Name: Joanne Linck
Position: Head Instructor, Cosmetique School of Nail Technology
Location: Burnaby, British Columbia
Years doing nails: 13
Years educating: 8
Why she stands out: Anyone can teach you to manicure textbook-perfect nails – it takes a pro like Joanne Linck, head instructor at Cosmetique School of Nail Technology in Burnaby, British Columbia, to give a new tech the confidence to manage even the most hard-to-handle hands. “I tell my students that when they spot someone with truly difficult nails, they should hand them a school business card and invite them to come in as our guest,” explains Joanne. “This way, when students leave, they feel confident they can work on a really challenging set of hands.”
Joanne entered the beauty business 20 years ago, working primarily as an esthetician and makeup artist. “When gels came onto the scene, I started working with them and really loving them. I found that my nail clientele was much more consistent and devoted to the maintenance of their nails,” she says. “Eventually I became a full-time nail tech.”
She went to work for Cosmetique in 1995, developing a 300-hour nail curriculum for the school. (British Columbia is one of the few Canadian provinces with a licensing requirement for manicurists – 285 hours in this case.) Joanne also works for En vogue Sculptured Nail Systems, training new distributors and educators in North America.
“What makes a good nail tech is not that you don’t make a mistake, but that you can fix a mistake,” says Joanne, whose favorite aspect of teaching nails is troubleshooting. “After so many years in the industry, I’ve learned to anticipate problems. I try to teach my students what I learned the hard way.”
Of course, the best judge of a teacher’s abilities is her students, Judging by the student evaluations in her AVAs entry package, to say Joanne’s students are fond of her is an understatement. How did they react to her being an AVA finalist? “They were thrilled, of course. But they thought I should have come in first,” she says with a laugh.