While our January issue celebrates you, our readers, in your own voices, did you know that several of our online weekly blogs feature reader voices throughout the entire year? New salon owners, competitors, students, coaches, and a few opinionated veteran techs; we let these reader voices shine through every week online. And they have a lot to say. If you aren’t already following these blogs, bookmark them right away.

NAILS 101: A STUDENT BLOG (http://blogs.nailsmag.com/student)

Excerpt from “Week 2: Preparing to Work on Real Clients” posted on November 1, 2010

“Come Friday morning we had all passed the written portions of the exam the day before and were chomping at the bit to take the 100-question test and do the practical portion. As soon as the four of us were settled in for the day we were handed the test and we had two hours to take it. We all finished it in less then an hour and we all passed with scores of 86% or better. I was very content with the 89% I received. The practical portion was a snap. Our models were other students who were not to talk to us during the exam. They could only tell us if the water was too hot for their feet or hands to soak in, or if the pressure of the massage portion (which I nailed by the way) was too hard for them. Miss Becky and our stand-in instructor graded everything. Walking up and down the aisle and hovering over us as we clipped nails, pushed back cuticles, and painted nails very carefully in red. It was their goal to also give us our first taste at what the state board would be like. Our 400-hour program will be over before we know it and we will be taking a 100-question multiple choice test with the same practical we did that day in an attempt to prove that we should be licensed professionals.” Since many nail tech courses only last several months, we’re always looking for new nail students who want to contribute to our Nails 101 blog. This will be an evolving group of bloggers in the coming months.

Karyn Lenhart is a Roseville, Calif.-based licensed esthetician and certified massage therapist who went back to cosmetology school to get her nail tech license so she can service nail clients at the salon where she works.

Contact Hannah.Lee@bobit.com if you are interested in becoming our next student blogger.


MAGGIE RANTS [AND RAVES] (http://blogs.nailsmag.com/maggie)


Excerpt from "Try This at Home" posted on October 29, 2010

“Now we have gel polish. And there’s talk about clients being able to buy these products online and do their nails at home. There are so many pros out there who seem to be insecure about their business — worried their clients will abandon them without warning if they get their hands on these products. There’s an entire faction of our industry out there striving to keep products out of the hands of consumers, convinced that — somehow — this is the defining point that keeps our industry in motion.

Well, I wouldn’t be here today if my first professional nail tech had treated me this way. Not only did my first-ever nail tech patiently walk me through every step of the application process of my first set of acrylic nails with the full understanding that I intended to do my own nails at home, but if she had told me that she didn’t approve of people doing their own nails and had refused to support my intentions, I’d have interpreted it as snobbery. I would have walked away thinking that the nail industry in general was comprised of snooty bitches who wanted to act superior to me and the rest of their clients. Believe me, I put a lot of thought into this. I’m pretty sure that’s how I’d have felt. And who knows if I’d have ever bothered to discover that I love the nail business?”

Make sure you’re following Maggie’s bi-weekly posts, where she rants (and sometimes raves) on everything from clients to education to manufacturers--and even sometimes her blog host, NAILS Magazine.

Maggie Franklin is one of our industry’s most outspoken nail techs. She has an opinion on practically everything and she isn’t afraid to share it.

 [PAGEBREAK]BLUEPRINT OF A FIRST YEAR (http://blogs.nailsmag.com/blueprint)

Excerpt from "License to Make a Deal" posted on November 1, 2010

“The salon license and business license have finally arrived. I can officially open my doors. Since they both arrived after my original scheduled opening date, I moved my opening by one week. This also allows time for the plumber to hook up my awesome chairs. I also learned that you may want to find out from your licensing location what is needed. For instance, when I went to pick up the business license I had to have a building inspection and fire inspection. (They both came out fine.) Even with a commercial location, some governing agencies still require you to have an inspection for your business to receive the license.

As planned, I have decided to start out slow and be open only on evenings and weekends. I think this will allow me to stand out more to parents and working clients I plan to wait a while to have an official grand opening.

For the soft opening I’ve decided to invite a few family and friends to experience the salon. This will allow me to make any changes or add anything as needed. Also I can see how the flow will go with clients actually in the space. I do plan on having small refreshments for the invited guests. I will post photos and information on the soft opening here. I want to use this event to start the word-of-mouth marketing. So far, so good!”

Our Blueprint of a First Year blog follows several salon owners through the ups and downs of opening a new salon. If you are a new salon owner and you’re interested in sharing your story with other nail techs, contact Sree.Roy@bobit.com

Alica Best is the owner of the newly opened Upscale Nail Bar & Boutique in Griffin, Ga.


THE COACHING CHRONICLES (http://blogs.nailsmag.com/coach)

Excerpt from "Put an End to No-Shows and Cancellations" posted on November 3, 2010

“No-shows and cancellations are costing you more than just money. Consider what it is costing you in your life not to have boundaries or use business systems? If you have no-shows and cancellations or if you have ever come in to work on your day off , stayed late, missed lunch or cancelled your own plans to accommodate clients, then what is missing in your life and business is the proper structure The first step to your new business system is to implement a cancellation policy. The policy should be firm yet positive, reading something like, “If you must cancel please notify us at least 24 hours prior to the appointment or you will be charged for the missed visit. Thank you for respecting what we love doing most — serving you!” Think of this policy as your code of honor. Post it in a prominent place and enforce it. If you booked a room in a hotel and then didn’t show up, wouldn’t the hotel charge you? They reserved that room for you, just as you reserved that appointment time for your client when another client could have been served. Your clients are not in control of your life and business, you are.”

Our coaching blog originally started out following one mentor/mentee coaching relationship. Now, we feature a number of top industry consultants and coaches who write on business-building topics focused on salons.

Contact Judy.Lessin@bobit.com if you are interested in participating in this blog.

Lauren Gartland is the president of Inspiring Champions, a team of dedicated leaders and educators who provide proven practical information to the salon and spa industry.

[PAGEBREAK]COMPETITION INSIDER (http://blogs.nailsmag.com/competitioninsider)

Excerpt from “The Trouble with Models” posted on November 9, 2010

“Wrangling models is always a chore. If you don’t have a model who you work with regularly, then you have to find one on the trade show floor or try to meet someone online and then convince them to show up at the convention center at 6:30 in the morning...on a Sunday...when all but one door is locked. Good luck. I learned that lesson the hard way my first year competing. I didn’t want to spend the money to bring a model so I would go to the competitions hoping to just pick one up. And consequently, I would never place any higher than 4th, which doesn’t get me any winnings. I don’t want to take a chance on not having a perfect model or even worse, no model at all. I figure if I’m going to spend all that money getting there, then I might as well go the extra distance and guarantee myself a good model. The winnings usually cover the added expense and I get to bring home trophies. Since then, I bring my own model to every competition.”

For the last year, Lammers has shared her competition secrets and pre- and post-competition rituals with us at the Competition Insider.  In 2011, she’ll continue to off er her expert advice and she’ll be joined by a number of other competitors — both new and experienced.

Lynn Lammers earned the number-one spot onNAILS Top 25 Competitors List three years in a row.

Contact Tim.Crowley@bobit.com if you are a competitor who would like to contribute to this blog.








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