Ohayogozaimasu. That means “good morning” in Japanese and it’s just one of many phrases Nadine Galli learning to prepare for her new position as OPI’s Far East representative. Galli has gone back to school to learn Japanese so she can communicate effectively with Japanese nail students and so she can navigate the country without the constant presence of a translator. In her new endeavor, Galli will be traveling to the Pacific Rim to educate nail technicians about the OPI product line. In addition to Japan, she will also be visiting Taiwan, Korea, and China.

This latest adventure was something Galli could only dream about when she was working on her nail license 18 years ago. “I always did my own nails at home using over-the-counter products,” she says. “My sister and I decided to enroll in manicuring school. She got pregnant and dropped out, but I stayed. I had borrowed money from my parents so I was committed.”

Three years later, wanting a change from salon life, Galli became a full-time educator for OPI Products, and became the company’s first regional manager. “I really enjoy the freedom of being out and teaching and sharing with others.”

Galli made her first trip to Japan last May to teach a week-long nail program to 50 students at a skin care institute. None of them spoke English, says Galli, so she had to rely on her interpreter. “I enjoyed teaching the Japanese people and saw their need for nail education. The nail industry in Japan is growing in leaps and bounds, much like it did in the United States about 15 years ago,” she says.

Galli says that she noticed that Japanese nail technicians are exceptionally attentive to detail, and they’ve turned doing nails into an art form. “They take a tremendous amount of pride in what they do and they are very meticulous,” she says.

Galli’s goal is to train professionals so that the nail business in the Far East ultimately becomes as organized and profitable as it is in the U.S. “There’s a long way to go to attain proper professional licensing, more education, and more effective distribution,” she says. Galli also thinks that the prices for nail services in Japan have to come down to be affordable for the average person. In U.S. dollars, she says a full set is about $150–$180, a fill $80–$100, and a manicure $40–$50. High rent everywhere in the country contributes to the need to charge high prices, exclaims Galli. But she says she knows she has a lot to do in the Far East, she’s ready and willing to meet the challenge.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.