Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year you’ve undoubtedly heard of Minx… the latest Haute Manicure that “extends fashion to your fingertips” …literally. I’d heard quiet whispers about Minx here and there back in mid 2008 and decided to do a little research, and though at the time I wasn't quite yet convinced of the power of Minx I did see a re-emergence of an old trend and intuitively I knew this time it would be much bigger and far more glamorous than the nail trends of the 80’s. So much so that after six years in the beauty industry I decided to high-tail it back to school… Nail School.
Shortly after I ordered my Minx training kit and performed by first Minx Manicure… I was completely BLOWN away! There really is absolutely NOTHING like it!
I had to find out more about this incredible company and its founders. With the help of Lucien who mans (literally, yes Lucien is a guy) MINXDOTCOM on Twitter and Janice Miller who handles Minx’s pr I was able to get the inside scoop from Minx founders Janice Jordan and Dawn Lynch-Goodwin to find out how they're coping with the whole Minx craze and what exciting new things Nail Professional can look forward to from Minx in 2010.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Did you even imagine that Minx would be this BIG? (lol)
Janice Jordan: Absolutely! When toying with the idea of developing Minx, I asked permission from my family because I knew launching a product like Minx would require years of sacrifice. My daughter Jahna told me if Minx did not work there was something terribly wrong with the universe and to go for it!
Dawn and I spent over two years doing product development, and setting up the Minx Factory before we went to market. We have a lot of “hard-time” stories, but we are also amazed at how the universe seems to help when pursuing a dream. Not once did we ever feel Minx would not succeed.
Minx is such a fun and fashionable product it is hard not to fall in love with the attention you get when wearing it, and if we felt that way, we knew millions of other women would, too!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How did you come up with the idea for Minx?
Dawn Lynch-Goodwin: The inspiration of the product stemmed from Janice’s frustration with wearing down her nails. Janice was seeking a coating to better protect her nails. Once she found a solid coating, she realized that it could be developed in a variety of metallics and designs. And, besides looking amazing, it had other benefits such as no drying time, no chipping and not requiring any chemicals in the application or removal.
Minx: The inspiration of the brand came from Dawn, an expert in fashion and beauty. Dawn owned a salon in Australia when she received a call in the fall of 2006 from her friend of 20 years asking her help. Dawn flew to the USA thinking she was going to visit Janice and just give some advice, but she ended up spending two weeks conducting focus groups and experimenting with prototypes. Dawn realized they were on to something when they were walking by a trendy salon on Melrose in LA and the owner ran out to find out what she was wearing on her nails. She then realized she was totally hooked when she found herself buying a silver purse, which she wouldn’t normally do, to match her silver nails. Dawn immediately saw the way forward for Minx and how to take it to market. Being very excited Dawn returned to Australia after becoming Janice’s business partner, sold her salon and got on with starting Minx.
Dawn and Janice spent the next two years as typical entrepreneurs scraping for funding, working on R&D and setting up manufacturing.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What about the name, it’s very catchy why Minx?
Minx: A “Minx” is a woman who is a sly or playful young woman, and we feel the word expresses an attitude that crosses all demographics. Minx is basically for a person who loves life and wants to stand out from the crowd.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Why do you think Minx has fast become such a phenomenon?
Minx: Many people have told us that they were thrilled to discover Minx because there hasn’t been anything really new and exciting in nails for a long time. We have positioned Minx as high-end fashion accessory, and our tagline is “Minx extends fashion to your fingertips.” We believe that Minx will become a fashion necessity. Our vision is that the fashion-conscious will not feel their outfit is complete without their Minx.
We are also hoping to escalate the importance of the manicurist, similar to what happened in the hair industry nearly 20 years ago. Two decades ago, a hair cut was “just” a hair cut until Vidal Sassoon came along and changed history. Now a celebrity rarely goes anywhere without their hair stylist. We want to help develop “nail stylists” and see that they also have their place as an integral part of the fashion and beauty team.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! The first question most people who’ve never heard of Minx ask is…. “What is it?” How do you describe Minx to someone who’d never heard or seen it before?
Minx: Minx is a flexible film that is applied to the nail using heat and pressure, just like a shrink wrap. However, because it’s a film and not a polish, it is available in a wide variety of metallic, designs and graphics that have never before been available to the nail industry.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! I have quite a few friends who are in the nail business that are reluctant to get into Minx for fear that the market will become over saturated and they may find themselves competing on price thus not making the service profitable enough for them to offer, what are your thoughts on that?
Minx: Minx is still a very new product – it was introduced less than two years ago – so there is much more demand than supply right now, and it will be quite a while before there are nail technicians skilled in Minx applications in all of the major cities in the U.S. With so much interest and publicity focused on Minx, the demand is growing exponentially, so the opportunity for manicurists is also growing. And, the initial investment of a Minx starter kit is quite small – you don’t need to purchase hundreds of templates in order to get started. You can order just a few templates at a time if you want.
Also, just as regular manicures can range in price from $9.00 to $60.00 depending on the salon, there will be opportunities for talented Minx manicurists to draw in the type of client they desire. There is plenty of opportunity for a skilled manicurist to introduce a luxury Minx manicure that includes an actual dry manicure, the Minx application, aromatherapy, reflexology, or other components that set them apart from their competition.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Some techs are boasting that Minx to last up to two weeks, and many people are disappointed when they don’t and take to their twitters and blogs to complain, as a nail professional I realize that in some cases it is the nail professional’s applications but in some instances it could also be client’s care for example I’ve found that other nail techs who use acetone regularly or hairstylists who shampoo or use oily products aren’t a good candidate for Minx Manicures so I suggest Minx Pedicures for them. What are you doing as a company to protect the brand in this case? Are Minx techs prepared to educate their clients about Minx and aftercare once the service is complete?
Minx: We have suggested that Minx should last 4 to 8 days on the fingers, and up to 4 weeks on the toes. However, like nail polish or any other nail finish, there is no way to guarantee longevity as you cannot control what each person does with their hands. As a high-end fashion accessory, the appeal of Minx is that it looks spectacular, and is a must-have for a special occasion. We have never stated that Minx lasts longer than polish, because that’s not a selling point. The selling point is that it looks completely unique and unlike any other nail polish or product currently available, and brings fashion to your fingertips.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How does a Nail professional who is interested in becoming trained to perform Minx services become certified?
Minx: If you purchase a Minx Starter Kit through the www.MinxNails.com Web site, you will receive a free training video that will show you how to apply Minx. There is also a “Minx Q&A” tab on the Minx Web site that provides application and removal tips, and a customer service line that nail technicians can call if they have any questions.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! All of my nail professional readers want to know what’s next for Minx in 2010 and beyond.
Minx: We are very excited to be finally introducing a formal training program across the U.S. in 2010. We know it’s been a long time coming, but frankly, when we launched Minx in January 2008, we didn’t expect it to grow so quickly!
Also, we will soon be introducing our first complete new line of Minx, called “Teasers.” This line was inspire by the colors and energy at the Alexander McQueen fashion show in Paris this fall, where we Minxed all the models for his Spring/Summer 2010 collection.
Thank you Janice and Dawn for such a great interview, we wish your company much success in the coming new year. For more information on Minx and how to become a certified Minx specialist visit their website. If you're already a Minx'r please leave a comment and let us know how Minx has transformed your nail business.
Also be certain to check out the following interviews from two of my favorite Minx'rs, Athena and Tracylee
Ciao for now... Class is dismissed!
I’ve been in love with beauty and the industry for as long as I can remember but as of lately I’m completely enamored with it. This blog along with Twitter had put me in contact with professional that few would dispute are amongst the industries best, brightest and most dedicated and Tracylee is no exception, dolling out invaluable tips and encouragement Take some time to get to know Tracelee…
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! How long have you been in the industry?
Tracylee: 20 years.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED: When did you know you wanted to become a manicurist?
Tracylee: I started doing my own nails with tip & wraps & fun designs when I was 18 years old, I didn't realize I wanted to do this for a living until around 21 years old, when a neighbor of mine decided she was going to school for nails. My mother came in and told me, and thought that would be something I would be interested in. I thought about it for only a day! I enrolled the next day!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Would you say that you have a niche, or is there anything particular that your clients or industry peers would say you're known for
Tracylee: I think I am known for a couple things, My Manicures last longer than most without chipping, I am very thorough, I am a perfectionist, and a clean freak. I also guarantee my work, which isn't too common in the business. I think my niche/specialties are Minx Nails and meticulous manicures. I also try to introduce men to the world of manicures and pedicures once they try it, they become very loyal clients!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Minx is all the new rage but Celebs have been getting Minx'd for some time now. How long have you been Minxin’ and what drew you to this cutting edge trend?
Tracylee: I started the beginning of this year, I feel like I've always been minxin', lol. After 20 years doing nails, I still read my trade and fashion magazines from cover to cover, reading every little ad, looking for the next great thing. I saw a small add in my nail magazine for minx, asked for a sample from the company and applied it to my boss. Within 2 hrs after leaving the salon, she was texting me, telling me I had to do Minx in the salon, as she was being bombarded with people wanting to know what it was and where to get it. I called my order in the next day!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What’s a typical working day like for you?
Tracylee: My days are never typical and change frequently! When I’m not working with Private Clients or Photo Shoots, I split my time between the celebrity salons of Suite 303 & Damone Roberts NY. Sometimes I work in 3 places in one day!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and manicurists specifically?
Tracylee: I think that a lot of people group all manicurists as the same. That is, until they come to me! lol...What I mean by that is, for some reason educating the consumer is not favorably looked upon in this industry. I educate every client that sits in my chair on my procedure, why things happen or don't happen, and nail anatomy, how to maintain their services, and the importance of seeking a well educated and experienced Tech. Most people who have never experienced a proper manicure, pedicure, nail enhancement service, etc., they don't know any different. I love talking about nails to anyone who will listen!!! ha!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! It seems that every up and coming beauty pro wants to work with celebrities. What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work with celebrities?
Tracylee: First and foremost, you must be meticulous & diligent with your craft! It's a long, hard road to get into the freelance arena & working with Celebs. Anyone looking to do so needs the following: networking (this is mandatory), focus and hard work, also you be clean in your person and your kit, and be meticulous with your services, BE ON TIME, go above and beyond the job at hand. Most important...Professionalism!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Do you provide any mentoring or training for new manicurists?
Tracylee: I am planning to offer training for new and experienced Techs in 2010, in all phases of nail care. I am frequently helping other techs, so mentoring is gratifying to me. I not doing any mentorships at the time, but will gladly help anyone with some questions they may have. :*)
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! So what’s next for you? Any projects in the works that you can share with the readers?
Tracylee: I have so many projects coming up..Uggh, I overflow my plate!!. I really want to be an Educator, and I am working diligently and meeting with a couple of different companies in L.A. to make that happen. I am doing a fundraiser with Damone Roberts NY & Woman's Day Magazine, to raise money & awareness for Heart Disease, and I have a couple of awesome Fund Raisers coming up, which I will be doing manicures for and working with great wardrobe stylists, hair stylists & makeup artists. I am starting my own blog by the end of this year, and I also have a new business idea that I will be pursuing, but it's a secret for now! Lol
Thank you Tracy can't wait to see what's next for you!
For more information on Tracylee visit her web page and be sure to follow her twitter.
Ciao for now… Class is dismissed!
A few of the many attributes of Athena the Greek Goddess are: arts, industry, wisdom and skill and Athena Elliott. I’ve also had the pleasure of “meeting” Athena via Twitter another sweet and helpful fellow nail professional. I heart her! Get to know Athena bet you will too!
Athena: First let me say thank you so much for being interested in what I do and how I do it. Your blog/site is filled with informative and inspiring people... Thank You!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! It’s my pleasure Athena… Tell me how long have you been in the industry?
Athena: I have been a nail tech for 30 yrs now.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! When did you know you wanted to become a nail technician?
Athena: When I was in the 9th grade. Then in the summer of 1980 between 10th&11th grade my parents signed for me to go to vocational beauty school!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Other than the state required nail technology program did you receive any additional training before launching your career?
Athena: Well...I have been launching my career every day for the last 30 years! I am a leader by nature. Back then I was so ahead of my time. In fact I won the first nail competition using nail tips w two tone acrylic (pink and natural powders) out of 270 women I placed first. Awarded the Southwest title and a seat at the Nail Olympics in '86. Cont education is the key. You are only as good and successful as your learning curve. I have made many advances in my career. The one I am most proud of is becoming the countries first Medical Nail Technician.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and nail technicians specifically?
Athena: That all Asian salons are dirty and cheap. I have seen many many filthy nail techs/salons run by different ethnic groups including Caucasian. Disease and lack of sanitation knows no prejudice. The other is the misconception that "enhancements" ruin your natural nails. People these products are created for your nails! Uneducated techs, improper removal, not getting maintenance on time are all contributing to this idea that enhancements ruin your nails!! It's just no so.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Would you say that you have a niche, or is there anything particular that your clients or industry peers would say you're known for?
Athena: Aside from leading my industry with Advanced Nail Care I have been published in many medical journals for my Prosthetic Toenail Series and contributed to "Death By Pedicure, Dirty Secretes of Nail Salon"
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Minx is all the new rage but Celebs have been getting Minxed for some time now. How long have you been Minxing and what drew you to this cutting edge trend?
Athena: While Minx has been out for two years, I have been "minxtified" for a little over a year. Since I am a former "Nail Tech of the Year" recipient and contributing writer for Nails Mag I never miss the "new product" section. There was an ad for a new type of BLING that polish just couldn’t compare. I didn’t have a clientele for Minx. I learned and they just found me. That simple.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! What’s a typical working day like for you?
Athena: In by 7:30 work non stop minxing, lots of doctor referred pedicures, sequin nails...orchestrating events and travel plans and generating several new ideas for marketing every hour! I have trained five satellite locations to Minx and I'm working on two more. Out by 7pm. That’s 5 days a week. The other two days I manage 3 websites and all my own marketing.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Okay I'm dizzy just trying to imagine all of that. It seems that every up and coming beauty pro wants to work with celebrities. What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work with celebrities?
Athena: Move to LA! lol no not really but dang living in LA or NY sure makes for more work than living in a place as wonderfully behind in fashion as Houston! HA! I’m really just breaking into the entertainment industry myself. So. I have three rules...I say never pass up a marketing moment. While that might be cheesy to say, I’m never without my media bag! Complete with 2 camcorders, 2 jump drives, my lap top, camera and all the cables needed to catch that special video/photo to put on my website! Number two...it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission when it comes to being "paparazzi ready". Number three... NEVER be without your business card. I go through at least 1000 every month!
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! Do you provide any mentoring or training for new nail techs?
Athena: Yes I prefer to call it FEM-Toring! lol I have always been available to industry peeps through email ,text and now tweets. I am currently training Minx until the Minx Nails company rolls out their training program in 2010.
BEAUTYSCHOOLED! So what’s next for you? Any projects in the works that you can share with the readers?
Athena: I have taken on the most "aspirational" project of my career. I am filming a documentary on a woman named Ayanna Williams called LIVING LONG-NAIL ADDICTION. Ayanna has natural nails 14-16 inches long and has been growing them for 13 years. This is a story about how her nails are affecting her life. You can see snippets on my blog .
Thank you Athena for that great interview be sure to check out Athena’s sites mentioned above and follow her Twitter.
Ciao for now… Class is Dismissed!