Chicago-based nail tech Amber Edwards was recently named nail director for Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas, a chain with 18 locations throughout Illinois and Kansas. In this role, Edwards leads all aspects of the company’s nail services — from strategic planning to guest experience. NAILS asked Edwards how she intends to make her mark at the salon.
What are you seeing as the latest trends you intend to incorporate into the Tricoci offerings?
Edwards: We stay current with what’s happening in the fashion world; this year it’s a lot of color with a touch of metallic and sparkle. Our fall/winter line will be all of the above, giving the guest a lot of options in reds and browns with some blues and purples. These colors are available in creams or metallics.
What do you emphasize when it comes to hiring and training Tricoci nail techs?
Edwards: All of my nail techs are graduates of the proprietary Mario Tricoci system. This ensures that our guests receive the most consistent, high-quality experience they’ve ever received.
In short, this is as follows:
> Consistency, consistency, consistency. Our guests know that no matter which of our 18 locations they visit for services, they can depend on getting the same concierge-level quality of care and service.
> One-and-Only-ism. When our guests arrive, the techs immediately cease any talking among themselves. They get into the “one-and-only” mode where they focus on the guest, by looking her in the eyes, smiling, and shaking her hand. From the moment our guest arrives, she is the only person in the universe to that nail tech.
> Innovation. We are always seeking out new ways to improve our guest experience, our products, and our services. We have cultivated a corporate culture where our nail techs are encouraged to submit their ideas and observations in a weekly review session. Some of our best products, services, and protocols are derived from putting our “hive mind” together and collaborating on ideas.
> Nail training. When our nail technicians aren’t servicing our guests, they are training to improve their existing skills while learning — and sometimes developing — cutting edge techniques and other salon trends.
What do you think are the main challenges facing techs at any salon?
Edwards: The main challenge facing any tech is speed. Time is money. The quicker she can provide the service while also achieving that delicate balance of not making a guest feel rushed and giving the best quality of service, the more money she will earn.
How can the nail techs improve their game?
Edwards: Practice techniques for increasing your speed in filing nails and applying artificial nail products. Attend every demonstration class available to you in your area. Attend any beauty shows in your geographic area to see what the next trends will be in nail products and services and keep up with what the celebrities are wearing.