How I Got Here

I like to think it happened like this:


Everyone from NAILS Magazine is sitting around the office, discussing how to improve the magazine’s website. Someone suggests adding a new blog.


Eyebrows arch inquisitively around the room.


“What would this new blog entail?” someone asks.


“I was thinking maybe we should get someone to blog for us — a real nail tech — someone who’s been in the business a long time and has gained experience and wisdom. Someone who actually works in a salon. Someone our average reader can relate to.”


Someone else chimes in: “YES! Someone who can engage the reader, who blends humility and wit with humor. Someone that readers can both identify with AND aspire to be like!”


By now the room is abuzz with excitement over this prospect. Everyone agrees this is a great idea.


Someone says, “OK, so who do we know who fits this description? Who can we get who will represent our vision and shine as an example of what every real-life nail professional hopes to become?”


Everyone is momentarily silent, then, in one triumphant voice everyone shouts: MAGGIE FRANKLIN!


Of course, I suspect it was more like:


Same basic scenario. Everyone at NAILS is congregating to discuss possibilities for the website. Someone offers the idea of a new blog written by someone on the front lines, working in a salon on a day-to-day basis. Some ideas get thrown around. Someone asks who the job should go to, only this time several names are thrown out. Everyone offers up a name of a well-regarded nail tech working out here in “real life land.” A list is compiled and one by one each tech is contacted and subsequently eliminated from the list — too busy, can’t find time, too stressful, wants NAILS to provide company car — until the list has been exhausted.


Once again, the NAILS’ great minds come together to discuss the plan. More names are discussed and dismissed until they are ready to scrap the whole project. Then an exhausted Judy Lessin comes up with one last try... and throws out my name. By now everyone is tired and just wants to go home, so they say OK.


Well, however it came about, I’m the one who got this sweet gig. And I do think it’s a sweet gig — even if Nails Magazine isn’t leasing me a Mercedes to drive around in.


[Editor’s note: Well, Maggie’s selection wasn’t quite like she envisioned it, but she was right on several counts. We were looking for a real, working nail tech who would tell it like it, and make us chuckle in the process.]


So allow me to introduce myself and fill my soon-to-be die-hard fans in on the important info you’ll need.


My name is Maggie. It isn’t really; it’s actually “Marjorie,” but when I finally got around to starting my career as a professional nail artist I decided “Maggie” conjured up a more attractive image than “Marge”— especially since I was only 22 at the time. I didn’t want people seeing my work on a client, asking who did their nails, and upon hearing “Marge” picturing an older woman with a bottle of Palmolive on her desk. So I officially started introducing myself as “Maggie” and the nickname has suited me just fine.


Some readers will recognize me from the NailTech mailing list and message boards at where I’ve worked hard for nearly 10 years to build my reputation as a pot- stirrer with verbose and often controversial posts.


Well DUH! Of course, many readers will recognize my name — and possibly even my face — from the very pages of NAILS where I have been mentioned many times over the years. I appeared in one of the very first “My Other Life” items in 1999 and, for a brief stint, I contributed as an “expert” for a technical advice column.


Alas, no reference to the cover of NAILS adorns my resume since I haven’t done one yet (wink wink, hint hint).


I have a website. I have a Myspace page. Both of which are all about me (which is as it should be).


I have been doing nails for 16 years, professionally. Of course, like so many who find themselves behind the sculpting brush, I actually started doing nails long before I made it my profession.


I have been a booth renter, an employee, a salon owner, an employee, an independent contractor, a salon owner, and back to booth renter again. Currently I rent a booth at Attitudes Salon in my hometown of Visalia, Calif. I’ve been with Attitudes for a year and a half now. I work with three hairstylists, another nail tech, and ... my mom.


Oh yes, and I am long-winded. It turns out that I am unable to tell the short version of any story. This is why editors were created. And why I don’t do fills in under an hour.


At home I have a boyfriend, two dogs, and 1991 Jeep Cherokee named “Drippy.” Of course, this blog is supposed to be nail-related, but you probably already know from your own lives how work and home become intertwined so, I thought I’d throw that in for future reference.


Hopefully NAILS has set up my blog so that my adoring fans will be able to leave comments to let me know how cool I am, how talented I am, and how much they want to be like me — and also fix it so that my haters get an electric shock from their keyboards when trying to say

nasty things. But I consider myself to have a fairly thick skin and I’m used to being controversial and having my colleagues disagree with me, so feel free to tell it like you see it.


Be warned, I have a sarcastic sense of humor and have already alluded to my less-than-conventional views on many issues. NAILS says I get to rant — I hope they know what they’re getting themselves into!


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