From the Editors

L.A. Hair: Episode 7: Naja Tries the "Squeaky Wheel" Approach

by NAILS Magazine | July 19, 2013

I need space. I need space. I NEED SPACE.

You know when you feel all cramped and cluttered up? UGH! We artists, especially detail-oriented manicurists, need things, especially our work area, a CERTAIN way. Right?! Don’t you catch yourself at the checkout line straightening products up so they look tidy?

So a few weeks have passed and this TEMPORARY station has expired for me. I feel too unorganized. It’s literally cramping my style. It could potentially get in the way of the integrity of my work. When it gets too much in disarray, I feel like I cannot work, literally.

I was taking initiative to clear some of the shelves so I could at least lay my things out for easy access. We had a dance group coming in of at least seven people, so I needed quick access to all my things to keep the flow of creativity flowing. I didn’t want to continue to get on my knees digging through suitcases. That wouldn’t have worked with the time limit we had. I was really astonished that Leah had a problem with it. I actually thought it looked great, and it wowed the dance troupe because there were so many choices.

My mentor in the celebrity and on-set work part of my career, Kimmie Kyees (responsible for Rhianna’s digits), gave me that as the first rule. OPTIONS, OPTIONS, OPTIONS. That’s what celebs want, need, and expect. That is how I got a lot more jobs from being on set and having so MANY options. I look like a beauty supply store when I unpack, but that is what clients and producers like to see. This is what will set your salon apart from the discount salons on every corner. I always hear on Nail Talk Radio from listeners, “I’m afraid to charge a higher price” or “How can I compete with the salon on every corner?” My answer is always the same, “Find your niche and market it.” Superb customer service is one way. Serving sangria is another :). A lot of options or high quality products is something that does set you apart from the discount salons.

I know with most clients it does pose a problem with TOO many options. They get all confused and start talking in circles and then can’t make up their mind. I normally will get a verbal idea from them during the service of what ideas they have for their appointment and then I will bring out a large selection of colors and options that fit into their theme. I also am confident at my skills and professionalism, so comes naturally and easily to take control of the situation and guide the client. That takes finesse, tact, and practice. The first few years after I was licensed I could not do that but with practice and great mentors I’m a whiz at it now.

I have not yelled like that EVER in a business situation. I really don’t remember the last time I was that mad. Probably in my early 20s. Leah seemed to have a personal thing with me and had me waiting on furniture and equipment that was in our agreement. I do not care how I feel about someone personally I would not be able to sleep if I felt like I was holding someone back financially. While I was clearing off a shelf, ONE SHELF, Leah is looking concerned like I should have enough space to offer clients at Kim Kimble’s salon, a international sought after hair stylist, 10 to 15 polishes. This was after earlier I was clearing off that ridiculous shelving unit right behind my temporary desk because there is space on it and Kim told me I could use, “two of the cubes”. It’s not optimal because all of my stuff would be right there in the clients' faces, but I needed my work area somewhat organized and thought it could work.

I snapped all the way. It was not a blackout anger -- that was day 1. This was a strategy. The squeaky wheel gets the grease approach. I had already compromised enough. Leaving was not an option in my eyes. Even though Los Angeles is a big city, there are not many great places to work. It would have set me back a month or so to find another space that suited my clients' needs. I tried the compliant approach. That was not producing results in the timeline I wanted, so I tried Plan B. Very Eddie Murphy RAW style. If I don’t get my station I may have to throw in the towel...

Keep Filing, keep smiling,

Editor's Note: We're thrilled that celebrity nail tech Naja Rickette is blogging exclusively for NAILS Magazine during the second season of L.A. Hair. Read her past posts by clicking on the L.A. Hair (We TV Reality Show) link under "Post Categories"
Read more about
Load More