Thursday, May 17, 2012

Time For Change

For those not aware, my husband & I are remodeling our bathroom. We're still in planning stages (almost done with that), but starting this project got me antsy at work. So, I decided (since I've been there 8 years and the only thing I've moved around is the stuff on the walls) to revamp my whole room. I don't have an exact set of dates yet, but I know it will be this summer; probably after the bathroom at home is done. Once I have everything bought, my plan is to take 4-5 days off. I will use the first day to take everything down off the walls & out of the room, then wash the walls, ceiling, & floors. The second day will be caulking/spackeling all the holes in the walls, then taping off & priming everything. The third day will be painting everything (depending on coverage I can get on day three, I may need day four for this). The fourth day (fifth, if more paint was needed) will be putting everything in its new place. Current plans include: {1} New lighting directly over the pedi bowl, {2} Move current lighting directly over mani area, {3} Paint picture rail & above (there's a one foot gap between the picture rail & the ceiling), plus ceiling, window frames, door, & door frame all white, {4} New chair (bought the Poang chair in Birch from IKEA, plus both the Alme natural and the Blomstermala multicolor cushions -- natural for Fall/Winter and multicolor for Spring/Summer), {5} Full coverage thin-nap rug or carpet tiles for under the pedi chair, {6} Paint walls pale yellow (I've narrowed down my choices to three), {7} New (handmade by husband & me) corner polish rack & nook-sized cabinet for behind my tech chair. There may be more... but that's all I can think of for now. Photos will be posted on my FB's work page, if you care to see the progress. Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Subbing... w/Trust

How often, as a nail tech, do we go on vacation? Practically never, right? We're rarely sick, we don't take extended vacations, and we sure as heck don't trust our clients to other techs! Well, that has now changed. Last year, I met a fabulous nail tech on Facebook. Like a few others, she was local. Unlike others, she had just gone through the training to become a CND EA (the same job I was offered, but turned down). Over the next few months, we became good friends... seems we have more in common than just nails. One thing we don't have in common, though, is her love of scuba diving. With her new work schedule (she not only takes clients three days a week, but she now must travel fairly often for her CND gig, and likes to add on days for diving), she needed someone she can trust to take care of some of her clients when she's gone for longer periods of time. A couple months ago, she asked me to block out two Tuesdays -- one to come over to her salon for shadowing, and one (two weeks later) to actually work at her salon with her clients. Part of the "problem" a lot of nail professionals have with turning over their clientelle (even if it's only a one-time thing) is trusting that your sub isn't going to steal your clients or smack-talk you to them. In this case, it was also trusting that her sub wasn't going to steal from her, since her salon is in her home. For Tanya, in her 23 years of being a nail tech, she's NEVER asked another tech to take over for her... never! In me, she saw a trustworthy individual and a skilled tech. I've been doing nails professionally for only 8 years, so for her to trust me with her clients (one of them is HER BEST FRIEND of more than 20 years!!) speaks volumes. Anyway, I took on four of her clients -- her bff Melissa, plus Thea, Lynn, & June. They all reported back to Tanya (all good things) by the end of the day. Two days later, I got a text from Melissa, asking if she could schedule her next appt with me at my studio, because Tanya won't be back in time to take care of her before she (Melissa) goes on a business trip. I checked with Tanya, and she said, "Yes! It was my idea!" Fantastic. Then, Sunday, I got a FB message from Thea, asking if I had time in my schedule to do a few repairs for her this week; I took care of her yesterday morning. I'm glad they like me enough to ask me to sub, and I'm glad Tanya trusts me enough to sub. I literally have no words for how I feel being put into this position (if I were religious, I'd say "blessed", but I'm not), but if you're a tech, you should understand.

Monday, May 14, 2012

More Education

Last Monday, I decided to take a four-hour OPI GelColor class. I've been using GelColor quite successfully since its soft release last November, but this was an opportunity to get a little more education under my belt (and, who knew, maybe even learn something I didn't know). Things I learned: How to apply a French without that telltale "hump", how long you actually need to shake the bottles (thank goodness I have a hobby paint shaker I got on Amazon!), and we got a tutorial on OPI's new Lacquer Apps. I spent part of yesterday playing with GelColor, loose glitter, a colored glitter gel, and the Apps; if you're interested in photos, they are posted publicly on my work page on Facebook (

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bad Day

We all have them... those days when absolutely nothing seems to go our way? Yeah, that was yesterday. First, let me begin by reminding you that my daughter's soccer games are Saturdays. I have a rule that I work Saturdays ONLY if I can work around my daughter's game(s). Six weeks ago, when yesterday's appointments were made, I broke that rule. One of our hairdressers' clients' daughter was (a) turning 18 and (b) it was Prom... so the client made appointments with the salon's massage therapist (a basic massage), me (mani/pedi for each of them), and said hairdresser (color/updo for birthday girl, updo for friend). I was told to be there at 11a (two mani/pedis would take me four hours total -- I'd be done around 3p). Knowing I would miss my daughter's game, I made arrangements for her (yes, she was hugely disappointed -- as I have only ever missed her games when either her or I have been sick, & once when I was in New York for a weekend a few years ago -- but she *did* understand). Knowing I needed to eat before I started, and I needed to wash my basket-full of dirty towels, I left my house at 10am, and walked into the salon at 1030a... and promptly had the friend (J) handed to me to "get started on, because I must have miscommunicated" (hairstylist's words -- she thought she told me 10a). Not a problem; I had snacks I could eat in between... ... Or not. I had exactly 1/2 hour to do her manicure before she HAD to get into the massage therapist's studio, because the MT had another client coming at 1230p. Luckily, J didn't need a lot of work; I got the whole manicure, but not the polish, done before her massage. C then came in, so I took care of her mani, and got her feet soaking while I (after her massage) finished J's polish. I was interrupted by hairdresser about 5m before I was done with C (the birthday girl), wondering how much longer I'd be. Since my pedi tub needs to be cleaned & disinfected (15m) in between each client, I took that time to chow a Babybel cheese and some applesauce... but still didn't have time to even start my dirty towels (luckily, I had just enough clean ones). I was about 10m from finishing J's feet when hairdresser came back again to ask how long I was going to be. At some point, while I was cleaning, I got a message from both my daughter and the mom-friend who took her to & from the game, telling me that it was M's "BEST GAME YET", and that they tied 4-4 (previous games were 0-5 and 0-10). That upset me. Then, hairdresser called up the stairs & told me my check was on the desk downstairs; great. Finished cleaning, gathered my stuff, and went to collect my check. I know it "shouldn't" matter if a client leaves a tip or not, but after being early, being thrust into work when I wasn't ready, not eating lunch, & missing my daughter's game ("BEST"?!?!? ugh)... then to be written a check for ONLY the amount of the services was a slap in the face. As a regular client at our salon, she should know better. And, I knew better than to schedule services during my non-work time. So, I remind all of you -- a proper tip within the beauty industry is 15-20%... for EACH of your service providers; especially if they're doing you a favor! Oh, and in case you're wondering, I finally got "lunch" at 4p, when I got home. UGH!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In Case You Missed It...

Since I couldn't call in my report on the Willamette Valley Nail Event, I wrote this letter instead. They read it on-air: I’ve been a nail tech (although I prefer the term “nail stylist” or “nail artist”) for eight years, and have yet to go to an industry show or event. I just didn’t see the need, being that they are costly, out-of-state, events that would take me out of my chair for at least two profitable days (I am the epitome of “Small Business Owner”). The majority of them are still mostly about hair. Nails are still the “red-headed step-child” of the industry. Apparently, that’s all changing. When Kristen Dutcher (of Keizer, Oregon) decided that we needed something closer to home, just for Nail Professionals, she put her heart & soul into making it happen. She contacted a ton of distributors, and talked Keizer’s Renaissance Inn into giving us a discount on rooms, should we choose to stay over the night before. Instead of driving down Saturday & staying at the hotel, three of us rode down in style (thanks to Cindy Walston’s husband, Rod) – we had a Town Car take us. That was traveling in style; next year, though, we’re getting a couple more ladies, and taking a limo. There were 17 nail companies and 27 educators that descended upon the Mid-Valley of Oregon; some even came in early to do meet & greets, and host private classes (I didn’t participate in any of those). Big names were there – Linda Nordstrom (Famous Names), Carla Collier (we ALL know who she is), Classic Mully (Nubar, as well as a winner on the competitor’s circuit)… just to name a few. Everyone was friendly, even doing demos all day. There were goodie bags for the first 100 people (per the number on your ticket, there were actually 140 people in attendance) – consisting of a huge sampling of goodies from names like CND, Haken, Famous Names, Light Elegance, Masterworks (Amy Becker), Sparkles (omg… the GLITTER!), INM, and many more. The nail art competition was small, but winners included Lisa Tanner (1st place for Flat Art) and Shannon McCown (1st place for 3D). I don’t know what their prizes consisted of, but the artwork was amazing. I hope more entries are sent in next year. There were also many prizes given throughout the day, based on your bracelet number – a CND Shellac rack, many bits from Medicool, Soft Landings Towels, glitter from Sparkles, subscriptions to NAILS and NAILPRO magazines, Minx, glitter gels from Light Elegance, a Valentino Beauty Pure, and so much more. There were over $4500 worth of these prizes given away!! From a personal standpoint – I loved the selection of products, the friendliness of all the educators, the willingness of everyone to teach/talk/demo their products. I also loved that NOT ONE educator spoke ill of any other company. I *do* think the restaurant inside the hotel should offer a lunch special to all attendees. I brought a sling bag with snacks & water, but was hoping I wouldn’t need to get into it… I did, anyway. Kristen did a wonderful job putting this all together, and I look forward to more. Next year plans to be even bigger. All of this year’s vendors said they’d be back, and there are a few who weren’t able to attend this year that said they’d be there next year as well (hoping for OPI's presence). A second day of “Hands-On” classes will also be available. For more information, bookmark the website:, and send a friend request on Facebook to