For many manicurists, getting from behind the table to in front of the camera is a challenge, but veteran nail technician Angel Williams has managed to make that elusive jump from salon to the big time and is now one of the industry’s most sought-after editorial manicurists.
I sat down with Angel to discuss how she got started and what it takes to succeed in the business.
How did you become a manicurist?
I didn’t become a nail tech on purpose. I worked in accounting and one day I went to an open house at a nail school with a friend. When I heard them talking about all the money she could make I became interested and enrolled!
How did you get started?
I became a salon owner right out of nail school. And as a salon owner, I started to establish relationships with major beauty brands and was later asked to work Fashion Week. From there, I continued to make genuine connections with leaders in the industry. For a year, I traveled between Virgina and New York City to build my business, while still running my salon, until I finally moved to New York in 2011.
What are some challenges that you’ve faced when first starting in the business?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced in the business is actually getting started! I’ve been a manicurist for 17 years and an editorial manicurist for six of those years, so I’ve paid my dues, but hearing “no” and not taking it personally was an adjustment for me. I learned that “no” doesn’t always mean no forever, it simply means “just not right now." Also, I had to deal with inconsistent pay. You don’t always get paid right away so you always have to stay on top of your business and must constantly think about booking your next job.
What advice do you have for aspiring editorial manicurists?
Have your basics down! Know how to execute, then scale that back. Always remember that you are doing nails for the camera and not a client, and there is a difference. The camera IS your client! Second, learn the business. You always need to market yourself and know how to present yourself and your brand in any environment. Third, stay on top of trends! Lastly, create a niche for yourself. My niche is natural nails and caring for the skin, and that is where I thrive. It’s important that you don’t try to be everything to everybody.
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In Part II of my interview with Angel Williams, we will talk about The Editorial Manicurist seminar she teaches each year and what it takes to succeed in the business!
Photo: Courtesy of Angel Williams
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Tiffani Douglas is an author, speaker, beauty-marketing consultant and licensed nail technician with over 20 years experience in the beauty industry.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Tiffani worked her way through college as a manicurist to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, with a concentration in strategic marketing. After college, she went on to work in corporate America as a marketing and media maven, but ever passionate about the beauty industry, she founded her own mobile spa.
During that time she also began consulting other beauty professionals in the areas of marketing and branding, which sparked an idea to write two e-books, Social Media Marketing: A Guide for Beauty Professionals and Are You a True Beauty Professional– 7 Practical Steps to Being More Professional, Upgrading Your Business and Increasing Your Revenue. She recently released her first published book, Straight Outta Beauty School - 10 Things You Need to Know and Do After You Graduate.
Tiffani resides in Dallas, Texas where she continues to inspire beauty pros young and old by offering them the tools they need to grow personally and professionally.