Month: October 2014

Student Becomes The Teacher – IBX Certification

If you’ve read my very first post on this Blog, New Beginnings,  then you’ll understand why this is so big for me. My start in this industry was VERY humble to say the least. As far as I’m concerned, I still have plenty to learn and to master.  Around the middle somewhere, I stumbled upon (since evolved into and there I met some tremendously inspiring Nail Technicians and Educators from around the world.  Ohhhh the knowledge and the talent found on those forums.

Not to mention, the mentoring.  LOTS of help from many different directions. Wonderfully generous people who never ignored my hunger to learn.  They helped me in so many different ways, and STILL DO.  Now, many of us spend more time on Facebook than on that website, but they are still out there – mentoring every day.  Helping me and others to grow.

In recent months, via the opportunity that Famous Names Products has gifted me by inviting me to their team, I have met SEVERAL of my mentors, nail techs and contributors to this industry that I GREATLY respect, whom I look up to.  I have had the pleasure of meeting and shaking hands with people that inspire me daily and have had a DIRECT impact on my career.  Too many to name and gosh forbid my swiss cheese memory fail me and I forget a name. EEEEEKS I’d never forgive myself.

Instead I’ll focus on this most recent event.  The Northwest Nailtech Retreat that took place in Seattle Washington, organized and hosted by Ellen Lougheed Torchia and Jessica Hoel.  I focus on this because this is where the Student TRULY became the Teacher.

This event was attended by 115 members of the Nail Industry from all over.

NWNTR Group Photo


Educators that were featured were (in no particular order): Jessica Hoel, Nicole Hollenbeck, Rachel Dye, Tami Schmidt, Sandy Combs, Taylor Swanson, Tanya Sisson, Beverly Townsend, Holly Schippers, Lorena Marquez, Yire Castillo, Amy Becker, Nadja Freund, Ellen Torchia, Athena Elliot, Vicki Peters, Shannon Makamura, Lucien Henderson.

I was also attending as an Educator, offering IBX Demo’s and IBX Certification classes- Launching the NEW  IBX Certifcation program.  EXCITING!  And I get to be a part of it. YIPEEE!

My very first class that I taught was to a charming Nailebrity, Braden Jahr of Nailtalk Radio, created and hosted by my nailsister Athena Elliot.  Due to the abundance of overlapping classes, students were boggled at which to sign up for. So the schedule was tweaked and most were coming to see me in the afternoon and evening.   So, since it was ‘new’ to me too, it was actually quite nice to do a one on one class first. To ‘break me in’  😉

2014-10-19 12.37.00


He was a FABULOUS ‘First Student’  😉

In the afternoon, I had a great troop of ladies that inspired ME with their enthusiasm.  I loved answering their questions.  It was a total BLAST! So below is my first class photo. Don’t my graduates look FABULOUS with their Certs?

Certified my first class

Certified my first class – WONDERFUL GALS!

Now… on to the evening class.  My evening class that includes one of my own Mentors.  That includes a GRAND Nailebrity. This class included Holly Schippers aka The FingernailFixer.  Oh dear, let the anxiety kick in hahaha.   I’ve already met Holly in person before in Chicago at ABS back in March, an absolute SWEETHEART!   I’ve also chatted with her on numerous occasions, too many to count, and adore her to bits and peaces. I’ve known her since my early days on about 10yrs or so ago.  It wasn’t her personality that daunted me, but her KNOWLEDGE. Oh yes, Holly is a fiend for knowledge, like myself.  I wondered, would there be a question to trip me up?  Uh oh!  Here I am, about to ‘teach’ my TEACHER.  A talented and intelligent woman from whom I have learned a great deal.  How could I teach her?

And PLEASE no offense to my other students; you were all FABULOUS. BUT HEY! We are talking about Holly Schippers here hahahaha

She didn’t go easy on me.  She fired away the questions and scribbled notes furiously while I stood there anxiously wondering if I’d drop the ball.  All I could think was “brain don’t let me down!”. See her notebook to her left in the below photo.  Zoom in, it’s FULL of ink!

Victoria IBXs HollySchippers pic by JessicaWhite

Demo’ing and teaching Holly Schippers and my other students. Pic by Jessica White

To be fair, she ‘kinda’ tripped me on two questions.  BUT only because I suck at numbers for one (anyone that knows me knows I’m horrible at math, and NEVER remember ANYTHING that relates to numbers: phone numbers, address, birthdates etc… I just can’t do it!) but I did have the answer at home in my ‘notes’.  She asked about the temperature range for gentle heat which is numbers and well, in Canada we deal in Celsius and in the US it’s Fahrenheit sooooo… Yeah, there’s conversion to deal with too HAHAH.  For the other, the answer tickled vaguely at the back of my mind, but I wasn’t 100% certain so I need to harass Doug Schoon about hydrophilic channels.   I’ll get the answers to you in another blog post.

All that to say that afterwards, after all her questions, all of her scribbling, I thought “I taught Holly something”. Me. I taught her.  I Taught My Teacher. The Student became the Teacher.


How did that happen?

Here I am with my BEST student ever.  Probably always will be- sorry folks. Holly beat you out as Teacher’s Pet hahahahaha

2014-10-20 08.37.48


Evening Class - GREAT crew!

Evening Class – GREAT crew!

What a weekend, and I’ll post more about this event another day.

But this weekend will forever stick in my mind because it was when the Student Became The Teacher.  And who better to evolve with than Holly Schippers?  (ps: she gives GREAT hugs, just don’t tell my husband!)



Thank you Holly… for everything xoxo


Goofing off on Facebook

“There she is again, claiming to be busy as heck, but goofing off on facebook.” ” Look at all those posts and shares! She needs to get a life!” “Gee! Wish I had all day to waste time on Facebook”

Maybe she is busy.  Maybe she DOES have a life, A VERY BUSY ONE at that. Maybe she’s not only on Facebook, but multitasking.  Maybe she’s actually WORKING on Facebook.  You don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.  You have absolutely no idea.

Many Nail Techs multi-task to a degree that the average person can’t comprehend. A lot of them also know the value of online media and how it can make or break their business. Savvy nail-techs know that if they want to keep up to date, enabling them to offer the absolute best to their clients, THEY MUST BE ONLINE and that includes Facebook.

Online media and online networking is responsible for a great deal of movement in this industry. It’s where we find many of our clients. It’s also where we are presented with career changing opportunities. IN FACT, my online presence is directly responsible for my opportunity to work for Famous Names Products.  How?

  • I met nail techs online in a nail tech forum.
  • One of them sent me a gift of Lumos duo all the way from the UK.
  • I loved it, and blabbed about it all over Facebook.
  • Another nail tech read what I posted, wanted it and urged her distributor to get it.
  • When that distributor needed someone to work with him at a Tradeshow, he told Famous Names he wanted to work with me.

TAAAADAAAAAA   Now I’m with Famous Names.  See how that works?

Many Nail Techs develop business relationships online that lead to upward movement in the industry for them.

Here is an average screenshot of what might be going on any given time.

FACEBOOK  How I spend My Time On the Computer

Many Nail-Techs are familiar with this view. We bounce back and forth between groups, answering questions, responding to discussions, answering messages from other techs looking for help with something, etc.  This is an average night.  During pauses, when we are waiting for someone to reply, we’ll probably hit the newsfeed and troll and share the odd thing.

BUT WAIT, I’m not done yet. That’s NOT all we do.

FACEBOOK  How I spend My Time On the Computer2

I usually have TWO Browser windows open full of tabs.  One for Facebook stuff AND one for “the rest”.   We have to update our Facebook Business pages to keep followers interested.  We have to maintain our Instagram Profiles, and Twitter Accounts, and Pinterest, Blogs and more. ALL THAT in the name of generating a client base and establishing ourselves in the industry.

HOLD ON!  I’m STILL not done!!

FACEBOOK  How I spend My Time On the Computer3

All those are open too and IN USE and none of those uses are related to ‘personal activities’ but ALL related to business.  Outlook with emails from my distributors, about upcoming classes, inquiries from those wanting to know about classes or products etc.  The Documents folder to send the appropriate attachments to the inquiries.  2 web browser windows with multiple tabs. Corel Paintshop Pro to edit pics and upload to FB Biz Page/Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter. Excel for accounting purposes, logging expenses, Paint to Edit pictures for this Blog Post…. and it goes on.

Added to that, some of us also maintain MULTIPLE Business Pages, and MULTIPLE Groups that are industry related.

AND we have to answer to all the comments/posts/messages on all of those accounts.

There’s also much more we do online: online shopping for stock orders, watching videos to learn new techniques, reading articles from our favorite educators/industry bloggers/industry magazines to stay current, attending online webnars to learn more, online meetings (where we only need to listen, so we can do other online stuff at the same time), online training via Skype or ‘Go To Meeting’, designing/ordering our new pamphlets/brochures/business cards.

During the day, when it’s quiet and we find that rare 5-20minutes free, we pop online to see if we have messages from clients or other business related inquiries. Then when done, pop back onto Facebook to kill time until the next client arrives. Why? Well, we can’t do our laundry or housekeeping or grocery shopping, or whatever from the salon.  What does that leave?  Facebook.

Overall, we spend more hours per week investing into our business than you do working an average day job.  Being an Entrepeuneur is NOT a 9-5/40hr per week job.  It’s DOUBLE that and for less pay in a lot of cases.

So the next time you see your favorite Nail Tech online posting a lot of things, try not to judge a book by it’s cover. We ARE working, contrary to popular belief.  Most of us spend more time talking to other nail techs/clients/potential clients than to any of our friends.  And if the person we’re talking to types slower than we do, then we kill time in the feed by posting and sharing randomly.

All the while, you really ARE goofing off on Facebook. Which I won’t judge. You’re entitled to spend your downtime any way that you see fit, it’s none of my business. I sincerely hope that you enjoy that downtime. I enjoy mine when the opportunity arises.

Leave your laundry in the hamper please

Yes, PLEASE leave your dirty laundry in the hamper. No one wants to see the stains, or smell the stink. It’s unpleasant and awkward and we have to pretend we’re ok with it. Not cool.

Neither Facebook, nor your table at the salon are the place for dirty laundry.

I’m not talking about “oh whoops, I scratched the neighbor’s car backing out of the driveway last night!” (yes, I did that when we first moved here. HEY! I’m not used to driving a HUGE minivan and it was pitch black at night and the streetlight is hidden by a tree! LOL It’s my ONLY accident in my 9yrs of driving so cut me some slack LOL)   As I was saying, I’m not referring to minor little things, that are of no consequence.

I’m talking about DIRTY LAUNDRY.  For example – your ex did blah de blah with so and so and yadayada. I don’t need to know that, and I do not WANT to and I’m going to bet that clients don’t either.  I also don’t need to hear all the gritty details of how so and so was mean to you doing XYZ and now ABC is happening.  Toss in a few invectives and there’s a negative and dirty pile of laundry all over Facebook witnessed by everyone.

YES our lives our pretty much on Facebook these days. Especially for those of us that are too busy to actually schedule a ‘LIFE’ and so we take 2min here and 2min there and post random things on Facebook. “oh nuts, burnt myself again!” (yes, and I did and it still hurts if you were wondering).  There are some that might ‘chat’ more openly with a client of 10yrs with whom you’ve built a solid relationship. “oh the kids are great, they did xyz in school.” or “Had a rough week, the roof leaked”.

But PLEASE trust me when I say that no one wants to know about your dirty laundry.  Not your ‘friends’ on Facebook. Your Peers certainly don’t because when you air that dirty laundry, they may lose all respect for you especially if your manner of dealing with it or discussing it is immature.  Most definately NOT your clients.  They are the last people that want to smell that stink!

Clients go to you not only for pampering, but also to relax and perhaps vent (as we all know, nail techs wear many hats on the job and one of them is the hat of a shrink sometimes).  They don’t want to hear US talk. They want to hear themselves talk.  OR they want you to make them laugh with funny anecdotes.  But they certainly don’t want to listen to an hour long tirade about your ex boyfriend, or the girlfriend that stabbed you in the back by sleeping with him.  That will make them feel awkward. And odds are that if they feel awkward, OR lose respect for you as a person – no matter how good you are at your job, they won’t come back.

If you really need to air out your laundry, please do so in private with a close friend.  Only a true and real-life friend has the stomach for the smell. The rest of us just want you to leave it in the hamper.

Your Eponychium is showing!

Your Eponychium is showing and what are you going to do about it!

Well…. not a lot because it is supposed to show a little.    It has a job to do.

When a client sits at my table, one thing I always make sure to do while performing PREP is to discuss the eponychium, it’s purpose, and the difference from the cuticle.

ahhhhh haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  The cuticle. You think you know what that is, right?  Ummmm nope, you probably don’t.  In all my years, I have not had one single client sit at my table that KNEW what it really was.

Why is that?

It’s because, in some cases, bad information is passed on from educator to student.  An educator that hasn’t updated their own EDUCATION.  At other times, the tech does know the difference BUT doesn’t explain because she figures you don’t really need to know and you probably don’t care.

I have learned otherwise. My clients do want to know and they DO care.

Soooooooooo what is the conversation I have with my clients?  Well, I direct their attention to the eponychium – that ridge of skin found at the base of the nail plate. I explain that the eponychium is much like rubber on a car window. In simple terms: it keeps crap from getting into the matrix such as dirt and bacteria.  It’s from the matrix that the nail is developed and grows and the last thing you want is an infection in there that can termporarily OR permamently distort the nail plate OR WORSE cause the nail never to grow again.  So in short – NEVER cut the eponychium, never break the skin of the eponychium.  We only gently push it with a ‘cuticle pusher’.


Yeah, I know, it’s a misnomer, but that wasn’t my mistake, so let’s leave bygones as bygones LOL  Anyway, the Eponychium has a job to do. It is the security guard for the Matrix.  So DON’T CUT IT.  Now, the cuticle. What is this cuticle everyone talks about that we have to remove?  I explain that it is a very thin layer of dead/dry skin that remains attached to the nail plate as it grows out and leaves from underneath the eponychium. THAT we can remove.  We can use a cuticle removal solution and pair that with a ‘cuticle pusher’ (there’s that funny name again) and gently scrape the cuticle from the nail plate.

So there you have it, the difference between the Eponychium and Cuticle.

yes, I know that terms ‘cuticle pusher’ and ‘cuticle oil’ are really ridiculous, but what can I say… they’ve been around longer than I have hehehehehe

Please visit these two links for further details and info.

One is a video provided by the lovely HOlly Schippers aka Fingernailfixer and the other is an article by Scientist Doug Schoon featuring diagrams with further explanation.

and video by Doug Schoon


(Original Source for this Blog Post is my “Note” as it is featured on my Facebookk Business Page,