L.A. Hair: Episode 2 -- Naja's Take on a Commercial Shoot, But Still No Nail Station

When I agreed to work at Kim's salon, I didn't know this Leslie/Leah woman was the manager. Everything happened so quickly. I knew Kim and her mom, Jas, were there, but not Leah.

So I show up on day 2, and Leah still isn't willing to work with me in getting some sort of mani/pedi area worked out. Like I said last week, I even brought in things that could work. They did not really go with the decor of Kim's space, but in this particular instance anything would work better than exposed pipes and NOWHERE to do my clients' pedicures. I was extremely turned off by Leah's attitude as a manager in not trying to make it work. She was more like, "Yeah, we'll get it when we get it," which I felt rather strange as with that attitude she was actually saying NO to money. I wasn't going to be there trying to build up a clientele -- I already had one AND appointments booked each day!!!

Our rather loud and heated discussion went on for some time before Jas came over to try and quiet us down and smooth things over. At this point I was seeing black and couldn't even see if there were other clients in the salon. All I could see is pipes sticking out of a wall, pedicure clients on my books, a signed contract for this position I am now in -- on CAMERA no less -- and a woman that is not about business or her money.

I brought up a few temporary solution with Leah in a calm discussion before it got heated. Of course heat, drama, and reality TV go hand in hand. Once she told me she was not willing to help me bring the furniture I brought in I suggested we go to Ikea, Target, a thrift store, Craigslist, ANYWHERE where we could get chairs that would work. It would be an inexpensive solution and we could even try to get things that could double as waiting area chairs or party/event chairs for the salon. She was unwilling. I did not care about arguing; I cared about making money and servicing my clients.

I respect Jas. I respect Kim. I wanted my business respected. My head is swirling and what am I to do.

Kim asked me to take a few days off. In my eyes I had been off for two days unintentionally and was losing money. The amount of stress I was under wasn't good and Kim was probably right to have me lay low as she probably knew Leah was not going to work a solution out with me.

As usual when one door closes another opens. Going home to another temporary situation full of unpacked boxes I got a call from my agent who asked me about my availability for a commercial shoot. Everyone in the freelance world loves the words, "commercial and/or advertisement" because they pay the most and very well.

Many who aren't in that field are surprised that the cover of Vogue does not pay your bills. The cover would pay $125-175 at best. Editorial is about the credit and the exposure. It's Vogue after all!! I would do it, wouldn't you?!

Anyhow, he mentioned it was 2-day shoot with a prep day for TJ Maxx and they wanted someone who could do nail art. Hmm, national commercial, national brand requesting nail art, I was excited!!! I took along two of my assistants for the prep day where we had four hours (and a yummy lunch) to show our stuff. I always envision the days of artists having to entertain the royal court with Kings and Queens passing judgement -- and if it's not to their liking they open the floor underneath you and to the lions we go!!!

Thankfully they liked what we created and we didn't get fed to the lions. They showed us what the model would be wearing and that's all we had to go on. We showed them a number of decorated nail wheels and then they'd pick out ones that were going in the right direction and we'd fine tune it.

The finished product came out great. The entire commercial is really based around her mani/pedi. You can watch the commercial on NAILStv. So cool! I'm really honored to have done this commercial and it's testament of just how explosive, mainstream, and center-stage nails and nail art are in these current times.

Oh wait, am I still on a reality show? Dang, I have to go back there tomorrow. (Sad face and bites nails.)


Editor's Note: We're thrilled that celebrity nail tech Naja Rickette is blogging exclusively for NAILS Magazine during the second season of L.A. Hair. Read her past posts by clicking on the L.A. Hair (We TV Reality Show) link under "Post Categories".

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