I never appreciated the art of “getting ready” until I went to my first fantasy masquerade ball in Los Angeles. For the first time, I was excited to fit into an extravagant setting where cosplayers transformed into creatures like you only see in the movies. To fit in, this meant getting the works — hair, make-up, and nails.
Lucky for me, Lexor’s Jennifer Nguyen is a veteran cosplayer and aspiring makeup artist and donated her time to helping me transform. Also lucky was our photo shoot for the November/December 2013 issue of VietSALON happened to be in the same week, where Gelish educator Thao Nguyen graciously gave me my first red gel-polish manicure, matching it with my red and black dress. For someone who only wears her nails natural, this was a big deal. If an event like this could get a low-maintenance girl like me wearing red nails, make-up, and a flower in my hair, who knows what others would do (or spend) to make the best of their night? Imagine creating magical glitter nails for fairies or adding feathers and swirls that match each fancy mask.
Local special events are the perfect way to market your services as the place to get trend-setting, unique looks that cater to anyone’s nail art needs. Comic conventions (my favorite!), book fairs, medieval festivals, and cultural performances happen in many towns big and small across the country. Look up annual events in your area in your local newspaper or do a web search for local events in your city. Come up with some styles that would fit the theme. You can get inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, and find nail art technique tutorials on YouTube. At the very least, have basic abstract designs and every color in the spectrum to match anyone’s outfit.
For example, during Comic-Con San Diego, Sanrio offered Hello Kitty nail art to those who purchased a certain amount of Hello Kitty merchandise. This could have been YOU marketing your services for Comic-Con. For Los Angeles salons, the Comikaze Expo is another comic-themed event taking place this weekend, Nov. 2-3, 2013.
Then let people know on your Facebook page and don't be afraid to post your services on the event’s Facebook page. If you're hesitant, send the event page a message, there's even a chance you could cross-promote your services. Dawn Doan, owner of Just For Nails in Stockbridge, Ga, frequently posts her nail art online. “I recommend artists post their nail art on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to help market their art,” Doan says.
Of course, traditional events like weddings, prom, the winter holidays, and Halloween should keep you busy during these normal seasons. Staying on top of these special events during slower times might help pick up business, up your nail art imagination, and help your salon in the long run.