Passing It On

I want to take this opportunity to thank Nails Magazine for this opportunity.  I have enjoyed writing this blog over the last six months with Sandy. When I accepted this position I thought, “What am I going to write about week after week?” Actually, I’m surprised it has become easy for me to choose weekly topics. I sit down at my computer and I always look at the comments to Sandy’s and my articles. (We need more comments!) I also pull up Sandy’s response and then I write the next article from there.


So far, we have covered many subjects that I find to be common issues when traveling to salons and doing onsite training. Most salons/nail techs have a lot of the same problems, fears, and struggles. Because of theses similarities, I have been able to offer my advice and watch their progress and growth.


Many of you have read my bio and some of you have just stumbled across my blog. I want you to know who I am and why I get to do some of the things I do. I have made many mistakes over the years and have learned from every mishap. I will always share my wins and losses with others. Why? Because, I want YOU to be bigger, better, and faster than me! I want you to achieve more than I have and I want you to go where no nail tech has gone before! My hope is that if I share my struggles with you, you’ll learn from that and not struggle yourself. My goal is for you to learn from the time I have wasted during my professional trials and errors.


Many techs have asked me “Why do you give all of your information away? You had to learn and experience bumps in the road. Let everyone else figure that out for themselves. You had to pay your dues and so should the new techs!”


This is where I get angry. Many techs in our industry have a lot of great technical and business skills. It has taken them many years and several hands and feet to achieve those skills. Because of the time they have invested, techs feel that they OWN those skills. Many nail techs think that they had to figure it out for themselves and so should you.


I believe just the opposite! What good is it for me to take all of my technical and business skills to the grave with me? These skills have made me successful, why wouldn’t I share them? When I hire a new employee, I don’t just give her the basics and hope for the best. I coach and mentor that employee and give her all that I have. Why? Because, I am investing in our nail department. I want the reputation of my salon to be a highly skilled, customer-services-oriented nail department, not just one or two good techs.


Often new techs go into this industry because they are leaving the corporate world. This is the second time in their lives that they have changed their career path. They are mature and may not have five years to figure out how to make money and get clients. They need to know how to do that NOW! They have children, mortgage payments, and bills. They may not have the same luxury of some younger new techs of living at home with their parents.


It took me plenty of time to get good at doing acrylic nails — two years! How many clients did I make unhappy? How many tips popped off? How many nails that looked like Chiclets gum or had Chia Pets growing underneath them? I can teach new techs how to be effective and efficient, create perfect smile lines, eliminate lifting, and master proper application and filing techniques in less than six months. That was a mouthful, but it’s true. Tune in next week for part two of Passing It On.  


Please comment on our blog — we love hearing from you! Tell us what you what you want us to write about. Also, check out an the article by Michelle Pratt, “At the Top of Your Game” in the August issue of NAILS. I’m featured in the “Don’t Stop Looking” section of the article. By mentoring others, we can change the state of the industry one nail tech at a time. Passing it on, teaching you how to stand out above the rest and become the BEST!


— Jill


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