Saturday, 17 October 2009

From Cyprus to Manchester......

I am home now, after a marathon of workshops, demonstrations, judging and college classes, not just in the UK, I even fitted in a trip to Sunny Cyprus.

It has been a wonderful and inspiring couple of weeks, and although I miss being at home, I did have John with me for some of it.

A couple of weeks ago, I jumped on a plane and visited Helen Keating in Limossol Cyprus, who, with her impressive CV, has managed to take Cyprus by storm over the past few years. Working with nail technicians, SPA’s and Hotels and salons all over the island, she has taken the small nail industry out there and turned it on its head.

Bringing in a need for further education and inspiring nail technicians by bringing in people like me from the UK, who has a different way of working with acrylic and gel. Although Helen is a CND sub distributor, she is keen to bring a variety of skills from a wide range of technicians, regardless of brand, to help the industry grow on this small Island.

'I want to show nail technicians what's available to them, and give them an opportunity to learn from other nail professionals' say’s Helen. I spent a couple of days with Helen and her team, and we provided two amazing days;

  • Day 1 - Gel...working with gel colours, we came up with four great new idea's and applications to help techs use this medium effectively in their salons, and on their clients. Covering marbling, feathering, flowers and encapsulation, we managed to fill the day with some great new skills.
  • Day 2 - Fantasy and designs...we took the rose and started working with our acrylic, creating a 3D fantasy flower, then translated this into design nails. This is a great way to break down a 3D subject, like a rose, and create a 2D master piece on the nails.

Yes...I have to admit, we did eat and drink loads....I love the Cypriot food, I should I was born there, it must be in my blood! Of course I couldn’t leave before re-connecting with the Mediterranean and dipping my toes into the sea..... It's thanks to Helen and Pete (and of course Pumpkin) who made me very welcome...I do plan to return to Cyprus in 2010.

Arriving back to a wet and cold England, I only had three days to get organized for my week in the North;

First I was spending two days at G’mex in Manchester, which is always a treat, it is an opportunity to catch up with some of you and check out what’s new in the world of nails…but I had something else to look forward to….I was working with the girls from IBD.

It’s confusing isn’t it…. most of you know me through Ez Flow, and although I still work closely with Ez Flow in the UK, I am very honoured to be asked to work with other exceptional brands.

I love gel……I think it is under estimated…there is room to work this product, which is why I got a sticky with IBD at Gmex. Thank you Kerry…who was my voice for the two days…hurling abuse at me with her mic (ooooops…sorry did I say that aloud) and Louise…who I managed to steal from ( I have your acrylic brush…sorry).

Demoing nonstop on the stand, I went all out with the designs…working to create some new idea’s which you can use in the salon….and to top it off…there was some amazing offers; but the best one is yet to come… training day with me…for just….£25.

Held in Tamworth on the 3rd December, you’re invited to join me and receive some greaten new recipes for your IBD soak off gels, and learn a couple of new techniques to include on your design nails Using IBD’s Soak of gels and find out how you can work smart with this great medium. If your not yet signed up….join my mailing list now and you will be the first to get more info on this fabulous offer. email me on ( mark subject; mailing list please)

I was also asked to Judge ….wow…how amazing was some of the work….I want to especially

mention Vicki Taylor Dodds, who did a superb job on the fantasy competition….finally bringing together everything she has learnt to produce a winning combination.

Also Keiko….who produced the boxed nails which were my favourite…..the

detail on the hands and faces where brilliant… she is certainly one to watch in the future. Michelle Brookes also produces three great images for the photographic competition, but my favourite was strawberry fields, a great image to have in your salon.

Monday came, and I wasn’t going to heading home, instead I pointed my car further North and headed to Harrogate. The rest of the week was filled with design workshops, fantasy days and finally finishing on Friday in Stockport for an advanced design class. Thank you everyone who attended.

What’s next; well I am happy to say I am closer to home for the next few weeks, with a few one to one’s training in my diary, a day in the IOW and then I am then heading to Cornwall for my design class in Truro. November; I am flying up to Affinti nails and beauty in Glasgow and working with Derek where I am offering you a day of gel and acrylic designs for Christmas.

Until next time…Sx

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Take a Break to ask your self.

Have you got a minute? Well five actually, to spend over coffee, or in between clients, and to ask yourself some very important questions. Why? you ask. Well let me ask you this question first….do you realise your own potential? do you have any idea what is available out there for you?

You must have seen the range of different opportunities available in this industry to help make your business grow and prosper. I am sure your well aware of the many experts who can help you find the missing piece to that business building puzzle, and I know that you fully appreciate what a difference using design within your business can make.

But then it comes to making that important deceision, wondering if you should or shouldn't utilize these opportunities. Well I have come up with a little questionaire, to help you ask the right questions, instead of asking the same old ones, which don't give you the answers like;

Is this workshop right for me? How will this class benefit me? How can I improve myself and my business?

Try asking yourself these few questions to pin point just what might suit you and why. Pick the answer which best sums you up. Oh yes, and try to be honest.

1. How often do you work with colour in the salon?

a. Is there colour acrylic and gel available

b. My clients never ask for it.

c. Always, every day at least one of my clients has a full set of design nails.

2. Do you know how to introduce colour and design to the clients?

a. I suppose they will come in and ask me for it.

b. There are magazines out on the table.

c. I wear design nails all the time and have examples on my walls.

3. Do you have a draw filled to over flowing with glitter, gems and foils?

a. I didn’t know you could add stuff to nails

b. I have seen these at the shows, but never know what to do with them.

c. Every time I open my “happy draw” to get inspiration, it’s full of shiny sparkly things.

4. When your clients arrive, and you ask them what they would like you to do for them today, what do they say?

a. “Oh the usual please”.

b. My client is so specific she even tells you which brush to use.

c. My clients say’s those two magic words “ you decide”

5. A new salon has just opened in the same town/street/around the corner from you, are you?

a. Worried, in case you lose some of your precious business.

b. No problem, competition is good, the more people that wear nails, the more popular it will get.

c. Not worried, they can’t provide the range of services, and designs you can give.

6. Further education within the nail industry can be great?

a. I don’t agree - I learnt all I need to on my foundation/beginners/college course. Why do I need to spend money learning extra stuff?

b. I want to go on extra workshops but I can never decide what is best for me, and if the stuff I learn on the class will be useful in my business.

c. I try and attend at least three different workshops a year, I try new brands, techniques and companies so I have a range. Every time I come back from a class, I introduce something new to my clients, and they always love it, they end up paying for the workshops and then some.

Mostly A

You might not know it yet, or even think it, but a workshop will help you! Especially the be inspired -‘designs for the salons’ It will help answer some of your questions and just give you an insight into an amazing opportunity you have at your finger tips. You might just be realizing now how hard it is to be self employed nail technicians, so let me help you turn your job into a career and exploit the passion which is just sitting beneath the service. Remember you’re drawn to this creative career for a reason, let your inner child out to play for a while, you might like the game.

Mostly B

You are well on your way; you have plenty of passion and drive to introduce colour and design effectively into your work. But like me you probably have a few unanswered questions, which any of these workshops might just help you with. You have seen what you need to do, let me show you how to do it.

Mostly C

You have a balance of creativity and passion, and I am sure I must have seen your work already. In fact you have probably already attended one of my classes. But you probably already know that the thing this workshop will give you is more inspiration, some extra little tips and tricks that might be new to you, and of course an wealth of new experiences which you can use in your designs. Looking forward to working with you!

If you have found this helpful, please pass it on. It is amazing how something this simple can help change someone's future. Don't let your competition benefit from the advantages of knowing the right decisions to make, and which choices to take.

for more information on how I can help you email me on