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 relationships formed and small-town kindness shown by area residents.
Lancaster and nearby Danville, Ky., have been home for Crystal Jones all her life. The quaint city of Lancaster is where she currently works, out of the Royal Treatment/House of Style salon. Jones was fortunate to find a nail mentor at the beauty school she attended, because the school’s curriculum focused on cosmetology. Five years later, Jones is facing the day-in, day-out struggles of finding and keeping a clientele, while at the same time establishing herself apart from local competition.
“There’s a vast amount of cheaper competition in the area, so I really have to put my effort into keeping up on new trends and sanitation of course, so I can educate my clients and show them that I’m different and worth the little extra,” she says. “And the Internet with sites like Youtube have been my best friend for new nail techniques and trends.” Jones feels a little inhibited since Lancaster is a small town with a conservative economy — new and more expensive trends might not fly. “I’d love to offer Minx, but I don’t think it would go over well,” she says.
But Jones loves the close relationships that form with her clients as a result of their small town residency. “It’s something that comes with working in a small place, but it’s almost like having an extended family.” She adds, “It does sometimes make for interesting conversations when someone comes up to me in the middle of dinner and asks, ‘Do you have that new silver OPI color?’ or ‘You’re never gonna believe what I did to my toe!’”