Nail techs in the U.K. face many of the same challenges we do, says Belinda Price, who recently co-founded the U.K.’s Nail Industry Association (NIA) with fellow techs Sue Davies and Amanda Gould. Boasting a combined total of 44 years behind a nail desk, the trio are working hard to build an association with strong foundations to not only support the industry they love, but to help it grow and develop.
“We have many of the same issues here,” says Price. “Product diversion and fake products put all that we’ve worked for at risk. In the salon we see deep discounting and undercutting driving prices down, due to some techs being great at nail services but less great at business. We face all the same challenges — getting new clients in, keeping old clients loyal, paying the bills, etc.”
The biggest way the U.S. and U.K. markets differ is in the training and qualification process. “There has only been a recognized qualification for around 15 years in the U.K. and it is not enforced. There are a few boroughs that do insist upon it, but only a couple,” she says. “This means that training standards vary massively. At the moment it is possible to take a one-day course and think of yourself as a nail tech. Of course there are some very good training courses too, but many people will look for the cheapest.”
The NIA’s priority is to standardize training and make sure new treatments like gel-polish are included in a formal qualification. “We can only do this by working together, sharing knowledge, and promoting the industry in a positive light,” she says. “Sue, Amanda, and I have the experience such a task requires and look forward to promoting the NIA to nail professionals and consumers.” Corporate membership will be available for manufacturers, distributors, and training companies.
For more information, go to www.nailindustryassociation.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.