As I pull up to the drive-thru window at a local food chain, the cashier leans out the window to gush over nails. They are adorned with a simple animal print and she proceeds to exclaim how my nails are always beautiful when I come through and could I please tell her where I get them done. She is quite surprised as well as impressed to learn that I did them, and more than happy to accept a business card.

This event got me thinking about how often I get compliments on my nails and as a result hand out my business card. It can occur when writing a check at a department store, grocery store, or even the gas station, or when picking up mail from the post office, doing business at the bank., or any other time my nails are visible to others. All of this advertising—and it didn’t even cost me an arm or a leg.

Yet there is a though in the back of my mind for all the nail techs constantly looking for ways to promote themselves or build up their clientele.

So many times when I go to a trade show for continuing education, I spend more time than usual making sure my nails look good since I know my peers in the industry will be seeing them. How sadly disappointed I am to find I am not usually in the majority. Several of my fellow techs have not even taken the time to polish their nails, much less dress them up with a little art. Some are wearing enhancements that are in desperate need for a rebalance, and others have nails so badly chewed it is a wonder they have room for lunch.

Here we are walking around with an excellent source of advertising and we are not all utilizing it! Ladies and gentlemen, please take a small amount of time for yourselves and fix those nails up. I do a weekly manicure; you may prefer a biweekly rebalance. Whatever your nail care of choice, please do not neglect it! Take a good look at your nails: Do they reflect your ability as a nail tech? If you offer nail art as a service, do they reflect your creativity, talent, or patience? If they don’t, why not? Are you too busy to need more clients or do you have enough money that you don’t feel the need to use free advertising? Take a long, hard look at your own hands and nails and see what they say—hopefully in the future they will be proclaiming what a talented, professional nail technician you are!     

Holly L. Schippers is a nail technician at The Hairport in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

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