The single most useful piece of business advice given to me is “never let your clients leave the salon with nails you wouldn’t want to wear yourself.” It was given to me by my hair dresser/ nail tech at the time, Tammy B, a local salon owner, and she said this to me when I first told her I was going to go to nail school.

Kathy Grosstueck, Royal Elegance Nail Salon Two Rivers, Wis.


I always follow the advice I got from an educator who came to my nail school while I was a student. She said, “Do not give discounts for your service, offer something additional instead.”

Keiko Matsui, Glam Nail Studio Richmond, B.C., Canada


Thirteen years ago, when I was four years into my nail career, I had the privilege of working with a nail tech who is now a well-known specialist in the industry. He gave me the following advice that I still follow to this day: Always keep up on education and the newest products; always be professional and confident; customer satisfaction always comes first; and do nails because you love it, not for anything else.

Lauren Blackburn, Electric Beach Tanning & Nails Gulf Breeze, Fla.


The most important advice I ever got was “you pay for what you get,” and I came up with it all by myself. It’s a piece of advice I like to give to newbie techs I come across. I tell them, “always give a service just like you would like to receive it.” A lot of clients come to me for corrective services after they have gone somewhere else, and they’ll tell me they felt like they didn’t get what they paid for at the other place. Then I fix them and they sometimes become new regulars.

Kala Bastion, Sophisticuts Salon & Day Spa Princeton, Ill.


The best advice I ever received was, “smile and be really nice to clients while you are learning and they will keep coming back to you as your work improves.” I was given this advice by a successful salon owner who has operated a well-known salon in my town for years. She told me this just as I was graduating beauty school and she was absolutely correct, because I still have the first client I ever did a set of pink-and- whites on. It was a terrible set, but seven years later she is still returning to my salon.

Shannon Chomanczuk, A Polished Image New Windsor, N.Y.


“Don’t sweat the small stuff because you will completely stress yourself out if you let every little thing bother you.” A friend of mine at another salon told me this when I was just starting out 20 years ago. I worked with her and saw her keep cool under pressure, and her advice has really helped me stay happy in this industry. I still think about it to this day.

Shari Finger, Finger’s Nail Studio West Dundee, Ill.

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