You’d think that after 30 years in the nail business, Canadian salon owner and educator Suzie Moskal might be ready to slow things down. You’d be wrong. As the host of Nail Career Education, a YouTube channel named after her school, she’s just getting started; her detailed video tutorials are attracting an ever-growing online audience. At press time, the channel, which she started just a year-and-a-half ago, boasts more than 425,000 subscribers and 26 million views.
We wanted to take a peek into Moskal’s world and uncover the secrets to her success.
Why did you start the channel?
Moskal: I have a nail school here in Victoria, British Columbia, and I wanted to raise my profile to reach potential students. I’m not one to seek the limelight — I’m much more comfortable behind the scenes, but my husband thought that creating a YouTube channel would be a good way for potential students to see my work and teaching style. He had some time in between his work projects (he’s an editor and sound designer), and offered to produce some videos for me. So we posted them on YouTube and it just grew and grew — much to our surprise.
Who exactly is tuning in to your YouTube channel — pros or nail fans?
Moskal: My YouTube friends are the sweetest and kindest people and it’s been great getting to know them. The majority seem to be “nail techs in the making” — future nail techs watching to pick up new techniques and tips that will make their jobs easier. They enjoy seeing how another tech designs nails. There are also many nail enthusiasts who love watching the craft of designing nails, and as nail clients they are looking for inspiration for new designs to try.
I get comments from all over the world: the U.S., U.K., Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Nigeria, India, and many other places. It’s exciting to see how the love of nails crosses borders and cultures. My husband and I often find ourselves sitting on the couch reading their messages, sometimes laughing along with some of their hilarious comments.
How do you decide what topics to cover? And which are the most popular?
Moskal: I just do the designs I like and have fun creating. Some are designs I have done a lot in the past, but many are also new to me and were suggested by viewers. That’s always fun! The viewers love to see what is involved, and what products are used in the sculpting of acrylic nails. My nail art videos, like ombre, are also very popular. The nail business is changing all the time. Viewers seem to enjoy seeing what’s new on the market, and also how I might create a design compared with other YouTubers.
I know your husband handles the technical side of things. What exactly does he do?
Moskal: He films, edits, designs the graphics, and sound mixes the videos for me. Honestly, if I was left to my own devices, my videos would be filmed on my phone with no niceties. I am not a tech-minded person. Basically, I’m responsible for the nail design and the look of the set, and he does everything else. We film with four cameras and he operates them all at once. He sets the lighting so the viewers can see everything in detail. It’s fortunate that our skills combine together so well.
Do you make money from the channel?
Moskal: About seven months ago we decided it was time to monetize the channel to help cover the costs of producing it. This is one of the reasons we are able to keep producing the videos. We love making them and have so many more new content ideas to share!
Do you have any tips for others on getting your videos seen?
Moskal: I only started this 17 months ago and it really took off about eight months in. When I started I had no idea how it worked and have been learning as I go. I don’t know of any secrets or tricks to getting YouTube views. All we have done is have fun making the videos and posted them to the Nail Career Education YouTube channel. We make sure we have good thumbnail photos, descriptions, and tags — the YouTube algorithm automatically does the rest. If people like what they see, they’ll watch. As more people watch, your views will grow. Be patient, as it takes a while.
To learn more about making great videos, read “A Nail Tech’s Guide to Shooting, Editing Video” at www.nailsmag.com/videofundamentals.
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