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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Building a Celebrity Clientele


         I'm coming to you live from the International Congress of esthetics. I was invited to speak on building a celebrity clientele . While I don't necessarily have a celebrity clientele I have done quite a few editorial shoots, New York Fashion Week and one of the Kardashians. So I almost qualify. When in doubt I do what I always do, I research. I spoke to three of my celebrity nail tech friends and got their take on what it takes. Maisie Dunbar has been working with stars before there was really an niche and created her own. Having worked with Essence magazine she got her start in the editorial world. Maisie said it's really all about commitment. Many say they might like to be a celebrity stylist but it takes hard work and a lot of hustle to make it. Location is not as important as you would think. You can network with local agencies and production companies to get a foot in the door but you also must be willing to travel. The life of a celebrity stylist is in no way glamorous. It's a lot of hurry up and wait and schlepping more products than you'll ever need so you're prepared for anything.

      Julie Kandalec is a Cleveland hometown girl that began her journey several years back and finally made the move to New York City last summer. Julie stresses you must be well rounded, you never know what a person is going to have on their nails. Most models have natural nails because that's all they are allowed to have. With the celebrities front and center on the covers of must fashion magazines your editorial work could well be with a celebrity. But with celebrities sometimes they are wearing acrylics, sometimes gels or gel polish so being well rounded and being able to walk into anything is really important. A good kit is really important, She shares what is in her kit on Modern Salon's you tube channel. See what's in her kit here What's in Julie's Kit

      Keep up with celebrity news and know who is touring your city. Start with b-listers and work your way up or grow with the celebrity, many have teams that have been with them for years. Pattie Yankee is another amazing nail artist with a celeb following. Yankee is now more interested in building repeat celebrity clients, not just one time jobs doing celebrities here and there. Personality is huge. Giving 100%, not talking, being respectful, building trust, that can get you a steady clientele. You have to be versatile and commit 100% to the job at hand. Commitment was a theme echoed by all three celebrity stylists. You can't be a prima donna, you have to make any situation work without complaints. Yankee feels working with a manufacturer definitely helped open doors for her, especially into fashion week. She also warns to get with a reputable agency if you go that route, one of her first agencies ended up not paying her. She also recommends building relationships with other nail techs in different areas. Yankee is based in New York so she sought out techs on the west coast.

     Celebrity pr companies will call and say so and so is in town do you know somebody there. So keep a good relationship with other celebrity nail techs so they can refer you when people are in your area. Educate yourself on the business of editorial and celebrity work. Crystal Wright literally wrote the book Hair, Make-up and fashion styling career guide on building a career and she conducts seminars and webinars across the country. Julie is a graduate and credits her course with giving her the knowledge and confidence to pursue her dream. If marketing yourself as a celebrity stylist is one of your goals get yourself the right education and get moving on it. Cenita Harris took a goal setting class with me a few years back and set editorial work as her goal. She worked hard, got the right education and landed a spot with Ford in Chicago. If you see a McDonalds ad with nails chances are they are Cenita's handy work. For more info check out Crystal Wrights website and get marketing yourself as the next go to nail girl.
Check out Crystal's site here Hair and Make-up Styling

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