Jan Arnold’s Take on the Pillars of Success

by Holly Schippers | January 22, 2019 | Bookmark +


For the January broadcast of NailOn with Holly and Mel, the special guest was Jan Arnold, co-founder of CND. We talked business and how to be successful no matter what field you are in. The notes below are the full version of what Jan had written up for the broadcast. We thought you would enjoy having all of the information since we had to abbreviate some of it to keep within our usual hour timeslot! If you missed the live broadcast on the NAILS Magazine Facebook page, you can find the recording on the NailOn YouTube channel.

Enjoy! — Holly


CND turns 40! The top 4 pillars of CND’s success:

1. INNOVATION: def.: the action or process of innovating; a new method, idea or product. Transformation based on creativity, originality, ingenuity, inspiration, and inventiveness.

  To make something innovative happen, there are 3 components you must be willing to embrace: risk-taking, grit and creativity.

a. Innovation requires RISK-TAKING. By virtue of the word, INNOVATION drives change. Innovators have a vision they see before they even go to work on it.

  • A great example was our first innovation called ‘SolarNail.’ Everything before SolarNail was built on a linear molecular structure and a simple single link polymer. My Dad wanted something more flexible and resilient, non-yellowing and natural looking. He did not accept the status quo and applied logic to his innovation. What if we could crosslink the molecular chains and achieve the results we need? And that’s exactly what he did. The first ever cross-linked polymer resin was born in SolarNail and it revolutionized how enhancements were worn. Now, clients could go natural without yellowing or discoloration. They looked incredible, natural and beautiful no matter what the client did for a living. This innovation also helped to fuel the trend of the forever French manicure, which when done with traditional enamel turns yellow within hours but with the cross-linked product, it stayed brilliantly white and clean for 2+ weeks.

 Our vision kept us on track with the must-have attributes we saw with this innovation.

 b. Innovation takes GRIT! Grit is courage and resolve; strength of character.

 Real change requires bravery and pluck as well as determination, tenacity, perseverance. More That means never giving up.

When you innovate, you take people out of their comfort zone and daily expectations. Innovation can be difficult and misunderstood, simply because it’s unfamiliar. Innovators have the stomach and grit to make change. To be honest, it’s easier…and cheaper to just follow. But that isn’t who we are at CND…and I’m sure that isn’t who you are either.

 Here’s a great example: SHELLAC! Before Shellac was born, we realized the biggest pain point for consumers was the service break down they were experiencing with traditional nail polish. Our vision was to create something that would:

  •  GO ON like polish;
  •  WEAR like gel
  •  Come OFF in minutes ...With NO nail damage.

Can you imagine, that it took us 3 years to get it on to our liking and another 2 ½ years to get it off with NO NAIL DAMAGE! Without grit, Shellac would not have been born. We were tenacious about our success.

 c. Innovation requires CREATIVITY! Creativity requires imagination and bringing forward original ideas! Being inventive!

Thinking creatively means you are bold enough to break convention. You can use your imagination to see a new way. I believe that creativity requires curiosity and imagination.

In every challenging situation, the solution lies in the ability to be innovative and think creatively. It also demands tenacity and grit, the risk-taking elements that push you further than you’ve gone before. I find that connecting with people you respect and admire will stimulate innovative thoughts in new ways. Surround yourself with inspiring people that bring the best out in you! Take your great idea to them and ask them to help you make it even better.

A great example of creativity is the wonderful experiential booth we created at the Premiere show last year. Instead of doing what we’ve always done, we tried something new and different. We made the show about the participant in every step of the experience. It was fun and successful and allowed us to extend our reach at this show beyond just those who were there in person and were able to include everyone from around the globe! I have to give kudos to the team at CND who stepped out of convention to passionately bring this idea forward.


2. POSITIVITY is an ingredient for success that can never be under estimated. Is the glass half empty or half full? Thinking positively will get you through the toughest of times!

I remember when we were still a pretty young company and we put together a board of directors who helped guide us in business. They were in place to challenge our thinking and to help steer a more successful course for the business. We knew nails and we believed in our innovation but we didn’t know what we didn’t know yet! We had a hit a bump in the road and we worked diligently with the board to find creative solutions and innovative strategies that turned the situation around. I look back at those times and strongly believe it was calculated positivity that got us through…and not just by the skin of our teeth but to a glowingly stellar result. Had we believed failure or succumbed to the rough road, we might not have been able to recover. But we stayed positive and then learned from our mistakes and applied the lessons to new ways of thinking for the future. Business goes up and it goes down and when it’s down, staying optimistic and positive will get you through ALL times, will have a positive impact on those around you and will force you to think creatively and recommit to your passions.

I also know that when someone says the following: ‘You can’t,’ ‘NO,’ ‘It won’t work,’ ‘there’s no way,’ etc., the immediate instinct is to get creative, hunker down and stay positive!


3. COMMITMENT means you hang in there, you stay the course and you ride the path of your vision. Being committed means finding the passion that drives you, setting your goals high, and defining the path to ride … and then stick to it like glue!

Our goal at CND was always to be the world leaders of professional nails, fashion and beauty. Our path and commitments are clearly defined within that those words:

  • Professional Nail – a commitment to the pro and to the responsibility we have for our clients’ nail health
  • Fashion – elevating creativity by creating trend
  • Beauty – helping all clients feels more beautiful and powerful to go out and conquer their own commitments

 Defending this commitment is my job each and every day to guard and protect!


4. PROFESSIONALISM means doing things that benefit your industry not just yourself. Advancing the state of the industry for CND means making the industry a better place because we were there! Participating in professional associations, donating to the future of the industry (BCL), being a mentor, contributor and passionate advocate for doing things right, no matter what.

Professionalism for the Pro means:

  • Using product systems because they result in calculated results for the client
  • Honoring the health of the natural nail with gentle care – no roughing, scraping or mechanical force
  • Customizing the service to the individual client need to suit their nail type and shape, skin type and lifestyle. Taking this time will result in success for everyone.
  • Setting the client up for success with a home care regimen they are able to adopt and maintain.
  • Wearing amazing and inspiring nails at all times to motivate the client to try new things and to model the attest technology
  • Practicing excellent communication skills to articulate the service and care program the Pro has in store for the client

As we reflect on the past of CND we are also crafting the future. Never losing sight of these pillars will give wings to our future!


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