The past 17 years in the nail industry have been quite an adventure for Janice Lonardo, director of education and northeast regional manager for Star Nail Products (Valencia, Calif.). When Lonardo, who is based out of North Providence, R.I., first embarked on her career in the beauty industry, she wanted to become a hairstylist, which required some training in nails. At the time, here school didn’t offer a nail course so a nail manufacturer’s educator came in to teach a three-hour class. That was enough to hook Lonardo.
“From that moment on I started working on family members and friends,” she says. And even though she did both hair and nails after receiving her cosmetology license, she soon discovered that just doing nails was the only way to go.
“It’s good therapy because it relaxes me, it’s creative, and I enjoy talking to people,” says Lonardo about her passion for nails. Since there wasn’t much nail education available when she first graduated, the salon owner at Lonardo’s first job took her under her wing and became her mentor. “She trained me on her days off and critiqued my work,” remembers Lonardo. “I feel as though I owe my techniques and my professionalism to her,” she says.
Lonardo has worn many hats during her years in the industry – nail technician, salon manager, salon owner, beauty distribution manager, and now manufacturer’s educator. Her affiliation with an association for nail technicians helped get her foot in the door at Star Nail, where she was originally hired as an account executive and sold the company’s line to professional beauty stores. But to really know how the products worked and be able to demonstrate the different systems, Lonardo became an educator. To teach her the business side of the nail industry, Star’s CEO/President Tony Cuccio spent a lot of time showing her the ropes.
“I really love my job because of all the traveling I do and I enjoy meeting new people and training educators,” says Lonardo. “I also get to test new products. I am involved in so many aspects of the nail industry, which keeps things exciting.”
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