Maggie Rants [and Raves]

A New Prohibition Era?

by Maggie Franklin | November 20, 2012

I recently found a post on Facebook from a fellow tech that made me think to myself, “Hmmm. She does have a point.”

Her post was a pretty to-the-point rant that she would be charging a specific price to do a set of nails on other nail techs. The point being that she was not going to have her competition coming in to learn her techniques under the guise of being a client. That if you are a nail tech and you want to learn from her, you will be paying to take a private class from her.

I come from a generation of techs who are willing to sit and share and mentor — often for far too little compensation. I like playing with other nail techs. But I also certainly understand this “don’t steal from me” attitude as well.

It did make me think — are we entering a new era of our profession? A sort of Prohibition era, where we will find ourselves less willing to share our skills and professional wisdom with our colleagues in order to protect our bottom line from the competition?

Maybe it all comes down to attitude? If you make an appointment for a full set and come in and admit that you are a competing nail tech halfway through our appointment, I might be inclined to feel a little duped as well. That itchy, dirty feeling that you have attempted to deceive me with the intention of learning something from me that you can later, essentially, use against me.

Yeah, it does seem sleazy.

My FB friend referred to these people as “bootleggers.” I like that term. Kinda distinguishes this behavior as being a little underhanded and not entirely legit. And that’s why I got to thinking of a new Prohibition in our industry — a new turn of attitude toward other professionals. An end to the era where we all felt connected to one another by the Internet, felt like we were among friends, willing to share our talents with our colleagues. Entering a new time, where the Internet brings our competition too close for comfort and forces us to become distrustful of our peers, more protective of our work.

I don’t know how I feel about this yet. I’m still very much a fan of finding camaraderie in my colleagues and a spirit of sisterhood, sharing ideas, tricks, and wisdom. On the other hand, there are “bootleggers” out there who don’t want to bother with trade magazines or trade shows or classes or making any of the efforts to become badass professionals in their own right and instead spend their time slinking around their competition, hoping to snatch a few crumbs of talent from those who have worked hard for their success.

Yeah. I can totally see why some of us would be pretty angry about that.

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