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Thinking of retraining as Nail Technician

(17 Posts)
Preggars Thu 10-Mar-05 13:52:19

I'm looking for advice please. I am currently expecting no. 2, so will be going on Maternity leave in 6 weeks (roll on). I work p/t as a Marketing Manager in the City. Although my company has been flexible, there are always so many peeved and stressed people to work with that I would like a change, and although I am experience (7 years marketing and two degrees), I don't think anywhere else would be able to accomodate my desired shift pattern. I would also like something really flexible and nearer home. My idea.. To retrain as a Nail Technician. My thoughts are: I'm creative, I like beauty products and pampering (am typical female then!) and I could start my own thing up, mobile nail technician, etc. etc. ..and using my marketing experience, drum up a loyal base local to where I live.
This is the idea anyway!

I would love advice from any Nail Technicians out there on MN as to how to best retrain in this field.. is this a good idea, blah blah blah.

Many thanks.

Preggars Thu 10-Mar-05 16:06:17

..are there any mobile nail technicians out there???

TheVillageIdiot Thu 10-Mar-05 16:12:18

I trained as a nail technician (for a hooby mostly) but decided I didn't really like it.

Courses are quite cheap and you can do them where you do a day (or two) training then you go away practice for a few weeks then go back for an exam/test type thing.

Not expensive at all so my advice would be do the course then decide if it's really for you.

The only advice I would give though i maybe learn something else to compliment it (perhaps indian head massage - another of mine). I found nail extensions extremely boring tbh. You also 'get it' or you don't. No matter how much I practiced I just couldn't get the ratios right - I don't have a steady hand and I'm not overly patient with myself.

My advice would be definitely go for it!!! I wish it had suited me, still wish I haad kept it up to a degreee


Preggars Thu 10-Mar-05 16:52:05

Thank you for your advice. I had been looking on the internet and courses seemed to vary from quick to 25 weeks (which was just one session a week though). I have maternity leave for 8 months, so thought this would be the best time to do a course and just have a go. Also, had thought it might be better to offer extras (sounds dodgy!!), like selling hand creams, then moving on to other treatments - head massage excellent idea... Seem more fired up about this idea than I have with my marketing job for ages. I really like the idea of not having to bullsh*t around all day and am fed up of all the back stabbing.

Did you ever have paying clients? How did you find them??

TheVillageIdiot Fri 11-Mar-05 09:42:58


I had a few friends who paid me but that was as far as I got. I work full-time so I just wanted to do in evenings/weekends.

If you want to be fairly local to your home and be mobile then cards in newsagent and advert ib the local paper might be a good start. Also if you have a local hairdressers that doesn't have a nail technician you could ask to put a card in there or even ask if they wanted someone part time to work from their salon.

I would start with a special offer, receive a treatment before x date and get it half price.

Word of mouth - offer to do your friends 1 set for free and they'll probably talk about them to colleagues etc

Also if your friends have notice boards at work do a little pouch of cards and ask each of your friends to put one on their notice board at work (or ask them to leave a stack on there desk or at their reception)

Wedding magazines are a good place to advertise and you could try phoning around some mobile hairdresser beauticians - enquire about nail extensions and if they don't do them you could offer to carry some of her cards if she would carry some of yours

Drop flyers through your neighbours doors (just your street), knock and hand them personally explain that your x from number n and that you are setting up - would like to offer your neighbours a one off discounted treatment - here's a flyer if they're interested or have a friend/relative that might be

These are just some of the things I thought of when I was looking into it.

Preggars Fri 11-Mar-05 09:54:14

All good, thank you. I think I'm going to go for it. I've got six weeks until maternity leave, but I might just enrol for a course soon, or for just after!! I will definately try your suggestions. Many thanks.

Earlybird Fri 11-Mar-05 10:33:49

I use a mobile nail technician, and it's great. They zip all over London on public transport, and use just a small case on wheels for their supplies. Here are a few tips - many get their clients to supply towels, so they don't have to carry/supply/do endless washing. They also get clients to supply varnish so that they don't have to carry lots of heavy/bulky bottles. Those who provide pedicures either get clients to buy cheap foot spas (from Argos) and keep at home, so that the technician doesn't have to transport. Some technicians will even use a big kitchen pot filled with hot water as a foot spa substitute - not glamourous, but it works.

The three girls I have used all got their client base initially from working at a salon, and then went independent. One woman in particular worked crazy, long hours but would take a week off to travel every 6 weeks. She was from Australia and made it her goal to see as much as she could. She got package deals and explored. Obviously, with a young family you wouldn't do that necessarily, but it gives an example of how flexible you can make the hours if you need to.

Think carefully about a booking/cancellation policy. One complaint from my techs is how irritating it is to pitch up to someone's home, and they're not in! Or how to deal with unruly children - never forgot the story of one client who was amused (not angry!) when her toddler son did a wee in the foot spa! Also, you may want to focus on one geographic area so that you don't spend too much time in transit instead of doing clients. Good luck!

Preggars Fri 11-Mar-05 11:30:17

Thanks Early Bird. I asked a group of close girl friends (at dinner last night) what they thought about my career change idea, and they all felt it was something they would use. Good tip re: getting client to have foot spas at home and polish, etc. I plan to use our second car for whizzing around. My husband works a condensed week, so I would be able to work on this for 3 to 4 days a week... I'm so excited that this could actually free me from comuting three days a week.


TheVillageIdiot Fri 11-Mar-05 11:35:14

Good luck - I hope it goes well!!

Preggars Fri 11-Mar-05 11:50:54

Thank you.

runtus Mon 14-Mar-05 13:32:26

Can you lety me know the details of the short courses you found? It's something I've been interested in for ages too but could never find the right course but I don't want to do the year long beauty course............


runtus Tue 15-Mar-05 10:45:43


karenanne Tue 15-Mar-05 11:33:27

ive looked into this myself .there are lots of course details on the web.i just put in a search for acrylic nails and loads came up.also ebay has some great items and ebay shops for if you do set up ive found theyre the better place to get supplies from.i have a shop near me that sells all the equipment and ebays alot cheaper with mostly better quality.

Preggars Tue 15-Mar-05 11:41:41

Hi Runtus and Karenanne

Agreed Runtus, there seems to be a lot of courses. I in fact had a manicure yesterday, (I christmas present) so I picked the ladies brains a bit (market research ). She agreed, there are many courses, and didn't seem to say that any one was particular that I should look out for. I would rather do something shorter as I will be on maternity leave, but am keen to get the right qualifications (NVQ2-3) I think, so that I can start working by end of the year.

I saw lots of further information on a learn direct site There was a list of associations on the 'nail technician' pages and lots of stuff about hours, how to get into it, money, etc...

I work part-time, so plan to follow a lot of this up on Thursday (my first day off this week). I can't call at work as they will hear of my escape plan !!

runtus Thu 17-Mar-05 11:11:55

Thanks Preggers for getting back to me - sounds like you have it all in hand.

Would you do me a favour and let me know what you finrd out today in your research? I have the same problem workwise!

Thanks for your help!

Preggars Thu 17-Mar-05 19:19:52


I called the Nail Technician Assoc number (can post it on this site tomorrow if you want - as it's downstairs and am only logging on quickly) and they are sending me a list of colleges local to me that do the qualifications they recommend (NVQ).

I'm glad I sound confident... I'm just investigating the options as I really want something I can do nearer to home. I'll log on about the same time tomorrow.

pinkmamma Tue 26-Apr-05 07:11:39

hi there - many moons ago i used to work in the city in the legal marketing world (yawn!). anyhow after birth of my first ds i decided wanted to work for self and re-trained. i did a one year course 3 days a week holistic therapies - reflexology, aromatherapy, indian head and nutrition and have done my beauty training privately with the carlton institute of beauty therapy. with carlton they are day courses in windsor, the nail extensions was 2 days long - it was good but it is something that needs loads of practice. i would recommend speaking to bio-sculpture (these are supposed to be the best nail extensions and are extremely popular) - their course will be more expensive i am sure but worth it.
i have a room set up at home and my most popular treatment is reflexology. i have also started working 2 days a week in a salon just to get out and about and get more experience in the beauty world as i would eventually like to set up a salon.

gotta say it is the best thing i ever did. the money is pretty good really, but the best thing is being able to just work when you want and how you want.

i am working towards my nvq2 beauty with carlton, i just need to do more case studies for my nail extensions and then go back for assessments.

i really enjoy the social side of the work. ie. just chatting to clients. they are normally happy cause they are being pampered and it is interesting cause always with different people

good luck, get loads of people to practice on - when they go out and about people will say "oh your nails will look fab where did you have them done", then they produce one of your business cards and on it goes.....

oh, by the way I seem to remember hearing that you should not breathe in the nail extensions “dust” whilst pregnant, might be worth checking out

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