What do Anita Baker, Patti Labelle, Martin Lawrence, and Wesley Snipes have in common? Aside from their celebrity status, they each have had their nails done by Tracey Revis, owner of Tracey Revis Salon in Encino, Calif. Prior to owning her Encino salon, Revis opened Paws in neighboring Studio City in 1985 where she cultivated her “star” clientele, which led her to doing nails on television and movie studio sets. “You do a good job and they tell one person and then they tell another person, and so on,” says Revis, who has also done models’ nails for record covers and print ads.
By her third year in business, Paws had become full service and included a beauty supply store. In 1993, after going full speed for eight years, Revis reached burnout. She closed the salon and went mobile, continuing to do nails on studio sets. “With two small children, I needed a break,” she says.
Then last January, Revis’ nail career took another turn. While watching an OPI demonstration at a tradeshow, she began answering an attendee’s questions. The woman asked Revis to show her how to use an OPI implement and then she bought it. “I told the educator at the booth that I should be on the other side of the counter,” says Revis. They got to talking and Revis left the show anxious to become an OPI educator.
“There is heavy competition among nail salons today, especially with price wars. I feel that an educated nail technician is not going to lower her prices to match her competitor. You should charge what you’re worth,” says Revis.
Revis proudly admits that at her training, she scored the highest in technique and was voted the most professional and best-dressed by OPI’s regional managers. “I want to be known as a nail professional not just a manicurist,” she says.
“Educating allows me to help others reach their goals,” she continues. ‘‘I’m teaching not only how to apply the product, but how to be professional, and how to make money.” Last May, Revis tackled salon ownership again, but this time she set some ground rules. “My family comes first, and I try to keep my hours at 9–5.”
What Revis would like to see more of in the industry is camaraderie among nail technicians. “If we all shared our expertise it would make the whole industry better. There’s a lot to go around,” she says.
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