After five years of working in a salon, nail technician Liza Ferraro discovered where her true strength and passion lies—teaching others. As an advanced educator for NSI, Ferraro truly enjoys showing people how to make more money and how to love what they do, and not reach burnout.

Ferraro’s initiation into the nail industry began 14 years ago when, as a teenager working in a grocery store, a friend persuaded her to accompany her to nail school. Two weeks after enrollment, her friend quit, but Ferraro persevered. As a student, Ferraro’s natural “nail” talent emerged. Seeing her ability, Ferraro’s beauty school instructors encouraged her to start competing. After placing fifth in her first competition, Ferraro was hooked and continued collecting awards in the competition arena for 12 years. She quit competing so she could devote more time to educating. “As an educator, it’s very important that I’m out there teaching people, and competitions take a whole day away from that,” she says.

Ferraro is so committed to teaching that she opened her own salon/advanced education center two years ago in La Mesa, Calif. says Ferraro, “California Concepts Co. is a place where I can teach advanced one-on-one education to licensed nail technicians. The people I instruct must have at least six months’ experience doing nails. It’s too frustrating when I’m trying to show someone how to keep the product away from the cuticle and she’s still trying to pick up the ball out of the dappen dish.”

Though this was Ferraro’s first time doing a cover for NAILS, she is no stranger to photo shoots. Her work has graced the hands of many a model in NSI’s print ads. What was a challenge at the NAILS shoot, says Ferraro, was that she had to shape the nails round and paint them with frost polish. A far cry from the square-shaped French manicure acrylic nails she does for NSI. “It was very different being in the passenger seat,” says Ferraro. What was easy for her, though, was sculpting the nails, and the most enjoyable part of the shoot was taking a picture with the model at the end, she says. “I love being in front of the camera,” says Ferraro.

A future career goal of Ferraro’s is to reach the masses, not just 20 people in a classroom, she says. How? “Through motivational speaking,” she says, which brings us back, once again, to teaching.


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