Interview With Cassie Le & Jade Pham – CEO & Founder of CJ Academy

by | Sep 21, 2022 | Beauty

Q – 1) Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Ans – /

CJ Academy is here to coach the new generation of nail artists, one nail at a time. We want to revolutionise the way nail artistry is taught in Australia. Whether you’re a beginner, or you already work as a nail technician. CJ Academy trains students in the latest nail art trends to coaching students on building a brand. Including how to nail customer service and in-salon experience. We are located in Granville, Sydney, New South Wales housed inside our sister brand CJ Artistry Salon (

Q – 2) Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Ans – Entrepreneur and one of Australia’s most-in-demand nail artists, CEO and Founder of CJ Artistry, Jade Pham is an industry disrupter dedicated to continuously innovating her craft and changing the perception of nail artist for the better. Jade wants to teach you all the tricks of the trade so you can be your own boss too.

Having been in the business for over 15 years, I haven’t seen anyone coaching and mentoring our industry – and CJ Academy will be this for the new generation.

I want to empower the new generation of nail artists, and by doing this we can encouraging a positive shift and change across the nail industry that is very much needed. The revolution of CJ Academy exists because I want to offer nail artists what I wasn’t able to find when I was starting out – a nail artistry education hub who practices what they preach. It will give you the intel of how CJ Artistry turned a small investment into a 7-figure business.

Major Achievements:
1 CJ Artistry hitting 10 Year Milestone
2 Opening up CJ Artistry Granville salon
3 Finding our real purpose in CJ Academy and Education

Q – 3) What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Ans – When I was growing up, I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss. So, when I decided to leave school after the first term of year 10, I went on to complete an introductory course in nails and beauty while working a 9 to 5 corporate job. Once I finished my beauty studies, I dived into working in a nail salon where I learnt and mastered my craft in artistry and business. While working in the salon, I noticed our (nail) industry needed a make over, and that’s what fuelled me to be and do better.

Q – 4) What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ans – Learn to become a forward thinker.
Create solutions
Add value, then add tax!

Q – 5) What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans – Leadership

Q – 5) How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans – 80 hours a week minimum! I’m always diving deep in market research or creating content when I’m not in the nail salon and servicing clients or coaching students.

Q – 6) To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans – My sister Cassie, the C in CJ Artistry. Without her support and guidance over my career, I wouldn’t be where I am today coaching the next generation of Nail Artists.

Q – 7) How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Ans – Mainly posting pictures, stories & Reels on Instagram. TikTok is what I’m exploring at the moment.

Q – 8) Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans – Own savings and Investor capital which has been paid back in full within 2 years of the opening of our first CJ Artistry salon. Business Loans & Business Profits.

Q – 9) What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans – Have you heard of the saying “Short term pain, for long term gains”? I believe you need to plan your decisions for the long haul. Make decisions for the long term. Pivot and be adaptable to change. The journey can always change, as long as the goal remains the same.

Q – 10) Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans – Coaching Nail Artists, Nail Salons and business owners world-wide

Q – 11) Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Ans – SpaceX & Tesla – Elon Musk
Apple – their innovation is top notch and inspiring
Amazon – they have changed the way online shopping is done.

Q – 12) How important have good employees been to your success?

Ans – Good employees have stuck by me for many years and I’m forever grateful. This has allowed me to step aside away from my business to continue to build it.

Q – 13) How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Ans – Until the end, to see it through. If it was a mistake that was made, it was a lesson learnt that would prepare me for something bigger.

Q – 14) What motivates you?

Ans – The freedom to make choices

Q – 15) What are your ideals?

Ans – To make an impact in others peoples lives and changing the stigma behind the nail industry. Gone are the days where nails should be known as a job you do when you have a language barrier. I believe nail artistry is a prosperous and rewarding career to pursue. Doing clients nails is a way to express your creativity. I want to educate people that being a nail artist is a skilled and meticulous craft that should be more acknowledged and respected. It is cool to be a nail artist today – it is an art form! And like all art forms, it takes time to be acknowledged and respected, but I am here to break down and challenge the stigmas.

To reconnect my family and for them to speak about their feelings instead of sliding things under the rug to be forgotten of.
To also be able to fly my fur baby overseas on a holiday with me.

Q – 16) How do you generate new ideas?

Ans – As a visionary, I always come up with crazy and exciting ideas that occur anywhere, anytime. Normally when I’m trying to find a solution to a problem that nobody is providing.

Q – 17) How do you define success?

Ans – Success is leaving positive impacts in another person’s life.

Q – 18) How do you build a successful customer base?

Ans – Being in business for over 10+ 15+ years has taught me to replicate myself to other staff through teaching and providing. There’s only so many hours in a day and one of me.

Q – 19) What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Ans – To be able to wake up in a world that you’ve created to help others.

Q – 20) What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Ans – Turning your ideas into a reality. Being in business has allowed me to create my own path. When you turn nothing into something.. It really is satisfying.

Q – 21) What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Ans – Those that work for someone else don’t have much responsibility after they’ve clocked off for the day. As an entrepreneur you always need to be on your toes and need to be forward thinking about your next move, how you can improve all whilst dealing with the huge responsibilities you’ve got on your back.

Q – 22) What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

Ans – Practicing what we preach. Our teachings and education come from our own personal experience. Not someone else’s. Most colleges and TAFE institutes that teach Nail Technician training aren’t taught from real life experience. More so taught from a text book. CJ Academy’s background come with a combined 25 years’ experience backed by a successful nail salon, CJ Artistry that is owned and operated for over 10 years.

Q – 23) If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Ans – Nothing. Everything I went through taught me everything I know now.

Q – 24) How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Ans – It has definitely made an impact. Family is important to me and I squeeze in family time where I can fit it and dedicate myself 100%. I’m forever more still learning how to manage balancing my life. As an entrepreneur wanting to change the industry. The more hours put into the business, the quicker it will flourish and progress to reach my ultimate goal.

Q – 25) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

Ans – My greatest fear is not changing the industry fast enough. I manage this by sharing the mission and vision to my team constantly, so they can help carry on the legacy

Q – 26) How did you decide on the location for your business?

Ans – Easy to get to. Has access to public transportation, buses and trains.

Q – 27) Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Ans – Yes. Consistency and persistency. You cannot fear change and always have the ability to innovate.

Q – 28) If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

Ans – Albert Einstein. It would be great to understand his theories and how his mind works. I find you learn best from other people’s stories.

Q – 29) Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Ans – There’s many people and as I evolve myself, I find I draw inspiration to different people for different things.
For example; Oprah, I admire her for all she has accomplished in her philosophy of life.
Elon Musk, I admire how forward thinking he is and innovative.

Q – 30) What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)

Ans – The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman and Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

Q – 31) What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Ans – Being too generous to a shareholder that has bitten me in the butt. It has taught me so much about business.

Q – 32) How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

Ans – Mistakes are good, if they are only made once. I encourage my team and I to make mistakes.. But you have to learn from them. Always use mistakes as a chance to change. Implement new processes.

Q – 33) What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

Ans – I enjoy watching movies as it helps taking my mind off work. I also enjoy family time with my partner and fur baby.

Q – 34) What makes you happy?

Ans – I feel most happiness when I have positively helped another person succeed.

Q – 35) What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans – Spending more time with family, friends and life partner.
Financial sacrifices. Spending money to make money.

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