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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Choose Kindness

     Even though I usually save renewal for the spring, this years’ timeline for me didn’t exactly line up that way, but I realize renewal is now a year round event for me. This fall I started facilitating at a Parish school of Religion program, went on a weekend retreat and just spent the last day and a half at a renewal program called Christ renews his parish. While all of these have been religious events the lessons are for everyone and anyone regardless of any affiliation. Let’s just call them life lessons.  Even though many of the lessons I have been learning I have heard in some way shape or form before this weekend confirmed something I did not know. It’s called confirmation. Whenever you hear something whether it be scripture or a story or a reference several times it is considered confirmation, something we really need to know. When I asked Braden the theme of tonights show to craft my message he told me it was Gina Sylvestro and killing them with kindness might be a good one. It brought to mind a story we shared at PSR. The story of St Therese of Lisieux who became a nun at age 15. She actually traveled to Italy and begged the then pope to become a nun at her young age. She knew she needed to love God, and she did so by being nice to all the people she met. There was one nun that really annoyed her and was really mean to her. But Therese knew she was called to love this nun and be kind to her. Since the nun was mean to her, Therese was extra nice to her. After a time, this nun realized that Therese was the nicest and thought they were the best of friends. Only after Therese died did she find out via Therese’s diary that Therese thought she was annoying and mean. We are called to be like Therese, even those we don’t like we are called to be kind to and to love. We will not like everyone we meet, but they don’t need to know it!


     In life and work we will have challenges, but we are not defined by our struggles, we are defined by how we react to them. So I’d like to share a few more life tips tonight, food for thought.
Everyone we meet has their own unique journey much of which we have no idea. They are the way they are because that journey has formed them. We may not agree with what they do, or how they behave, but it’s not our job to decide whether they are right or wrong. We are supposed to be kind and love them where they are.
It is pointless to be envious of another person. God has given each of us talents and gifts that are uniquely our own. Some of us haven’t even discovered all of our talents so be patient with yourself. Your light will shine in the way it is meant to shine. In the meantime, be thankful for the gifts of others and be grateful how God made each one of us.

     Speak of others only in kind ways. I have to say this is one I struggle with I will admit, I fall down here, a lot. Gossiping about another is wasted energy and kills their spirit in ways we may never even know. I shared with my PSR group the film clip from the movie Doubt about gossip. I strongly recommend each one of you watch it. It is powerful. In short when a woman is confessing to gossip to her priest and asks if gossiping is bad he instructs her to take a feather pillow and go up on her roof and slit it open and return to him the next day. When she returns he asked her what happened. Feathers, she said tall over. Ah he said, I want you to go and pick up every one of those feathers. It’s impossible she said, the wind took them everywhere. That, he said is gossip. I know salons can be the mother ship of gossip at times and this is challenging for me as well. But every time I think to speak I remember this image of the feathers. And I choose kindness instead. So be kind, be grateful and be positive.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

CNTC Wrap Up


     This weekend was the fabulous 6th annual Canadian Nail Tech Networking event. Dayna Knight put together a fabulous event packed full of goodies, education and fun. I was honored to have the opportunity to speak to the group about social media strategies for 2015 and Angela Knight Van Schaayk spoke to the group about investing our hard earned money in the right places with the right strategies.
Photo: Angela Knight van Schaayk delivering the second keynote speech at the Canadian Nail Tech Connection (CNTC)! #InvestInYourFuture
Angela Knight van Schaayk
Dayna and Pam Thompson

          Pam Thompson was there with her Designer Nail Products and had so many fun nail embelishments to share and awesome demos. Her most popular items were her Nail Artistry Tool Set and her Glitter Art Set .

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Pam is a former police officer that has reinvented herself in this second career as a nail entrepreneur.

Kelly Marble and Jill Clark had a table full of really fun grab bags full of glitter and goodies. Representing WHENN, We Have Education, Networking and Nails Kelly is hopeful to have more educational events for nail techs in the near future.
 Amy Becker from Masterworks by Amy Becker had a crowd at her table all day demoing her fabulous nail art and unique gel application techniques. Her company is so appropriately named because she is truly a master gel artist. She gave away full size jars of her Masterfill so attendees can get a better feel for her product. Her unique gel techniques showcase her self leveling gel making application easy breezy and so quick. Her 3D gel art paint designs were so beautiful. She is having a Holiday nail design class in Cedarburg Wisconsin November 17th to get your creativity flowing.

         Victoria Lys Hunter was on hand showcasing the many benefits of IBX. She shared some amazing client nail transformations. They have tweaked the application techniques for this product since it's launch so make sure to check out to get up to speed on this revolutionary new product from Famous Names.


 Maggie Gebka from Nail Essentialz  brought the Mosaic Nail Systems gel line with educator Kinga Micaci. Their booth was rocking all day as well with amazing demos showcasing Kinga's talents as an 8 year veteran. 

 Maggie Gebka from Nail Essentialz  brought the Mosaic Nail Systems gel line with educator Kinga Micaci. Their booth was rocking all day as well with amazing demos showcasing Kinga's talents as an 8 year veteran. 

Footlogics and the International Pedicure association was there with information about this advanced academy. Check out their website for upcoming classes at  International Pedicure Association             
Natural nail boost gel
    LCN was sharing their New revolutionary Natural Nail Boost Gel System designed to strengthen, protect and grow natural nails. Contessa award winner nail tech of the year Jennifer (Moon) Hillman was on hand demoing the many benefits of this new product. 

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 One of my favorites, Holly Schippers was busy all day at her booth demoing empower nail art. She was showing so many cool techniques layering films and pigments and additives. I could have watched her all day. She and Lucien will be attending more nail networking events in the near future so stay tuned to find out where you can see them on the road.


 Europe Cosmetiques kept Annette Sykaluk, CND education ambassador in the Sarnia area busy all day demoing the latest CND nail art with Shellac, Vinalux, pigments, additives and stamping. So many options my head was spinning.

Cosmetic Brands of North America
  Kent Jones was on hand with Accel, Canada's leader in infection control for the beauty industry. Their products use hydrogen peroxide which is makes them environmentally friendly and responsible. He wants us to make it our business to beat the bug, the flu bug this flu season by protecting ourselves and our clients. 

    I sat down with Beth Albrecht to chat about Poly polish, TEN's newest product to turn any nail polish or acrylic paint into gel polish. The mixing ratios are figured out for you so you just have to be the creative artist you already are. I also purchased some of those really cool Derwent Inktense pencils to add to my nail art arsenal. Stay tuned for upcoming photos.

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 Things were hopping at Liliya Saxons table where she was launching her brand new videos, Get your clients addicted and One stroke and foiling techniques. Her demo nails were stunning. She also had all new ceramic bits, guaranteed to not get dull, I have to admit these were pretty cool.

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Windsor Beauty Supply brought OPI goodies, their holiday collection and Gwen Stefani collection along with Pink Pewter headbands, the perfect retail item for Christmas. 
And of course it wouldn't be complete without a fabulous Indian meal with my foodie buddy Braden. Until next time London.                                      

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hang on Tight!


     This week a Facebook post resonated with quite a few of my followers. “Hang on tight to your dreams, you just never know when they might come true!!!” Some of you know I have been working on a certain project for about 7 years. I am so very thankful for hanging onto this dream, it’s getting so close to coming true. I’m so thankful for all the people that helped and encouraged me over these years to not give up.
     So you have a dream? Not sure how to accomplish this dream? Does it take skills you don’t have? Learn them. I had never done what was required to achieve my dream but I didn’t let that small fact stop me. I studied, took classes and paid people to help me. But you have to get started, and there is no better time than right now.  The time will pass anyways, pass it working on your dream.
     Are you investing in you? If you ever expect anyone else to invest in you, well you have to invest in yourself. I paid consultants to help me along the way, all along the way, from start to when I thought I was finished and then paid again to make sure it was perfect. I worked on it, broke it down, reworked it and broke it down again till I was ready to give up. Many a time I thought, who do I think I am, trying to do this, But I pressed on. There are many people in the business world that are those few steps ahead of you, where you need to be. Completing a project must go beyond friends and mentors. It takes professionals. If you are not willing to pay for the knowledge to get your project where it needs to be don’t expect anyone else to invest. 

       Does  your dream keep you up at night and drive your thoughts and actions throughout the day? Your dream must be top of mind, back of mind, always on your mind. Are you taking actions every day, every week, every month to push through? Doubts will overtake you if you let them. So make sure you have good people around you believing in you when you run out of belief in yourself.
     Get rid of negative Nancy’s. Surround yourself with your cheer group, prayer warriors and balcony people. I am so very thankful for so many that have prayed for me, believed in me and encouraged me along the way. Sometimes it was just a simple word of encouragement that kept me going. I know for certain I could not have survived the challenge without them. A big dream is downright scary. Make sure you have positive people and their energy surrounding you and your project. And be that support for someone else in your world.
     Reach out to everyone you can think of. A key person in the development of my project was a guy I dated over 30 years ago. We got back in touch through Facebook and he came up with the connection that made the difference between my project getting lost in the crowd and being put front and center. You never know what each connection in your life can someday offer you. Imagine if I had burned that bridge so many years ago. Hopefully soon I will be able to share the project publically, But until then believe me when I tell you truly anything is possible. To have my dream come as far as it has to this point is an accomplishment in itself. So believe, never stop, even if it takes years.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's Personal

     I had an exchange this week with a company on Facebook that was pretty much textbook brand marketing at it’s finest. I was scrolling through my feed when I saw a photo on their page with a not so neat polish job and cuticles a mess. I thought about it for a minute and asked myself with all the non professional bloggers kicking our behinds with their amazing work why would a manufacturer post a picture like this? So I did what anyone else would do, I called them on it. 

Here is the exchange.
Dear anonymous nail lacquer company. As a professional nail artist, just a piece of unsolicited advice...make sure your nail photos are pristine. Taking the extra time to make sure the cuticles are crisp will increase your brand authority, ending with a smiley face. Which is the equivalent of saying bless her heart but…you can pretty much say anything you want after that, especially if you’re from the south.
I wasn’t expecting a response and didn’t get one for three days when this popped up in my messages.
Hi Millie, we truly appreciate (and agree with) the feedback. Most of our images are actually supplied by the fans and other nail artists; so we don't get to control the nuances as we would if purchasing professional photos/designs. Speaking of that - if you are ever interested in doing some nail art and sharing we would love to send you some polish! Anonymous Nail lacquer company for the win.
I responded.. Oh sorry my bad. I didn't check to see who uploaded the photo. I'd love to play with your polish! You can send it to and I included my address. And thanked them.
I went back to their page and didn’t notice a water mark anywhere on the photo, but have to take their word for it.

      So, how do you respond to a negative review or remark?  Studies show a client that has been converted from unhappy to happy can be your biggest fan. Clients want to know they are not just a number or a time slot, they want to know you care. Have you noticed a few clients gone missing from your schedule?  Have you contacted them? I know sometimes it can be daunting, but wouldn’t you like to know if there is some small thing you can do to win back their business?  It takes way less time and money keeping and gaining back a current client than getting new ones.
Scroll back through your client schedule and take note of those clients that have mysteriously disappeared.  If you’re brave enough, call them.  Something like Hi dear lost client, I haven’t seen you in a while and was just thinking about you. I’m calling to make sure you are alright and there wasn’t something I failed to do for you as your beauty provider, then shut up. Sometimes they will tell you the real story, which hopefully can be rectified with a simple conversation. Sometimes they won’t and that’s ok too. At least you made the effort, took notice they had gone missing and told them you were thinking of them. If you can get them back in your chair, more power to you. If not, thank them for their support of you and your business in the past and let them know if their situation ever changes you would love to welcome them back, that is if you want them, and we all have those few we don’t.
Make sure you are constantly managing your client data base. Try not to send an impersonal we miss you email or text offering a discount to come back. Pick up the phone, make it personal, because that’s smart marketing.