Have you ever considered a career in nails but felt that it was too late for you to start? Today Habib and Tracey tackle the question of whether or not age matters when deciding to enter a new career path.


Today Habib and Tracey talk about client expectations versus the reality of what they can actually wear on their nails. Tracey explains how she assesses a client’s needs, common misconceptions about acrylic and gel, and why she keeps both services the same price point.



Does brush size matter when it comes to pearl size and consistency? Today Greg walks you through acrylic application using a size #8 versus a size #12 brush and explains how to achieve the same size pearl using both.


On today’s Biz Talk, Habib @hsalo27 and Tracey @treierson talk about whether or not it’s possible for coronavirus to contaminate nail products such as powder, liquid, and polish.


Salon Ownership, Is It Right For You?


Salon Owner versus Independent Nail Artist, who will be the winner of this what-do-I-do-next battle? For many professional nail artists, living the dream means opening your own nail salon. It’s the ultimate career goal. What could be more satisfying than designing your own store, being the big boss, and having no one to answer to but yourself? In this space, Habib Salo, CEO and Tracey Reierson, General Manager of Young Nails, explore what salon ownership looks like in real life and whether it might be the fit for you. 

So, you have this awesome independent nail artist thing going full steam. You only work four days a week. You work with tons of amazing return clients and have a serious income pouring in. Are you happy and content? Or are you bored? Are you interested in a new challenge and finding new ways to make more money? These questions are usually the lead up to determining whether salon ownership is in your future. 

If you answered, yes I’m happy and content right where I am. You can pretty much stop reading here. Stay on the path of being a solo act because it’s working for you. However, if you bore easily and find yourself seeking out a new challenge (maybe even feed on stress); then it’s possible you’re ready to take on life in the second act as a salon owner. 

We can all relate to the fantasy of having a salon where everyone is happy and everything is always perfect. Yet the actual responsibilities of running a salon can often be at odds with the dream. It’s a unique position and isn’t for everyone. If you think you’ve already mastered the working hard part; building out a prosperous salon business is a completely different kind of untamed beast. 

Independent nail artists can count the number of responsibilities they have on one hand: booth rent, self-promotion/marketing and skills maintenance. It’s simple and straightforward allowing you to prioritize yourself and your quality of life. End of story. 

Salon Owners must be ok with the responsibility of maintaining their own clients while overseeing the operation details of the salon: store lease, utilities, station equipment/rental, creating a team of talented nail techs/receptionists, nail product lines, dress code, ventilation, health and safety, store atmosphere, taxes/payroll, and sanitation. At times, it might feel like your a glorified janitor who keeps the coffee machine and toilet paper stocked. Other times, you’re the human resources manager who must hire and fire as required. 

The salon environment is also a major responsibility of the owner. Going beyond the looks and building the reputation of the salon, there is an added layer of stress of managing people. You must be selective about the team of techs that make up the salon talent. You can count on staff turn over. Sometimes you can have someone come on that is not a team player, doesn’t share the same goals or just doesn’t fit into the salon culture. It’s a delicate balance to insure that everyone can work well together but it must be a priority. Your salon’s success depends on it. 

And another thing, you need to be really good at communication to motivate everyone to rally together with a shared mission and address conflict as it arises. You must lead with confidence. You must make tough decisions. You must set limits and not mistake professional comradery with personal friendship. As the salon boss, your goal is to focus on the team and create an environment with fair rules and fair pay. When it all comes together it is a beautiful thing, a creative community that makes all the pressure and stress worth it.


What do Nail Pros need in order to succeed in the nail business? The question in and of itself is quite broad and surely lead us down many paths. Is it a fully stocked shelf of professional nail products? Is it a slice of humble pie? Together with Tracey Reierson, our Young Nails General Manager and former Director of Education, we explore what might be the most surprising tool you can wield to forge a profitable and fulfilling salon business.

It may be a shock to discover that the single most important tool a nail tech needs to succeed doesn’t come with a price tag and isn’t sold in stores. When we boil it down to the essential, the top of our list, is actually something free. The single thing that sets apart successful nail techs from the struggling is a never ending supply of patience. We’ve all heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue.” How does that exactly apply to nails?

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the definition of patience means “the ability to remain calm when dealing with a difficult or annoying situation, task, or person”. Now let’s apply that. The nature of our business brings us the chance to cross paths with nail techs in every stage of their profession in places all around the globe. We’ve seen how patience comes into play:

The Early Years - Patience is needed while you focus on building your professional career. A strong and steady stream of paying clients doesn’t spring up overnight. Instead, the road to success requires much of your attention spent on strategy, self-promotion, and paying your dues. It can be a grind of long hours and a trickle of revenue.

The Established Years - You now have yourself established in the dream job. You are basically your own boss with creative freedom. You work with clients you love and that love you right back. You get a great sense of accomplishment transforming people’s lives through beautiful nails. If only, it was all rainbows and unicorns....man it is still work! Once you’ve created a following, you’ll feel your focus shift. Your attention will be directed to maintaining your existing client relationships.

It won’t be easy. The nail business is not for everybody. It’s a career that requires a lot of skill to handle customer service and its many professional pitfalls with style and grace. You won’t realize how draining the job (yes, even your dream job) can be until you’re alone at the close of business. When you are thriving and you’re putting yourself 150% into the work; it can be utterly exhausting. Juggling schedules, people, and personalities, the time may come when you might lose your cool. When (and not if) it happens, know that without patience, a well-timed apology, a little self-awareness; you could really destroy your business.

Beyond cultivating patience, a nail tech needs to make smart investments in some education and essential product lines. Which ones, you ask? You know we’re biased but we highly recommend you exercise some self-control and start out with buying small. Carefully build out and curate the products you use. Trust us, we know that there are a crazy amount of products out there. It’s easy to act out that kid in a candy shop flashback when it comes to beauty supplies. There is a difference between things you NEED and things you WANT.

• What product systems does a professional nail tech need to start out?

Focus on one enhancement system at a time. Start with either Gel or Acrylic. In time and in order to address the diverse needs of each clients lifestyle, you will definitely need to use both systems. Sign up for advance education on the system of your choice and really get to know it. And for a shameless plug, no matter what system you get into YN Protein Bond is an essential.

No matter what level you’re at, it’s very important to dial into what’s trending in fashion and the trending colour stories you will be seeing on the streets inspired from the runways. Instagram and Pinterest will be the place to look. These are always available several months ahead of time. Once you know what to expect, you’ll be able to practice nail art that highlights that trend, create a mini-style guide and charge for it.


Habib Salo, CEO
Young Nails, Inc.

© Young Nails UK 2021
Handcrafted by Fallen Leaf Design LTD