Tracey Lee celebrates her  NTNA Season 4 victory.

Tracey Lee celebrates her
NTNA Season 4 victory.

For most people, December is the most festive time of the year. Time to get that last-minute Christmas shopping done, time to practice some delicious recipes before putting your loved ones through the taste test, and most importantly, it’s about quality time together. For nail professionals, “quality time” and “being together” are squeezed in on the 25th and 26th between opening presents and eating. Nail professionals move into high gear in December, putting the finishing touch on clients before that office Christmas party or New Year’s celebration. Sleep? We do that in January!

This year, I will be sitting back with a strawberry daiquiri toasting the most amazing year for me in my nail career. When I think about December 2016, Jonny, Liina, and I were still in the whirlwind of our final challenges for NTNA. Between opening presents and Christmas dinner there was still time to add another embellishment to the design.

2017 has been a year of opportunities for me. I believe I’ve always been a dedicated and hard worker, but it was the finale of NTNA that created so many of the opportunities I had been working toward: The opportunity to meet and network with so many greats in our industry; the opportunity to gain exposure on a global platform; the opportunity to work alongside a dynamic team at Fashion Week. After experiencing NYFW, my thoughts were confirmed: It is possible to co-exist with other nail professionals without all the drama that surrounds us. We all have our own strengths and others can learn from us, as we can learn from others, but most essential is to show respect to one another.

My advice to nail professionals to make next year your best year ever is to focus on yourself. Look around, learn from others, learn what to do and what not to do, and grow and develop into the nail professional YOU want to be. Channel all your energy into finding and growing your niche. Is someone doing nails cheaper in your area? Good for them, no need to badmouth them as you don’t know what their situation is. Put together your plan of action for when clients ask why your price is higher — focusing on your experience, training, product choice, etc. Keep it positive!

I believe the same is true for social media. This amazing and powerful tool offers us inspiration from around the globe. It’s also the perfect platform for us to be critical of others without a face-to-face confrontation. Be honest in your comments on social media, but be kind, and if you have nothing constructive to say, just don’t say anything at all.
We are in one of the most creative, dynamic, and extraordinary industries. No two days are ever the same. We touch so many people’s lives in so many different ways. They may be sitting across from us at the salon table sharing their most intimate secrets; they may be inspired by our creations via social media; they may be motivated by seeing a new technique or product we share with them in the classroom.

Grab 2018 with perfectly manicured hands and continue listening, sharing, and motivating others in order to elevate our industry to the level it so deserves to be.
Happy holidays everyone and a blessed 2018 to you and yours!

Tracey Lee

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