She NAILED It!! - My Interview Cinnamon Bowser Owner of Nail Taxi
I was absolutely delighted when Cinnamon Bowser agreed to do an interview for Beauty Schooled!, Ms. Bowser's company Nail Taxi has been featured in many trade publications including Nails Magazine, she's also been featured in the Washington Post in addition to Entrepreneur.com I've had the pleasure of following her tweets on Twitter and not only is she business savvy she's NICE (nice goes a long way in not only this biz but any business.) Read the interview to find out what prompted her to launch Nail Taxi and what it takes to be part of her team. You're bound to be inspired too!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! I’ve read the story about your business idea and how it all came about, you had a pregnant girlfriend who wanted to have someone come to give her a pedicure before she delivered and you couldn’t find one anywhere is that correct?
Cinnamon Bowser: Correct. My girlfriend (former college roommate) was pregnant with her third child. I called her one day to check on her and see what I could do for her and she said she really wanted a pedicure before she delivered. I called around, searched the internet and could not find anyone to come to her to provide the service. I realize that WDC is not NYC but still, I thought there should be a service that comes to you for nail care.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Okay... most people would have just been like oh well and moved on to the next thing, what was it that made you see this as a great business opportunity instead?
Cinnamon Bowser: At the time this happened, I was at stay at home mom with my toddler daughter. I belonged to a couple of play groups and mom groups so I mentioned the idea to them and they thought it was great. "My sister got married last year and we needed someone to come to the hotel and do our nails," "My grandparents need help with their nails," Susie is on bedrest and this would be a great treat for her" were just some of the responses I received. I should also mention that when I told my husband about this mobile nails idea he thought it was awesome. Mind you, I have had dozens of "business ideas" in the past that received hardly a head nod so I was really encouraged by his excitement!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! That's incredible! I can also see how having your husband's support was also a great inspirational push, good for him! Did you have any aspirations to be in the beauty business before then?
Cinnamon Bowser: Absolutely none. I have always been a product junkie (love love love cosmetics) but had no desire to be in the industry... Had actually never really thought about what the beauty industry was all about.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! So, was it after your business idea that you went on to become a nail technician?
Cinnamon Bowser: I spent about two years learning all I could about nail care (subscribing to industry publications, befriending nail salon owners, getting my nails done, searching the web, etc.) before actually starting Nail Taxi. It was after we were doing business that I decided I should go to nail school. I wanted to be knowledgeable about what my technicians were doing and I figured if I ever needed an extra set of hands I could be that technician. Hands down it was one of my best business decisions yet.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What’s your opinion about your nail technology education? Do you feel it prepared you for where you are today or did you require additional education and training?
Cinnamon Bowser: Apparently, the nail industry has changed dramatically over the last ten to twenty years but all I really know about it is what I have learned in the last five years. The industry is now primarily dominated by the Vietnamese. I attended a Vietnamese nail school because I wanted to find out what they were teaching their students and I thought I would get a great education. Another good decision. My schooling was very complete in that it taught me how to do nail services. There was an emphasis on acrylic and gel nails and on being very efficient when working. We did not learn anything about customer service, owning and managing your own business and all that goes along with that.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What’s the most important thing you feel you learned in your nail education?
Cinnamon Bowser: One of the most important lessons taught in my school was that time is money. Learn how to be efficient and how to schedule clients so that you can maximize your client load. Ironically, Nail Taxi's services are close to twice the length of what you would receive in a salon you walk into in a strip mall somewhere. Our focus is wholly on the clients we are serving...not the next client.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How do you stay on top of the industry and what is new?
Cinnamon Bowser: Education -- no matter what the field -- must be continued. To stay abreast on what is happening in nail technology I read industry publications, blogs, the web and attend classes offered by manufacturers.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Let’s talk about your staff, what do you look for in a nail technician?
Cinnamon Bowser: Nail Taxi technicians must have sound character and understand the importance of customer service. They must present themselves well as they are going to people's homes and jobs -- into their private spaces -- and they represent me and my brand. I would chose a nail technician right out of school over a tech with 15 years of experience if she had the right attitude and spirit.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Nail programs and licensure requirements vary from state to state how does that affect your business as your grow and expand into other territories?
Cinnamon Bowser: The state laws dictate what services we can offer in each state. Some states allow no mobile services; others allow it if you are working out of a standing salon; others allow it only for homebound/sick clients; some states require you to have a mobile van that you provide service in...so you really have to call each state and ask explicitly what they do and do not allow.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What advice do you have for the person who’s just entering school and about to embark on a beauty career in nail technology?
Cinnamon Bowser: Welcome to a fascinating field! This profession is about service...taking care of people's fingers and toes and teaching them how to do so. The polish is just a nice bonus.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Any closing words you’d like to leave the readers with?
Cinnamon Bowser: Nail Care alone is about a $7 billion dollar a year industry. I believe there are plenty of opportunities for all who want to enter the field and there are so many options available. I have big plans for Nail Taxi and am excited about our future!
For information on Nail Taxi services please visit their website. Nail techs interested in employment opportunities you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to follow her Twitter.
Ciao for now… Class is dismissed!