How to Choose a Brand
The products you choose to buy will define who you are as a professional in the nail industry. So choosing a brand is the most important decision you have to make, after choosing your education.
The brands you choose to work with can either give you the benefit of a great image and reputation or ruin yours. For instance, if a manufacturer you use makes a false claim or a misleading statement in regards to one of their products and you repeat that claim you are liable to prosecution.
Scary hey? Indeed. So you need to choose wisely (and get good insurance!). Below you will find out my top tips to choosing a brand to represent.
- Look for the levels of support provided by the brand.
In this category, you want to see three things:
Training - from base training to conversion sessions (if you are already trained these are invaluable), to ongoing training for new and upcoming techniques.
You will also need them to support you in the most basic of ways - providing you with the products you need. Make sure you find a brand that can provide. You don't want to see yourself in a situation where you can't offer your clients your services because you ran out of a product and your brand reseller can't fulfil your product needs.
You also want then to have your back on a day to day basis. If you have questions you should feel comfortable with either picking up the phone or sending an email their way and get the answers you need. If you experience any product breakdown, they should help you troubleshoot your processes.
- Get full disclosure or walk away.
You should be able to get or request and check product MSDS sheets for every single product you use, and you will need them with you at all times. You should also be able to understand the ingredients in the products you want to buy. If you don't have access to the information you need, if you sense the company or its representatives are engaging in strange behaviour, delaying or refusing to provide that information, that is a big bad red flag. Walk away and keep looking.
The ideal scenario is that the MSDS sheets are available on the company's website for quick download or that you can request a copy to be sent via email.
- Don't buy before trying:
Do your research, and if you don't know where to start I give you quite a few pointers in a previous article on nailing your information game. You'll want to read reviews online, ask fellow techs who use the products, and understand if siding with the brand will be a business plus. Ask yourself whether that brand will add positively to your brand.
Get a trial kit. Most companies have trial kits for you to sample each line. It's quite hard to do it with UV-light cured products because you'd need the system lamp. But it's an easy way to try acrylic products, or mani and pedi lines.
Visit a fellow tech and get your nails done, if you can't get your hands on a trial kit. I feel that Nail Techs are shy in doing so because they are afraid of how they will be perceived by their peers. Be open and honest, make sure you are not perceived as competition but as a collaborator. There are plenty of techs out there with the same mindset as you that won't be scared of taking care of your hands!
- Look for what you need:
Do you need a full range of products or a single line? Are you looking for a very basic line of products or a brand that keeps up with trends? Think colour, textures, techniques, all of it! Make sure you won't sit and wonder why you chose a brand that doesn't offer the range of products your clients will then demand.
In the end, it is like any other choice. It's about sitting down and thinking about what you and your business need, and making sure whatever brand you find matches that to a tee.
Tell us what it is you look for in a brand in the comments below!