Education, Smeducation


Here’s the bottom line: Skills in this country are lacking. Unfortunately, it often appears that our nation is full of work-shy and entitled people. Even more regrettable, is that it also seems like no one cares. The average nail tech never leaves their hometown or their nail table to search out new techniques or even to learn how to perfect old ones. Many are satisfied with the status quo. I do realize that it is a busy world we live in and that it can be difficult to get away to gain education, but as anyone that takes regular classes will tell you, the rewards are so worth it. 

Traveling the world to teach nail techs that are hungry for education has opened my eyes. When I teach abroad, I know my classes will be filled because nail techs in other countries are driven; they’re compelled to learn, in love with their craft, and motivated to get any tidbit of nail education that they can. Almost every foreign nail tech that I’ve met is fascinated with our country, believing that everything in and from America is amazing and worth getting a piece of. They all have big dreams of getting their work published on the cover of NAILPRO, winning American competitions and providing nail education in the U.S.

Witnessing the average American nail tech’s complacency and lack of competitive spirit has compelled me to make a difference in the competition arena and in nail education. I want to inspire our nail techs to get back at being the best in the world. Working with Jewell Cunningham, NAILPRO competition director, we decided to remove white tips from competition in hopes of elevating the level of difficulty and encouraging people to hone in on their skill. I believe this has helped raise the skill level. However, when competition includes foreign competitors, there is nary an American in the top three at awards time.  We have lost our sculpting skills in the search for easier and faster. Why sculpt a nail when school has taught you it’s easier to glue on a tip? In another attempt at building the abilities in our nail industry, I decided to facilitate random skills workshops featuring amazing foreign educators that I’ve met along the way. I found this to be frustrating since trying to get a class filled, with just 10 students, was very difficult. Is it expensive to get a foreign educator here? The answer is a big resounding YES! Sadly, there are still many American nail techs that have no desire to improve or simply do not have the necessary funds to participate. The nail professionals that do plan and attend are so excited and recharged-- I have to give them kudos for that.

One thing that I hear frequently from foreign nail friends is that they expect that all the work coming out of this country will be phenomenal and they are completely shocked when they see what is posted on Facebook and printed in our beauty magazines. Being that I am old school from the days when the best nails in the world came out of America, I have to tell you this hurts. I am not sure what can be done to light a fire under us once again. If anyone has any suggestions, I am totally open to hearing them. I truly believe that American nail techs can still be the ones in the nail industry that raise the bar for the artistry and skill needed to be the best in the world!