Tiny Billboards In Your Pocket

I remember back in the day of having my nails done by someone else — after discovering that nails are not just nails, and that having a license doesn’t guarantee any particular level of competency or talent — the agony of finding a nail tech who offered the level of service I was looking for.

Back then, in the mid-80's, I learned the importance of a good referral. A few years later, when I took my seat on this side of the nail table, I really wanted business cards with a photo of nails that I did on them. Never mind that that was before digital cameras, even before 35-mm point-and-shoot cameras became prolific and affordable. I'd been doing nails for two years before I even owned a camera that had a zoom that allowed me to take anywhere near decent photos!

So, getting a photo of my work that would have been appropriate for printing on a card would have required hiring a photographer, and back then even a student photographer from the local community college was beyond my budget!

Then there was the cost of the four-color separation printing required to print full color photo cards. Ouch. My first set of business cards cost me just over $400 for 1,000 cards. Simple two colors on nice stock.

Can you even imagine that now? Cards are cheap to have printed in full color and easy to print yourself ... and that's the problem now.

I just cannot bring myself to order cards in quantities over 250 at a time — because I can't bring myself to keep the same cards any longer than that! I change them every time I reorder.

I have been at the new location for a full year now, and I just ordered the fourth set of cards with this address on them!

On one hand, I'm trying so hard to establish some consistency in my business image (so people automatically recognize me when they see my marketing materials). On the other hand, photos have to be updated constantly because styles change. I loved the cards with the Ed Hardy stiletto nail on them, but the Ed Hardy thing has waned considerably. Since I specialize in nail art, it means constantly changing photos to show the most current design trends.

That's my justification, anyway. The photo shows all my cards from the very first ones to the last ones — just before my current ones. Yes, those red ones do have photos on them — they're on the back. And the back of those cards is now the front of the new cards! I'm obsessed.

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