Stay Strong, Nail Community
With the impacts of COVID-19 on the rise, communities everywhere are facing life threatening situations and hardship, but one community that we took note of is the community of professional nail service employees. In the United States alone, there are over 400,000 nail technicians and many of them have been impacted by the pandemic, suffering from unemployment and risking their lives to be in business.
We interviewed a two nail technicians to understand what they are going through and how they are staying strong amidst the pandemic:
Bea, 27, Upstate New York
Bea is of Asian-immigrant descent and works as a full-time nail technician in her family owned beauty salon. Before COVID-19, she worked 10-12 hour days and could barely find time to take a break. While her parent's nail salon has reopened, she notes that there isn't as much foot traffic as many of her clients are cautious about being in close contact to other clients and herself. To keep herself motivated, Bea often spends time on social media channels looking for nail trends and studying up on the latest styles. In June, Bea started posting photographs of her nail designs and received over 30 inquiries a day from customers asking if she would considering mailing her full set designs to their home. She started by sending them to a few customers in the area and eventually even to out-of-state followers turned clients. At one point, Bea received so many inquiries a day that she could not make all the sets herself and asked her mom to help with creating press-on sets.
"It started as a way to keep myself busy, but now, my clients are referring me to their friends and I receive so many inquiries a day that my dad suggested I start thinking about it as a side business!"
Chrystal, 31, Texas
Earlier this year, Chrystal received her nail technicians license and was extremely excited to start building her own customer base. When the pandemic turned her community upside down, she had a hard time getting her foot on the ground and it felt like she had wasted her time getting her license. In April, she had noticed that many of her friends were asking her about tips on using nail products through her Instagram where she posted some of her creations. She started responding to comments and questions on her own account and began venturing into other discussions from non-professional individuals who were doing their nails at home for the first time. Slowly, Chrystal began helping not only her friends, but people who were not in her social circle by filming easy how-to videos on tips and tricks on poly gel, nail transfers and other tutorials.
"When I started helping people with video tutorials, it made me feel like I was doing something helpful since people can't go to the salon to get their nails done. I felt like a nail technician trainer and when I see people try, fail then achieve, it makes me feel super proud."
As a brand that is supported by nail technicians around the world, it saddens our hearts to know that many nail technicians are undergoing possibly the most challenging time in their lives. However, in the process of listening to their stories, we feel inspired by their positivity and we hope to share that with the rest of our community.
As the pandemic continues to impact this group of individuals and businesses, we want to spread the word, be supportive and show our appreciation for this community.
If you are a nail technician, nail artist or nail salon business owner, share your story with us by posting your nail tech, artist or entrepreneur story on Instagram and hashtag #YOURNAILTECH between now and 9/30 and ask other nail technicians around you to share their story with the world. In October, Makartt will sponsor a nail technician with $1000 of Makartt's products to help you continue to create, inspire and wow your customers.