Royan Williams has been licensed since 1994. Williams operated a full-service nail salon and spa that he later converted into Chicago Nail School. In 1994, there were many people looking for a nail school, so he took the necessary steps to open his doors and educate all who wanted to learn. It was one of the first in the state of Illinois to be accredited as a nail school. It stills remains in the same location where it started in almost 20 years ago. The area is affordable and easily accessible by public transportation.
A PROGRAM SET APART
The school offers licensing renewal throughout the year. Chicago Nail School also specializes in continuing education hours through its advanced education program. Williams travels throughout the state to offer these classes. Its program is further set apart by the fact that the tuition is a great value. Williams says people even call two or three times because “they can’t believe that the specials that show up on our website are correct.”
For most students, price is particularly important, as this is their second career. The economy has caused many to pursue certification in order to offer nail services as a part-time job or a second means of supplementing their income. Job placement is offered to graduates and a job posting board is available to help get students to work. Field trips and invitations for salon owners to stop by are other perks of the program. While the school does not have a direct salon affiliation, it enjoys working with local salons that are aware of the quality graduates coming from the school.
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD
Williams knows firsthand about the students because he is a devoted instructor, in addition to owning the school. Gel and acrylic application are his favorites to teach. Though he admits finding teachers is his number-one challenge. The state of Illinois lists less than 50 licensed nail tech teachers on its website. Despite this challenge, Williams says business is steady. He has an excellent customer retention ratio as well. Creative marketing coupled with lowered tuition rates has helped attract more pupils.
In the future, Williams envisions working closer with manufacturers and using the school’s location as a training center where they can send educators to teach students fresh out of nail school. “The industry is very lucrative,” Williams says, “Join associations, be active, let your voice be heard.” This attitude is what keeps Chicago Nail School moving forward.
Nail school: Chicago Nail School
Location: Blue Island, Ill.
Owner: Royan Williams
Square footage: 5,000
Number of employees: 2
Editor’s Note: This profile is part of a series spotlighting successful nail programs. To nominate a nail program for an article, please e-mail sree.roy[at]bobit.com.
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