By Tim McNicholas

CHICAGO (CBS) — This is the amazing story of an entrepreneur overcoming the obstacles.

Problems with her contractor left her out tens of thousands of dollars and months behind. Oh, and of course, we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

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But CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas was happy to take us inside a dream come true – in the form of a nail salon at 54th Street and Harlem Avenue.

Cherry Washington is now painting nails in her own salon. “Cloud nine” doesn’t quite describe it.

“I’m trying to stay on cloud 10, because I’m on 100,” Washington said. “But I’m trying to stay on cloud 10 and stay focused, because you’ve got to stay focused.”

She finally opened ChristStyle Nails late last month, after a struggle that started in 2019. A contractor convinced her to pay him more than $30,000 over several months – but still hadn’t come close to finishing the job after a year.

We investigated last fall and exposed that the contractor wasn’t even properly registered with the state.

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“He was like: ‘Well, it’s the plumber. It’s the heating. It’s this. It’s that. It’s COVID,’” Washington said back in the fall.

It was such a challenge that there were times when she nearly lost hope. But she knew she had to hang on just a bit longer.

“Just working here there, doing this, doing that; friends, family donating everything; supporting – I had a huge family support,” Washington said. “Huge family support.”

That support helped her pay for new contractors to finish the job. And finish the job they did.

So now, Washington can focus on the job she was meant to do.

“That’s what I tell anybody – don’t ever give up on your dreams,” Washington said.

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Washington said the contractor actually still hasn’t paid back the $30,000.
We sent him an email asking about it again, but there had been no response as of Wednesday morning.

Tim McNicholas