f 23, 2023

“Give me a museum and I’ll fill it.” - Pablo Picasso 

The age old debate of Quality vs. Quantity is trending upwards on professional nail industry social media. We’re jumping straight into the deep end to share the YN opinion on which trait best serves the career of the professional nail artist. We feel this is a market specific debate. To keep the discussion current, here we are speaking specifically to the UK professional nail market and its target audience. 

The truth is that neither Quality or Quantity alone can offer the nail pro the financial success they seek. Quality alone is a half-truth. The same for Quantity. Instead, we ask you to take action towards creating a salon environment where a perfect balance of both Quality and Quantity equally exists. You’ll soon discover that this kind of balance that you can take to the bank. 

Let’s take the world famous artist Pablo Picasso for example. In an impressive 78 year creative career, Picasso cranked out a whopping number of works of art, over 140,000 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. Art by Picasso at auction always commands a small fortune. Nobody is mad at his approach to quantity or can argue against the quality of this work. Any way you measure it, it’s hard to deny that his career was successful. Picasso is one of the most inventive, influential, prolific, and profitable creative talents in Modern history. The numbers don’t lie. We are in awe and inspired. 

We’ve been lucky to travel across the globe and witness the phenomenal work of nail artists on their home turf. It’s been our experience that the local market decides what types of services are in demand. In Europe, in a country like Sweden, it is not uncommon for a nail service to clock in between 2 to 2.5 hours. Similar nail service times may be found in places like Japan. Each country carries its own values and preferred traditions of quality and service. We expect that the professionals providing these services are compensated accordingly. In the UK, the market and corresponding market research shows the client prefers to spend anywhere from 30-60 minutes in the salon. This is time sensitivity should be a goal post for the nail tech first starting out. The norm for these types of services are usually manicures with ombres, glitters, and mylars.  

There are always exceptions to the rule. We love and respect a handful of UK-based nail artists who have cultivated a niche menu of services for detailed hand drawn nail art and enhancements or work as editorial nail artists. These specialty services can take quite a bit of time. Sure their earning focus may not be on the number of clients they service each day; but they most definitely have secured a competitive and profitable day rate. We’d even venture to guess that the niche market nail artist knows exactly how much money they are making each day and how much money they need to afford the good life. 

Nails are often considered the fast food of the beauty industry. We hope to tweak that notion. We want to give it a boost in it’s reputation and expand the options available. Maybe move it to the top of the “food chain”. Everywhere you look there are specialty salons that cater to their client with a very specific pitch; they have a focus on a “hit it and quit it” efficiency. If you’re going through the trouble of paying for cosmetology school; think about what kind of career you want to have. Ask yourself what kind of services you want to provide and what you want your schedule to look like. Then do the math to determine if you can make a living this way. As a nail tech, you get the luxury to choose how you balance your career and workload. At YN, one of the most important lessons we teach is the importance of speed coupled with service. If your speed is up, but your quality and service is sub-par; it’s time to get back to basics. The speed demons in nails are usually lifer nail artists and they’ve earned their bragging rights. 

Technique first, speed second. This is another core lesson we teach at YN. Your technique, needs to be good and is the key to everything. A good technique always prioritizes the health of the nail first and it should never, ever be sacrificed. This is what clients will keep coming back for. It’s a true career builder. Of course, speed is an important part of the nail game. In today’s market, you cannot build a successful career on a three hour set unless you have already cultivated a clientele that expects a service that is extraordinary and is happy to spend their time and money with you beyond the norm. 

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