Q&A

Reader to Reader: If you could go back in time five years and speak to your former self, what piece of business advice would you give her?

Q.

If you could go back in time five years and speak to your former self, what piece of business advice would you give her?

A.

You’ve just started this amazing journey of becoming a nail tech and are probably reluctant to do pink-and-whites as a newbie. My advice is to always adhere to proper application and technique, continually practice, always try your best, and believe in yourself. It takes several years to build a loyal clientele; however with your artistic talent, you’ll prosper. Leap…and the net will appear!
Danalynn Stockwood
Genesis Salon, Fitchburg, Mass.

Don’t sell yourself short. You’re worth every penny you charge — no exceptions. When you start making exceptions to the rules, people expect to remain exceptions to the rules. And, most importantly, begin saving money!
Shawn Wilkins
Pampered Soles, Chicago

Don’t mix friendship with business (biggest mistake I ever made).
Meggan Anderson
Nail’D By Meggan at Dreamz Day Spa and Salon, Burley, Idaho

Focus on your overall goal. During the past five years, I stayed true to what I wanted but allowed myself to get distracted. Never again. I would tell myself that even with all of the doubts and tribulations, determination is a huge part of success. Also, starting out seems stressful, but learn as much as you can and pay attention to any advice in the beginning because it will all be helpful in the end.
Kristina McReynolds
Cre8tiveKtina’s Nail Art and Design, Phoenix

Bank all your money. (It was before the recession hit.)
Melanie Verdugo
Claudette’s Hair Designs, Fresno, Calif.

Forget hair — you want to do nails!
Mitchele Hunt
St. Joseph, Mo.

Try not to let the slow days get you down. I am very busy now but I went through a couple of very slow years when I started. Things would pick up and I would be thrilled but then I would have a few weeks of being slow again. It was hard not to be discouraged, but I got encouragement from the others at the salon and I soon had many more busy days than slow days. Now if I have a (rare) slow week I take advantage of it and enjoy the break.
Kathy Dent
Salon Glow, Reno, Nev.

Take some money out of your pocket to buy better products for your clients than your salon is supplying. Your clients will feel spoiled and stay loyal. Also don’t listen to coworkers too much, and do what works best for you.
Pamela Magnisalis
Salon Norman-Dee, Philadelphia

Work hard to be different and try new things. It took me years to pick up a paintbrush to do nail art. I wish I had done it all along.
Regina Contreras
Premier Nails, Fremont, Ohio

Don’t sweat the small stuff! (That’s to the me from 23 years ago, when I first started out in this industry.)
Yvette Pitt
The Lacquer Beauty Lounge, Watsonville, Calif.

Illustration by Yuiko Sugino

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