Some industrious nail techs are making a name for themselves— and making money — with custom press-on nail sets. The owner of CKS Natural Nail Design Studio in Tacoma, Wash., Stacey Luffy uses a Tat’z nail printer to add photos directly to clients’ nails or to press-on sets. “I have regular salon clients who can’t wear long nails at work and they love that they can get a custom, one-of-a-kind press-on set to wear for an evening, weekend, or up to two weeks,” Luffy says. “But I really get the most out of my printer when I make press-on sets to promote an event or artist I’m going to see. This year I had a booth at the Tacoma Pride festival and I made several press-on sets — some to sell and some to raffle off. It was a hit and helped get my name out there.”
Nail tech Buddy Sims, owner of Vibe Salon & Day Spa in Omaha, Neb., has had a similarly positive experience. “I love doing press-ons!” he says. “They can be super quick and easy to do, all while watching my favorite binge obsession.” Sims creates souvenirs and gift packs for salon clients as well as those in the public spotlight, which he then promotes on social media. Some of his creations have even caught the eye of celebrities like Kathy Griffin and Kesha.
“To sweeten the pot for clients, and to ensure I am doing my job as a tech, I also include a package with each press-on purchase. It includes a nail file, cleanser, adhesive, directions, and a soak-off product for safe removal,” Sims says. He recommends other techs look to their community to find clients. “High school and collegiate gift shops can be a great start. Dance studios and local fashion events are good options as well,” he notes. “Ultimately, I feel like if press-ons are still selling in stores, as a nail expert, I want a piece of the pie as well.”
Tat’z Nail’z president Shannon Leather encourages techs to use the Tat’z Printer to create an additional income stream. The system can print any photo, design, or logo onto any nail — real or artificial. “Once the nails are prepped, it only takes about a minute and a half to print an entire set of 20 tips,” she says. “Salons will need our Tat’z Pro Printer, our #2 pre-print polish, and our nail trees (sets contain two trees with 10 nails each). The price for the salon to print is about $3 to $5 per set and depending on the colors used, embellishments added, etc., they sell anywhere from $15 to $50 and up.”
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