like.

SallyAnn: They're like chop shops. They'll like file anything for a fucking nickel.

Katie: Oh my God, that should be our tag line, "We'll file anything for a nickel!" But literally, I just thought, the thing I hate most is being rushed through a service. I want to read a magazine and relax, so we only do one service at a time.

LAist: How did you get connected with the NUBAR line of nail-polishes and creating your own colors?

Katie: All of our customers were coming in and doing like new, fun things and I was like, "I should probably open my own line." Problem is, there really aren't any eco-friendly lines that have glitter. I know OPI has glitter, but they were bought out by Coty Cosmetics, and they have a reputation for animal testing, so I was like, "I can't carry that shit in here, they're like dropping things in monkey's eyes!" So I found NUBAR, and he designed the line because his sister almost died of cancer and when she was going thought chemo, she wanted to still feel beautiful. She had no hair, she couldn't really wear makeup, but she could do her nails. So he invented a non-carcinogen, three-free polish that's not tested on animals and has no animal products in it. I contacted him and said, "I want to co-brand with you, can I do something fun?" And he agreed and said yes. And I'm just shocked, I can't believe this is happening. I'm shocked.

LAist: That's really exciting. Now your fiance Walter is featured prominently in the show. How did you guys meet?

Katie: Russian Gold-digger dot com. (laughs)

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SallyAnn: Bodacious Blonds...

Katie: Busty Blonds dot... No, we met because he was producing an artist called "Savage Garden" and we met though Darren who was in the band. Needless to say his marriage did not work out and things went sour and he ended up getting divorced from the sea creature, but then we ended up working out.

SallyAnn: Yeah, she's not judgmental, she has a really hard time expressing herself... (laughing)

LAist: I don't know how this is going to work, you're so reserved...

SallyAnn: Closed off! She's afraid to ruffle feathers or piss people off...

LAist: This is a horrible idea.

SallyAnn:If only you could open up, you bitch.

LAist: Then you could maybe have a future. SallyAnn, you must meet fascinating people all the time. What was it about Katie that really stood out?

SallyAnn: She didn't want a reality show, I say that all the time. When people come to you and go, "I'm a show," 9 times out of 10 they are not. Because, they're like, "Well, if you would have seen us yesterday..." but it doesn't matter, because it has to be every day. This is a woman who started a nail salon because it was what she wanted to do. It was a passion of hers, and then we stumbled across it, so it's real life stuff.

LAist: So are you worried about things changing by being in the public spotlight?

Katie: It can't change for me, realistically, because I still have to come here. It's not like I can hide from the store and just not come to work, it's my money. I still have to pay for cable and stuff. It's like I can't just close the shop and say, "'Til next season!"