*sigh* I’m gonna get letters. Let me start with a disclaimer, because people skim through what they read and don’t take time to think about what the words are actually saying. Watch — it’ll happen.
I don’t hate the nail bloggers.
I’m not “down” on them, I’m not “hating” on them, I’m not threatened by them or particularly annoyed by them. In fact, I’m pretty happy about them. I’m thrilled that this thing called “blogging” and the explosion of social networking has created a niche for the nail enthusiasts. I’m thrilled that the exposure they have in the blogosphere has created so much awareness of nail care, nail art, and nail polish. That the fashion industry has finally had to concede that manicures count. I like that the nail industry gets to ride those coattails to validation.
[screeching tires] ... WAIT! NO! I DON’T like that the professional nail industry “gets” to ride the bloggers’ coattails. I don’t like that the professional nail industry has had to ride their coattails to recognition and validation!
What is up with that? How is it that the professional nail industry has existed for decades? Specific education and training has been required (in most of the U.S. at least) in order to obtain a license issued by the state in order to be legally qualified to perform nail care services on paying customers fordecades! And yet, we needed the blogosphere to come of age in order to get a little respect for what we do.
It should be the other way around. The professional nail industry should be the driving force behind the professional nail industry. The enthusiasts should be looking to us for their inspiration and information. The fashion industry should be following us for news on nail trends. Our manufacturers should rely on the in-the-field technicians and artists to determine what direction to go in with new product development. Our trade magazines should be catering to the needs and desires of what the in-the-field technicians and artists are encountering and creating in the salon, and the in-the-field technicians and artists should be the public’s default resource for their personal nail care services.
I know some people will always prefer to do their own nails. I know people will always see what’s online or in a fashion magazine and want to emulate it. What I mean is, in public perception, professionals should outrank amateurs. The average client-on-the-street should know that there is a difference between the professional industry and the enthusiasts.
There will always be amazing talent that didn’t go into the business. Just as there will always be people in the business who have no business being there. So it’s not a matter of which individuals deserve the fortune and glory. The problem is that somewhere along the line, the professional industry dropped the ball. We stopped being the go-to authority on all things nails.
And I see signs that indicate that we aren’t even in the game anymore, as more media resources are turning to the blogosphere for their interviews and sound bites, targeting the DIY market, even while the professional industry is kicking butt and taking names.
All around me, my industry is going to the blogs. At least I can still make a living while I ride the coattails of the blogosphere to fortune and glory.