There's a lot of discussion out there regarding the do-it-yourself nail market. I remember when Backscratchers introduced their Extreme line there was a lot of sentiment from professionals who didn't want to add the service to their menu because they felt it was "too easy" for their clients to do their own nails at home with the tip-and-dip method.
Now we have gel polish. And there's talk about clients being able to buy these products online and do their nails at home.
There are so many pros out there who seem to be insecure about their businesses. Worried that their clients will abandon them without warning if only they can get their hands on the products. There's an entire faction of our industry out there striving to keep products out of the hands of consumers, convinced that — somehow — this is the defining point that keeps our industry in motion.
Well, I wouldn't be here today if my first professional nail tech had treated me this way. Not only did my first-ever nail tech patiently walk me through every step of the application process of my first set of acrylic nails with the full understanding that I intended to do my own nails at home, but if she had told me that she didn't approve of people doing their own nails and had refused to support my intentions, I'd have interpreted it as snobbery. I would have walked away thinking that the nail industry in general was comprised of snooty bitches who wanted to act superior to me and the rest of their clients.
Believe me, I put a lot of thought into this. I'm pretty sure that's how I'd have felt. And who knows if I'd have ever bothered to discover that I love the nail business?
So, even though I never saw her again and can't remember her name, there is a BIG warm, fuzzy, huggy "thank you" floating around the universe for that woman.
Meanwhile, I just had this conversation with my sales rep yesterday when he mentioned that he'd heard several nail techs complaining about losing business because clients are buying gel polish systems online. He wanted my input on the subject and to know how I felt about it.
I said, "Let ’em try!"
Nail polish has been available to the public since long before nail techs were a separately licensed industry. And yet, manicures have been part of the professional salon menu for much longer than I've been on the planet.
People can't even polish their own nails! So I say if someone wants to invest in $15 bottles of polish and a pricey lamp (that, face it, they'll never change the bulbs in anyway) and get that stuff all over their sofas, their carpets, their tablecloths, and wedged into their cuticles, well, I dare them! And I'm right here to fix it for them when they figure out that it's not nearly as easy as it looks.