Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Gillingham Nails

Being a hair and beauty professional, I can't help but notice people who have really gone the extra mile to take care of themselves and the image they portray.

Often I will comment "Ohh, I love your nails." To which they reply, "Gillingham Nails, Canterbury Street"

Well, during beauty school we were warned and warned again about the dangers of certain establishments using a drilling technique on your nails. That said, I have to admit that the said nails always always impressed me.

Sometimes, my job involves thinking outside of the box. I liked the image of the clients nails. Couldn't argue that, no matter how hard I try. So, I decided to walk in there and see what I could find to blog about!

I was greeted by a cat, that's right, a cat. Fast asleep on a hard wooden chair. Though perfectly comfortable. There was a kind of flanelette sheet hanging on the wall behind the cat which was clearly it's scratching mat. I actually thought this was kind of cute and in some way, having to always give off such a professional image in business is sometimes equal to loosing the "hippy" touch that I like. Yesterday I met a lady (nothing to do with being a nail technician) but she was a highly respected individual in her job who liked to work in bare feet! Love that!

Anyhow, an oriental looking lady called out to me with an accent asking if she could help me. What was the correct answer? 
"I'm here for some nails please" seemed the wrong thing to say. Would you walk into the butchers and ask "Do you have some meat please?" 
So I asked, "Can you do my nails for me today please?" Which was so much more classy of course!

There was a no nonsense approach which was not offering any tea or coffee or choice of service.....I sat down and had my nails done, end of story. The "drilling" wasn't really drilling at all in my own opinion.
It felt a little worrying yes and I must confess to sitting frightfully still!  However, it seemed to me to be a fairly kind tool to use and didn't minimise the depth of my own fingernail as I feared it might. It made an efficient job of an otherwise lengthy treatment.

As I was being taken care of I looked around taking in the scenery. The shop was a very basic one. Pink walls were well loved and although there was a minimal look to it, it basically really served it's purpose. 
The technicians are I feel highly skilled in their craft and while I went for a plain look, I have seen examples of airbrushing that is quite an art form.

So what was it about Gillingham nails that makes it so popular? I looked hard, took it all in and my conclusion is this:
It's open
You can just walk in
It's a fair price for a fair job
It's easy as they don't talk to you
Your nails look great
They are quick

So sometimes, all the fussy offerings of frothy coffee (whoops Strand Designs) may be surplus to requirements when occasionally all people want is the no nonsense service. For me, Louise, I would miss the chats from my clients and fussing over them to make them feel cared about.
I think both Gillingham Nails and Strand Designs have got it right, we just cater for different needs.

As these lovely pink and white Stacey Slater acrylics start to grow out I shall be taking care of them myself with a gel overlay in various colours depending on which mood I am in. The gels are kinder afterall and look very natural......better still ladies have a manicure........better still add on a pedicure and feel totally pampered!

Nails.......almost as popular as hair these days!
Todays acrylic pink and whites


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