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Sobeit makes some good points, but it all boils down to the bottom line dollar. Beauty schools, like cruise ships, hire cosmetologists to teach hair, skin, and nails because they can pay 1 salary instead of 3. So students are more apt to be taught by someone who did (or still does) hair as opposed to nails or skin care. Schools have to make a profit in order to stay in business and the smaller the school, the less likely it is that they'll have a nail instructor. The schools job is to teach students enough to pass state board exams, period. Therefor it is the nail techs job upon leaving school to further their education by taking other classes throughout their lifetime career. Think of it as graduate school and you're going for your Masters degree!

Why not take a 'product-specific' class that's affordable, even if you have no urge to use that particular product, and just learn the tricks and tips of doing nails from that educator? Why should the nail companies (who have the resources to pay educators to teach classes) teach non-product specific classes when their whole business IS about their products?

True, each product has their own specific traits, but the overall essence of applying acrylic or gels is virtually the same. And think of how each educator has his/her own skills they've learned over the years and how YOU can learn from them! You can take an affordable spa pedicuring or manicuring class by any company and still learn the service steps, how to shape the nails, the massage techniques, & the polish application process, etc. if your goal is to only do natural nails. Plus inevitably the techs in every class I've ever been to share their problems & solutions throughout the day or in the form of Q&A at the conclusion of the class.

But there ARE quality, non-product specific classes out there at most nail tech networking events. And networking events are popping up all over the country and Canada, too, so most techs can't use the excuse that there's not one in their area of the country. The nail techs who desire further training need to investigate where's the closest networking event to them and then make plans to attend. If they're waiting for someone to start an event in their own town, then they may have a very long wait unless they want to start one themselves.

This past June in Gatlinburg, TN. at the "Nail Tech Networking Event of the Smokies" we had 11 classes held on a Monday following the Sunday Event. They ranged from natural nails, business of nails, gel polish nails and toes, medical pedicures, waterless pedicures, electric file techniques, fiberglass wraps, nail art, plus several gel & a few acrylic classes, too. Some of these independent educators had non-product specific classes and they paid their own travel expenses for that entire weekend while the bulk of educators were paid by the nail company they represent to hold product specific classes.

Several of these classes were held by our top celebrity nail competitors, all the educators were very qualified and professional, with the most expensive class being $75. The location in the Great Smoky Mountains is within a days drive of over 50% of the USA.

So my question to everyone is this:

Why weren't these classes filled to capacity if techs REALLY want education?

Sincerely, Jill Wright
Jill I honestly think because ppl don't know. The hair shows are advertised through our suppliers..and everyone knows about them.
Allthough Beautytech is popular--- there are still techs that have NO idea that it even exsists. And unfortunately a lot of them just don't have the passion to care that much about their education

And not to mention that you're program is fairly new. Marketing is key and I'm quite sure that I'm another 5 years the numbers will increase. I suppose building a following for that event is similiar to building a clientele---- it just takes time.
I know I would of loved to attend many times but unfortunately life, in the way of that. I am excited about next year tho...
But anyhoo guys..I like your thought process. I've attended many a classes down through the years and in my experience most of them were a waste of my money bcuz the educators don't have the passion behind their skill. Some were awesome tho..but the good ones are always with the leaders in the industry.
Yes, our Nail Tech Networking Event of the Smokies is only 5 years in the making, we've outgrown 2 venues, we had 150 attending techs this past June, we have 1700+ followers on Facebook, and we're listed in both NAILS mag & Nailpro's educational calendars........and now we've got our own web site

We promote the heck out of the Event all year long on various FB pages, web sites, blogs, Nail Talk Radio, Google groups, chat lines, postcard mailings, etc. although we haven't taken out a paid advertisement in our trade mags or had a billboard on the interstate (yet). Short of actually walking in to every salon in the USA and handing the techs engraved invitations, what more can we do?

Like I've found for building my nail clientel, it's all about word of mouth and yes, it will take time. And you're right about many techs not caring enough to take classes, but those techs wouldn't be reading these posts here right now because they already know it all & have more important things to do.

Jill Wright
Ha!! Jill you are too funny. Ya its unfortunate that everyone who gets into this business doesn't have the mindset like we do. But honestly I've always thought that we here on the board are a special group of ppl. I do have to say that I miss the ppl that used to post here and share wonderful pics and tutorials...but life has a way of moving on-- doesn't it?
Well I can't wait till june..I'm counting down allready. We just gotta get through this stupid winter closing in on take care jill Smile
I agree with a lot that Jill says about why aren't ppl coming to these events if they want education. I think a lot of times, some techs find it hard to step out of their comfort zone, by deciding to do this. Of course money plays a factor but really now, if you go to a nail show, the ticket cost is usually higher than the cost of the smaller networkings.
If you want education, you're going to have to work at getting it! It's that plain and simple. Take advantage of these networking events and the classes available. I know money is tight but it's a write off at the end of the year, so bite the bullet and go for it.

Yes, you may have to drive a bit, leave the kids and hubby alone for a few days, but heck, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Plan for it and then DO IT!
I agree that education is a vital key to our industry. But, along side with doing amazing nails, you have to get clients in your chair. I see it way too often where people have the attitude that if they show up to work, and are willing to sit and wait for walk-ins, they are doing enough. Well, that is just not the case. I don't know about you, but I will not let anyone else be responsible for how busy I am. It is all me.

It doesn't matter if you are a booth renter, or a commission tech, ultimately, YOU are responsible for filling your chair. If you don't get the people in your chair, all of the amazing tips and tricks that you learn at the latest shows, classes etc are not going to do you any good. If you are on commisison, there are certain limitations, but there are so many things you CAN do. If you try something a few times and it doesnt work, don't get frustrated, just try something new! But, it takes several times for people to respond to things... so don't give up too quickly.

The business/marketing part of our business has really become somewhat of a passion of mine, since I was recently faced with the "need" to rebuild with this crazy economy of ours. It is a lot of work, and I really do long for the day when I don't have to think about it so much. I long for the day when I can "relax" and just go to work, knowing my books will be full.

The bottom line is, whether you need help improving your skills, or you need help marketing, it is our responsibility. We have to quit crying about the economy, the NSS salons, the owner of our salon, the back stabbing nail techs we work with, the fact that our products are being sold to the public, and everything else we can find to complain about, and get to work, and fill our books!
I agree wholeheartedly with what Dedee said and it is our responsibility to build our own clientele. I look at the Event the same way & don't misunderstand.....techs ARE coming to these Events, which is why nail companies keep sending educators. The demand is definitely there, but so is the allure of free goodie bags and door prizes.

But the Smoky Mtn. Event is 2-fold:
Sunday is the Event while Monday is the optional Workshop classes. We had 150 techs attending on Sunday which was awesome, but only a little over 1/3 took the Workshop classes. Talk about a missed opportunity for those techs! And we had business classes, too, besides nail classes (which could've really helped those struggling to build their business).

Maybe we need to start offering another drawing or free goodie bags to everyone who takes those Workshop classesSmile...hhhhmmmm....might not be a bad idea after all!

Jill Wright
But jill if they r just coming for the freebies..maybe its the extra cost factor for " each" class.. do you think?
And I do agree with what deedee said howevee after one has done everytg suggested.......postcards, facebook, referral and prebooking incentive....what is left to do?? I'm not tryimg to pass the blame to anyone..I'm uust at a loss because like I stated before..I have never built this slow..and my skills are only getting better...?????
Oh well
Maybe sum more ideas will spring up..thanls again for the words of wisdom!!
Tracy, do you want to chat and maybe go over the things you have been trying, in more specific detail? Maybe another set of eyes could help? I would love to see if I could help troubleshoot with you, if you are interested.
Deedee that would be great. Thanks...cuz I'm almost to the point of working at another salon and cutting my hours back here

You can email me at [email protected]
Don't get upset if I don't email u back right away. I'm busy tmrw..but I can't wait to hear from you! Thanks again
I have to say Jill has accomplished more in 5 years in this area of East Tennessee ans the Southeast than anyone. I live 25-30 miles from the event location. As long ago as 12 years I tried to get the techs together in this town to meet with our area's State Board Inspector for a Q&A session. He was all for it, but none of the techs wanted any part of that. I mean, who wouldn't love to pick the Inspector's brain.... And as far as getting together as techs for any kind of demos- ABSOLUTLY NOT! They were all scared that one of the other techs might be doing something to take their clients- so jealous of one another. I was a company educator at the time- the only one in this area- and they didn't even want to have classes with other techs. And still today, these girls only know a couple things- how to put on tips and do basic manis and pedis. And they still do P&Ws with tips- no sculpting. But the big problem is that they have their clients so "buffaloed" that no one is willing to try anything new to them- rock star nails, speciality pedis like Jill's Hot Buttered Rum I want to try, and as far as nail art??????? They don't even know what a steletto nail is. I will give them credit for using gel polish tho.
I have to agree with Jill- education, education, education. And not just how to do nails and about products, but business education.
Note to Jill- I was pleasantly surprized to see that April brought the girls from her classes. I have known April for a while, and use to do her nails. She always let me do my thing.
So sorry- just wanted to add that clients will go about 50 miles down the road or even on vacation and get these services done, but not be able to keep them up. But some clients will be talking about what they had done elsewhere and when a tech tells them that she can do the same thing.......the client says no you can't, this is somethig special only they can do there.
Oh well.
Jill, you're right, I think about the extra cost and freebies. We only had one extra class, an e-file certification and it was pretty well attended, too. I can understand ppl not wanting to spend more money when they've already spent money getting to the location, room and food. But, imo, you've got to do it if you want to succeed. As we're talking about on, if you're still having problems building then possibly there's someone there at that class/networking that's been in your shoes and will be willing to let you pick her brain. That alone would be worth the trip!

Jill, I plan to come this year, planning a vaca around the trip. Soooo looking forward to it! Been saving money toward it for awhile, pretty painless way to get continueing ed. and have a fun road trip, too!
Thank you all for all of your input on this topic. It has been extremely helpful. With the information provided on this thread, I believe I am on the right path.
Thanks for the compliments & class advice concerning the Event. It's all food for thought. I can't imagine how cost is holding techs back, even if they've already spent money traveling to attend the Event. They can't squeeze out another $35-$75 for hands-on training (which will further their career & give them a return on their investment) that they CANNOT normally get?

I've been a broke nail tech before, so I know how that goes. Had I not paid for additional training I am certain I would not have made it this far in my year will be 25 years. But techs aren't the only ones paying for travel...imagine what it costs the independent educators who take time away from their clients, spouses, & children?

And can you imagine the cost for nail company owners to pay educators for their time, travel, shipping in products, class materials, etc.? Several owners themselves fly in from all areas of the country & immediately have to fly back at the conclusion and then they have to go right back to work the next day....just like the rest of us. So everyone involved with the Event spends money in order to attend (myself included).

These hands-on Workshop Classes cannot be given away for free, for the same reason we nail techs cannot afford to give away our salon services for free. But new for the 2012 Event will be FREE Event Day classes, which are shorter in duration and not hands-on. This will give techs more to do during the Event, too!

We'll investigate all avenues to continue to build attendance in these Workshop Classes and maybe our new web site will help get that word out, too. Plus us discussing it here certainly hasn't hurtSmile

Jill Wright
Jill, if I may ask....approximately how many techs attended last year that are actually local, within a 75- 100 mile radius of Gatlinburg?
I had to go check my records for the 4th Event and because I don't have a software program that would pinpoint techs within a 75-100 mile radius I cannot tell you the exact number. But just by counting the number of TN. addresses for those who pre-registered, we did have about 50% from TN.

Jill Wright
I am new to the industry but not to life. 8)

So I found this blog post to be inspiring - enjoy.
I know this might sound a bit airy fairy stuff but for those techs who are struggling, start to listen to your self talk (the little conversations you have with yourself in your head)
We all have them and I think from memory, us girls do it like 6000 times a day compared to men who are much less.

Start to take note of what you are saying to yourself...... is it comments like "oh gee, things are going to be slow this week"
"The economic crisis is killing my business"
Just take note of the thoughts and see how negative they are and then train yourself to attract what you want.
It's the law of attraction and it really does/can work if YOU want it to.
It doesn't mean say something positive and then squash it with a negative, it means turn all your self talk thoughts into positive ones.

So when you look at your book and there are spaces, say "By Wednesday I WILL be fully booked" and keep saying it and believe it!!!!!

Try it, it does work but it won't work if you are negativeSmile


I have been in the nail business for less then a year, and I started with booth rental. Right now I am defenitly going "Omg...what am I doing?" I make $100 for myself at the end of every month right now after my rent and insurance is paid. I have no wiggle room and can barely afford to make my personal bills, let alone get the products I need to DO my services.

I am going off the wall crazy, but I'm not letting it get me down. I love what I'm doing and being only 20 years old, I have a lot of time in my life to make life lessons, and learn from them.

I do miss the esthetics aspect of my training since I am an artifical only supplier at my store, there is an esthetician renting a spa room upstairs and we can't have conflicting services, so I dont even get the pre-summer pedicures. I am locked into a year contract and cannot wait to get out of it and go learn from someone else for a few years before I take on the daunting challange of opening my own nail bar one day!
WAIT a sec...the esthetician upstairs is doing pedis, and you, being a licensed manicurist are not allowed to do pedis because they are "conflicting"??? Um, NO. Is there something in your state's esthetics license regulations that says she's allowed to do hands and feet, other than massage during a facial? Are you guys in the same salon? Is she a booth renter too? You should not be prevented from making a living doing what manicurists are supposed to do, namely manicures, PEDICURES, and artificial nail services!

Ahem. Sorry, I got all soap-box-y. Smile

edit: okay, now I see that you're in Canada, but STILL!!
BornToBling, that is sooo wrong! But as was mentioned earlier, you're in Ca. and that doesn't help you much. Was it in the contract like that? Did you realize it? Oh well, water under the bridge least you're in the right place to ask questions about future situations and get knowledgible advice.


Unfortunately I did know about this before I signed the contract. I regret it. I am so limited. But I'm doing my best to make it work. Its a lesson learned. Smile
how is an este licensed to do pedis????


All Estheticians are "licensed" to do pedicures. In BC we don't have government regulated licensing. And I think it is the same in a lot of other provinces across Canada.
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