Amy Masters

Amy Masters

In her 18 years in the business, Dayton, Wyo.-based nail tech Amy Masters has always made herself available to help other nail techs, but in the past two years she has made her love of teaching part of her career by becoming an independent nail consultant. Her classes for licensed nail techs teach business concepts, salon best practices, and nail techniques. Masters says the demand for the classes comes from Wyoming’s lack of continuing education options. “New nail techs learn to pass their state board test and that’s it,” she explains. “Some of them have never even done a full set, let alone a fill or a repair.”

The idea of independently providing continuing education arose when Masters was asked to teach a nail art class. She called her state board to check license requirements and found that although she could not teach students without an instructor’s license, there are no restrictions on teaching already-licensed nail techs. Advertising on Facebook and locally, Masters quickly became popular. She is usually invited to teach at other salons, but sometimes holds classes at her own location. “Every three to four weeks I put on a class,” she says. “I’ve had multiple techs come to every class.”

Helping techs understand their business is a key part of the curriculum. “I always start with what I call Salon 101,” she says. “I teach them how to find their true product cost and how much to charge. They say, ‘Well, I went online and it says the product is $2 per pedicure.’ Well, how much for the pedicure tub, how much for the tools, how much  for the removal? I show them how to break that down.”

Building a community is a big part of the classes, according to Masters. “When I end the class, I always ask about something positive that’s happened at work recently, and what they are struggling with,” she says. “We’re all nail techs, so it’s nice to get that feedback and learn that you’re not the only one with that struggle.” The support continues after the class is over: Everyone who has taken the class is added to a Facebook group where techs can continue to share advice. “The network means that even if I’m not available, other techs are,” says Masters.

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