Month: July 2014

Me? On Nail Talk Radio?

So there I was, on Facebook, minding my own business.

Minding. My. Own. Business.

BAAAAAAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHA  as if, right? Of course not! I was doing as I usually do: responding to messages from junior techs needing help with something, scrolling through the feed laughing at jokes, sharing sarcastic pictures, answering questions and offering opinions in nail tech forums, and well – just plain ol’ offering my opinion. Because well, that’s what I do.  Offer. My. Opinion.

It’s what I’ve always done. Ok, maybe not always. There was a time I was quiet. Hard to believe, I know. (you can stop laughing now, you might hurt yourself) But there was a time that I was, and then I wasn’t.  Though once I learned the freedom of expression, zoom-zoom- zoom and off I went.  There was no turning back.  There never could be. I was liberated.  Liberated from a silence that can be dreadfully painful when you have as many hamsters on wheels running between your ears as I do.  That silence can keep you up all hours of the night, while those wee critters keep running on those squeaky wheels, begging to escape.  A silence that threatens you with a pressure deep inside on the verge of an explosion.  If you hadn’t realized, explosions are MESSY.  So when I finally exploded, I was MESSY.  My words ran willy nilly all over the place with no thoughts to consequence, or the havoc I might create.  I didn’t care, I just wanted them OUT.  They were screaming to get out of my head, so I let them out.

I did tell you it was messy, right?  I’ll leave it at that.  I don’t need to tell you how the words were messy. I’m sure you’ve been there, done that, bought the tshirt and kicked yourself in the ass a dozen times over for letting your own words get messy. It happens.

Eventually the pressure eased and I learned to slow down and THINK before I let the words out.  Then I learned to think TWICE before I let the words out.  Then I learned to think THREE times.  Because the world is a funny place.  Everyone shouts that they hate liars and want the truth. So you give it to them.  WHOOPS that was a mistake.   Probably should have said that differently.  Ok, excuse me while I go smack my face into a door for that snafu.  People really don’t want the truth. They want it sugar-coated.  OR they just want you to lie to them and pretend it’s the truth.   So apparently, thinking three times is not enough.  Because if you’re delivering a truth that someone doesn’t want to hear, it really doesn’t matter what words you use. They’re undoubtedly going to become annoyed with you.

So I tried for a little while to practice biting my tongue. To sugarcoat. To lie. But it didn’t sit well with me. It was driving me NUTS.  What good are words if you can’t use them to say what you want? Where’s the liberty?  So I tossed in the towel and figured I am what I am, love me or hate me, but at least I give it to you straight and you don’t have to question where you stand. How’s that? Honest enough?

Needless to say, I have fans that love my way of expressing myself. Then there are those that can’t tolerate me breathing the same air as they do.  Whatever. If we all liked the same things, this would be a very boring planet.

NOW on to my point…. I was sitting there minding my own business… (I’ll finish this sentence when you stop choking from laughter)

I was sitting there minding my own business on Facebook, and received a message from   (are you done laughing yet? seriously, you can stop now. I DO mind my own business sometimes, ya know? LOL)   Athena Elliot.    We jibber jabber sometimes. Not a lot.  She’s a crazy-busy woman and I don’t want to be the kind of stalker that monopolizes all of her time.  So, I tend to sit back and comment here and there on her posts and only message occasionally because as I said – she’s a BUSY woman.

Oh… You don’t know who Athena Elliot is?  STOP THE PRESSES – We gotta take a time out!

Nail Talk RAdio-The only weekly radio station in the world where consumers and nail technicians can listen or ask questions to obtain the most up-to-date helpful information and info on nail care products in the nail salon industry.  Hosted and created by Athena Elliott, first Medical Nail Technician in the country. She is the owner of  www.spathena.com.  She is the co-founder of Safe Salon Rating- The first salon app designed for consumers to survey a salon’s level of sanitation,education and professionalism based on a 5 STAR rating!   She contributed to “Death By Pedicure” by Dr. Robert Spalding.  She is the creator of GlitzyLips http://glitzylips.com/  and etc etc.   Athena Elliot is THE BOMB!

Ok, you get it now?   So, she messages me to invite me to be on her show.  NAIL TALK RADIO!  Pardon me? Let me clean my ears, WHAT?  Me?  ON YOUR SHOW?  The show that has featured the likes of Doug Schoon, Millie Haynam, Naja Rickette, Vicki Peters, Linda Nordstrom, Holly Schippers, Jewel Cunnigham, and tonnes more!  If you’re in the biz, you know those names.

YIPEEE and I get to pick my topic. YAY!  I get to talk about what ‘I’ want to talk about.  So for a wee while, I’m super psyched.   I can’t wait. Oh, this is going to be awesome. And I’m typing away and my brain is going a million places at once.

OH SHIT. Panic sets in.   1- I do NOT want to let Athena down.  2- what if I get MESSY?

You know, messy words?  I can talk. I have no fear of talking (ok, quit your giggling LOL)  But what if my mouth engages before my brain does and WAY TOO MUCH TRUTH spits out.  There’s a funny thing that most people don’t know about truth.   There’s MY truth.  Then there’s YOUR truth.  Then there’s the REAL truth somewhere in the middle.  That’s how it works, because perspective gets in the way of REAL truth.

Ah well, here goes nothing.  I hope to make all my pals proud of me.  And I hope you get a kick out of my messy truth 😉

Worst case scenario – bring your mops, you can help me clean up later 😉

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NEW BEGINNINGS

Where to begin? How far back to go?  How about we settle for 10yrs ago?  At the birth of “Ongles Chez Victoria”.   It was my official opening as a ‘Salon’ versus a part-time hobby nail-tech.  In Quebec, archaic language laws insist that my business name MUST be French.  So why not call my business “Nails at Victoria’s” since that’s where I was working – out of my home.  
I need to point out that I fell into this. While I did start in Cosmetology many moons ago (please don’t count the moons, I’m happier pretending I’m still 29yrs old), I drifted away from that industry for a while and only dabbled on the side.  We had decided that I’d stay home to raise my children BUT I’ve been independent since the age of 16.  Can ANYONE that knows me imagine me having to ask my hubby for 2$ for a coffee?  If you don’t know me, the answer is a big ‘HELL NO’. I wanted my own pin money. So a friend slapped me upside the head and said “just do nails, Vic”.  Ohhh right!  Sooo off to take a refresher course I went, and my home business was born.I started out offering what is commonly referred to as ‘Tip-n-dip’ everywhere but in Quebec where it’s called ‘Gel Resine’.  Shortly after, I added UV Gel to my skills.
I naively believed all the hype of the company. I bought it hook line and sinker – gel is better for your nails.   I know, I know, I know. Hang on, I’m just starting here  😉  
OnglesChezVictoria BizCard 1 numberblurred
Then a short while after just learning this skill, I joined a nail tech forum which was then known as http://www.salongeek.com.  WHAM I took a slap upside the head, a kick in the backside, a punch in the nose, and a few jabs to the ribs.  My pride and confidence had the crap kicked out of them. Because you see, this forum was full to bursting with experienced and knowledgeable nail techs.  EDUCATED nail techs.  Yes, I am from Quebec where there are no standards and most education is absymal.   Added to that, most members of this forum were from the UK and they have a plain way of speaking that leaves NO ROOM for confusion.  They told me STRAIGHT.  So, while previously I had been told that my nails were awesome, at salongeek, I received my wake up call.  My nails were CRAP! Total utter CRAP!  And I was beyond ignorant. Oh boy, did I have a lot to learn!
But instead of tucking my tail between my legs and ducking for cover, I took my beatings and kept plugging on. I took that criticism CONSTRUCTIVELY. I was HUNGRY to learn and learn is exactly what I did. I ate it up like a sponge, trolling those forums for hours at a time, breathing/eating/sleeping anything about nails.   I learned who Doug Schoon was, and what “MIlady’s Standard Nail Technology” is and how important it is for Nail Techs to have this book.  I learned that UV Gel is NOT better for your nails, that it’s from the same family as Acrylic. I learned and learned, and then learned some more.
THEN I put my ass to work. I was NOT going to be just another NSS. I was NOT going to be just an average Nail Tech. I wanted to beat the odds stacked against me and prove people wrong.  I wanted to play with the big dogs and make a difference in this industry, to make a difference for other aspiring nail techs.
Second Business card, with professional logo that I designed myself.

Second Business card, with professional logo that I designed myself.

So jump forward several years and several more classes later, and here I stand.  I’ve been published a couple of times.  I’ve been on the news speaking out against NSS.  I’m mentoring junior techs and will soon start teaching. Most recently, I moved to Ontario away from my home town. It was huge and tore me apart emotionally.  And now the business that I built from nothing was being closed.  My days of being so busy I turned clients away with no openings for weeks at a time were over.   It was time to start fresh.   THAT’S SCARY SHIT!

Third Business Card.

Third Business Card.

There’s nothing more humbling than starting over in a new town where no one knows you. Where you have no network, no friends, no family to support you. No contacts or connections to get things rolling.  Now I have to prove myself all over again.  Establish a reputation, again.   But, this time I KNOW what to do and what not to do. I KNOW I can do this. So here I am, plugging along, starting over.   Frustrated with the slow move forward. Wondering if I’ll EVER arrive at my intended destination.  Then an opportunity knocked at my door. Several actually, but I’ll just talk about one for the moment.  All my hours of nattering, jabbering, mentoring for nails, and also just being plain old me with my big mouth and straight way of speaking amounted to something.  Something BIG.  Something HUGE.  I get to play with the BIG DOGS!  Linda & Jim Nordstrom knocked on my door (ok, they rang my phone LOL).  They invited me to join their team. For those not in the know, Jim Nordstrom is one of the original founders of CND.  Yes, “the” CND.   He now owns Famous Names Products and they want ME!  Little ol Me!

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!
So it’s a new beginning, and time for a new name.   Don’t get me wrong, “Ongles Chez Victoria” did me fine and has established as the only “Ongles Chez Victoria” anywhere on the web and has a fine reputation.  
However I’m not Ongles Chez Victoria anymore. I’m not that same uneducated nail tech bumbling in the dark full of doubts.  Oh I still have PLENTY to learn, and learn I shall.  With GLEE!
So ‘Victorious Nail Styles” was born. I hope you stay tuned and follow my adventures because my future is chock full of them.  I’ll share my adventures, my challenges, industry humor and educational stuff.  But added to that, my own observations and perspectives on a variety of things.  I’ll tell it to you STRAIGHT.   I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t do that 😉
ps: what’s my new business card going to look like?  I don’t know. You’ll know when I do 😉