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 😉 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.
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.
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 😉