Profiles

Look in the Mirror To Find Our Industry Superstars

I think superstars are people like Shari Finger, who has been running a nails-only salon for 17 years and has probably trained a few hundred nail technicians during that same amount of time.

Nail technicians want their superstars. The industry frequently laments the absence of our own superstar who would allow the spotlight to shine on our side for a while. You often ask: where's our Frederic Fekkai? Our John Sahag? Why don’t we have someone on the level of those superstar artists who’ve transcended platform artistry and are sought-after celebrity tress-setters whose names are as famous as the locks they dress? How come, the nail technician ask you don’t hear about nail technicians whose services are so coveted celebrities clamor to get on their waiting list?

Maybe we’re looking for the wrong kind of superstar.

What if we focused on raising the profile of our industry by focusing on the thousands of individual unsung “superstars” who are the backbone of our industry? Sure, we’ve got our nail celebs, the competition stars, the nail techs who have helped give nails their due on the runways and magazine photo shoots. And there are the nail salon owners who are the pets of the consumer beauty editors who, while outside the mainstream professionals beauty industry, are still a source of inspiration to working nail techs - the Sheryl Baileys, Ji Baeks, and Deborah Lippmanns, whose names are as well known to the readers of Allure and InStyle as Tom Holcomb, Tom Bachik, and Amy Becker are to the readers of NAILS.

I think superstars are people like Shari Finger, who has been running a nails-only salon for 17 years and has probably trained a few hundred nail technicians during that same amount of time. She works with little fanfare and although she has days when she probably wonders herself whether there’s more to life than nails she runs a business that supports not only herself and the families of her staff of five, but contributes to our $6.4 billion industry. And my other good friend Renee Borowy, who has endured a tax disaster, the death of her salon partner, and a fire, yet keeps coming back to what she loves. Nails how’s that for superstardom? And what about Mary Metscaviz? She runs a fairly small salon in a small town, but she is one of the better known names in our industry - competing at shows, entering every contest to earn her more recognition, giving her time and effort to her community, and ultimately, even helping send off her own techs as they start their own business. And there’s Maise Dunbar, She’s put in her time at a photo shoot or two, but her focus is on her salon, M&M Nails and Wellness, which emphasizes wellness above beauty and is a trendsetter in its own right.

This is how our industry grows. Not through the spotlight-drenched activities of a few, but the behind-the-scenes efforts of the many. I agree we need superstars, people to look up to and aspire to, people who show that nail care is a glamorous, well-paying, cool profession. But I get really inspired by these others, the ones i consider our industry’s superstars. The ones who are probably a lot like you 

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