Thoughts on a Shopping Spree

Last week I had a visit from a couple of nail tech friends from Oregon. They made the 14-hour pilgrimage by car to visit the hellish land of the Central San Joaquin Valley in July just to see me.

I hope they had fun.

I hope their visit lived up to their expectations.

I have no idea what to do to entertain people when they come to visit me, whether it’s for business or for pleasure. Especially if they arrive in the middle of summer with our 107-degree temps.

My friends texted me during their journey to let me know they needed “zebra files and sugar scrub.”

I found this text confusing. I replied, “For your personal manicure? Or like supply shopping?”

They wanted to go supply shopping.


Uh yeah...about that.

Well, I did my best to accommodate them. I took them to Fresno where they didn’t find any of the things they actually needed, but still managed to spend an impressive amount of money on glitter and gel-polishes.

I, myself, do most of my supply shopping online. We have all the usual players here, but they offer little in the way of real supplies and even less in the way of warm welcomes for the working nail tech. And there is a smattering of independent suppliers strewn throughout the valley — some old school supply houses that smell like perm solution and hair spray from the ’50s, some small nail supply places that are more glitter and rhinestones than files and buffers.

I don’t really understand this. In a state where files, buffers, and sanding bands are single-use items, why aren’t beauty supply houses capitalizing on the disposable supplies? Why isn’t someone making a killing selling 50-packs of files? Buffer blocks in bulk? Sanding bands by the pound? Cuticle oil, top coats, lotions, potions, and disposable foot files?

Why do I have to travel 50 miles out of town to find a distributor of more than CND and OPI products? And why do I have to order online to stock up on the supplies I go through on a daily basis?

Why are there so few distributors who offer true support for our industry?

At least here, locally.

When another nail tech asks where she can get a pack of files, why is my best answer “Google it?”

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