Runner-Up Nail Technician of the Year: Catherine DePoole

Catherine DePoole proves her skills by earning a runner-up spot for Nail Technician of the Year.

Nail technician: She’s Got Nails

Location: Westland, Mich.

Years doing nails: 5

Age: 24

Technician Says Knowledge Is Key

Nail Technician Catherine DePoole’s 80 or so regular clients are among her biggest fans, taking personal pride in her many professional achievements. So when DePoole emerged a runner-up in the Nail Technician of the Year Awards, she found plenty of friends to celebrate with. “Many of my clients have been with me from the beginning and witnessed my growth in the industry,” writes DePoole, a Top 25 competitor, in her personal essay. “In return I try my hardest to give them individual attention and treat them with the utmost respect. They can expect an excellent nail service, good conversation, and a great cup of coffee,” she says.

Not only does DePoole expertly tend to her own clientele, as manager of She’s Got Nails in Westland, Mich., she exhibits a professionalism that makes her stand out. DePoole personally checks the quality of every new set of nails done in the salon. She welcomes clients with free product goodies and home care instructions for their new nails. She explains about the products used in the service and lets clients know she’s eager to receive any comments, good or bad. “Catherine has taken the time to educate me about caring for my nails, even teaching me the proper names of nail parts and how to avoid damaging them,” explains customer Carrie Poletti in a letter of support for her favorite technician.

Also active in the administration of the salon, DePoole handles complaints, trains new technicians, manages inventory, and even lent a hand in designing the salon menu. As a sales representative for Galaxy Nail Products, she travels the country attending tradeshows, giving lectures, and doing hands-on demonstrations.

It’s the constant interaction with manufacturers, educators, and other nail professionals that motivates DePoole to excel and keeps her enthusiasm from wavering. “To stay on top, you have to learn continually,” she says. “If I’m feeling a bit low, I’ll go to a nail show and talk to people, see what’s new out there, and what I can bring back for my clients. I’m instantly recharged.”

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