For techs who live and work in populations under 55,000, the challenges of finding and retaining a full clientele can be balanced by the personal relatinoships formed and small-town kindness shown by area residents.
Paragould has been through a lot in American history from steam-engined railroads to post-WWII industrial booms, and as it continues into the 21st century, Natalie Stone will be keeping its hands pretty. “We are primarily an industrial area,” says Stone. “So most women work in the factory and do not seek nail services. And women who are getting their nails done are going for the super cheap acrylic quick shops. It’s been tough to build up a clientele.”
Stone has lived here 21 years. She received her license in 2003 and quit doing nails three years later to be a stay-athome mom. In order to help win back old customers and gain new ones alike, Stone created a Facebook page (Nails by Natalie Stone) showcasing her skills and works extra hard on customer service to increase her word-of-mouth referrals. “In our salon roller sets are still a must, so we’ll have older ladies coming in once a week, and I love hearing their stories and giving them excellent manicures. I know they are going to spread the word,” says Stone.
Stone also stresses sanitation to help distinguish her services from the competition. Because a lot of her clients are close friends from high school or family friends it can at times be difficult to ask for full price, but she stays abreast of her competition’s prices and uses her Facebook page to list her menu and prices appropriately.