Thursday, December 17, 2009
We spend some time in the Bob's photo studio today together with our beautiful model and friend Frida Kardeskog. Frida is a very talented makeup artist who we met at a beauty show in Stockholm 18 months ago. Since then she has become the 'face' of our nail products with her image appearing in advertising in the USA, UK, Sweden, Russia and Ukraine. Love you Frida!
Here are two more unedited shots.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Still we have time to meet with our good friend Alysa. Alysa was one of my customers when I had my nail salon in Kiev, she's a makeup artist and was our first model for our nail photo's. A visit to Kiev can't pass without Alysa receiving some new nails from me and then a quick photo session with our other good friend, photographer Victor Medinsky. As always, we finish the session with a trip to a restaurant and a cocktail!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Kirsty Meakin - winner of mixed media and twisted French at IBS Las Vegas 2009 and multiple UK champion, joined us at the FinNail show and won 1st place in the mixed media category using the Iryna Giblett InspirationZ(TM) colored gels and acrylics!
One hand had to be pre-prepared, while the contestants were given 2.5 hours to create the second hand.
Competition judges: Anette Claesson (Naglar i Norden magazine, Sweden), Chantal Schwede (Germany), David Fowler (Germany) and Vitaly Solomonoff (Nail Spa magazine, Russia)
This was the first time we had exhibited in Finland. Global Educator Irina Zamostinchuk and I were kept busy making nail art demonstrations and showing the products to potential partners.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Unfortunately, the economies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been hit very hard by the global recession but the show did have a lot of visitors and they seemed happy enough to see that a company had come from Sweden to show them some nail art!
We were helped on the booth by Irina Zamostinchuk our Global Educator who made nail art presentations while I was busy with the competitions.
You can find more photographs here:
Thursday, October 22, 2009
With 14 colors, the new 3D gels within the InspirationZ (TM) range give the nail artist new tools for creativity! Normally used for volume painting, 3D sculpting is also possible with care. Thanks to Frida for loaning us her hands again!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Yesterday evening we signed a contract to rent a wonderful office in Kiev. It's located right in the center on one of the two streets where all the upmarket fashion shops are. It has two large rooms, a waiting area, kitchen and bathroom with shower. High ceilings and modern suspended lights with white walls give a first impression of elegance and style. We fell in love with it immediately and the owners are absolutely lovely people who we will meet for a meal next time we are in Kiev.
In addition to Lena, we expect to start with an instructor (we meet tonight to make a formal offer), two nail techs for the salon and a old friend who will be our accountant. We plan to open for business on the 1st December and will announce a series of Master Classes that will be held from January.
The school will also be available to our other school partners in different regions or countries so that they can make their own Master Classes in Kiev. It's all very exciting!!
Yesterday the ESTET beauty show ended after three days. For us this was the best show to date - in September we had a booth at a show in St. Petersburg, Russia (that's a beautiful city) and also the Olympia Beauty show in London. Six weeks and three shows - that's one crazy schedule and in all honesty too much - Iryna is pretty exhausted. Now we have 10 days to recoup before we do shows in Riga, Latvia and Helsinki, Finland and Iryna goes to Sofia in Bulgaria to help judge their national competitions.
All three shows were successful for us. We're a new company and don't have high expectations - but we gave out thousands of catalogs and business cards, Iryna's nail art demo's were a hit everywhere, we had interest from schools that want to partner with us and most importantly all the people we spoke to about our new concept really embraced our ideas and were totally enthusiastic about these. You can really more about the concept here:
The ESTET show was always going to be special. Kiev is Iryna's home town and before she moved to Sweden to live with me she had her own salon and school here and for five years was a judge at the national competition. So during the three days many of her old business friends and contacts came by to say hello!
The show was very busy even though Ukraine is suffering badly because of the economy. By early afternoon of the second day we had run out of catalogs and business cards. So I ran out and quickly bought a low cost colour printer, designed a one-page flyer and started to print these on our booth! Such was the interest that on the first day we had to call Iryna's Mum to come and help us on the booth - she's also a nail technician. On the second day we called a friend to help. So we started with three people and ended up with five!
Iryna and Irina Zamostinchuk continuously made nail art presentations. Irina is a very talented nail artist and competition winner - everyone who saw the nails she made on the show were totally impressed with her work. Another friend from Moldova, also an expert nail artist also popped by and started making nails ;-) The photo below shows from left to right: Dojana Chilochi, Irina Zamostinchuk and Iryna Giblett:
Here's a photo of the wonderful nails that Dojana made for Iryna:
Here's some photo's of our booth that I took early yesterday before the show became full of people:
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
We managed to do a lot! Bob designed labels for our new product jars and ordered these to be manufactured. Then we created a 16 page catalog, started work on a new website, designed 4 adverts for two magazines and two show catalogs, designed graphics for the shows and ordered all the furniture and other items. Phew! Who needs sleep anyway ;-)
As I haven't had much time to make nail art, I felt began to get a craving to do something. So I've spent a couple of evening practising hand painting and the results can be seen below.
Hand painting is something that I really want to continue to work on. I didn't study art formally, so I have pretty much learned by trying and practising. I have spent a lot more time to develop my acrylic skils, so painting will be my main focus for the next months.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Next up was Portland in Oregon were I was one of the educators at the NW Networking Event. It wasn't well attended, but it was nice to see those who came and the other educators. I made another two-day workshop there and then we headed to Long Island.
We had a few hotel problems on arrival as the room we ordered didn't actually sleep 5 people as advertised and we had our three children with us. Our youngest was given an air bed and spent the entire night rolling around - byt 5.30 in the morning we were all so exhausted we finally managed to sleep - by which time Bob had gone online and booked another hotel.
The Long Island Networking Event was very well attended and had a great atmosphere. Met more friends and BeautyTech forum contacts which was great. I made another two-day nail art workshop and then we became tourists for two days in New York before heading home. It was heaven to sleep in our own bed!
Special thanks to everyone who came to my workshops and for making these such fun and a success. I'll be back!! ;-)
Photo: Attending a lecture in Portland.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
These aren't the cheapest in the market, but are very high-quality and Made in Germany. The factory grades each hair to ensure that each brush meets specifications, and the natural hair end is never cut - unlike with cheaper brushes.
The acrylic ovals sizes 4, 8, 10 have the metal handle and cap as seen on the bottom of the photo. All the gel and nail art brushes have the clear acrylic handles for durability.
We decided to offer brushes because it was very difficult to buy top quality nail art brushes in Sweden. So we contacted a number of factories and Iryna tested their samples to finally develop her own products.
Vicki Peters will sell these in the USA and has stock in her warehouse. For other countries, please contact us via Iryna's main website www.irynagiblett.com/eng/
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The competition theme was "Prehistoric Age", so I prepared tips that contained backgrounds of different layers that embedded hand painting and bas-relief acrylic designs, and onto these added some 3D acrylic figures of a dinosaur, parrot, neanderthal man/woman/child and a homo sapien man. The designs were based on the four main prehistoric ages and had to be less than 5cm high:
This was the first time that I had entered a 3D nail art competition and it was a lot of work to make the nails! When it came time for the award ceremony, we were allowed to look at the work made by all the competitors. The standard was very high and I didn't think that I would be going home with a prize. When my name was called for the second place, it took some seconds for me to believe it! Bob gave me a nudge and I went to the stage to collect my trophy. It was a very funny experience as last time I was on a stage I was a judge and giving out the prizes ;-)
I am very happy with my second place. Although I wanted to get some prize, I wasn't keen to win as that would put more pressure on me in future competitions. Entering competitions requires different skills to just making nail art and I have a lot to learn about the different competitions. So I want to take my time. For example the rules stated the tips had to be 5cm high or less, but I could see from the other work that it was OK for the acrylic design to be bigger than the tip. Every competition has some things that aren't totally clear until you enter, so next time I will know ;-)
Now I have the competition bug! After we arrived home from the USA, I immediately started work on my design for Nailympics London in September!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Eight people came to the class which ran from 9.30 in the morning until 7.30 at night! I showed them how to do make designs that they can sell to customers using hand painting, colored gels and 3d acrylic. It was a lot of fun and the girls made some very nice designs. As a surprise present we gave everyone a free copy of our magazine.
Here's a photo of the class:
Monday, June 8, 2009
We arrived on June 4th, two days before the show opened so that we had time to make any last minute arrangements. Like many other nail techs we rented a condo (apartment) in the Hilton Grand Vacations holiday village. The condo was very big with it's own small kitchen, two bathrooms (one with jacuzzi!) and overall it was very nice. There were restaurants in the village and a swimming pool.
On Saturday night (June 6) we went to a BBQ evening that was arranged by the Beauty Tech nail forum (www.beautytech.com). We had a lovely time meeting old friends and meeting nail techs from all over the US, and other countries. Here's some photo's from the evening:
Here are some photo's Bob took before the show opened. You can see our little booth and under the TV a picture frame that contains some of my nail designs. I like to use picture frames for these as it makes a good impression. The nail tips are mounted on a black velvet cloth. All of the visitors to our booth were interested to see these and get some ideas for their own nail art!
On Sunday and Monday I was an Educator at the show. Each presentation was 1 hour and I showed different nail art techniques. We were told to expect 10 to 15 people to each education, so we were very surprised and delighted that on the first day more than 50 people came! In total more than 90 people came to both classes and I met some wonderful people.
Thanks to everyone who met us at the BBQ evening, visited our booth and came to my classes! It was lovely to meet you all.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
We were very happy with the show and will be back next year. We sold quite a few magazines and received a lot of positive comments that Bob and I really appreciated.
Although this was the formal launch, we had already created a website and have received orders from many countries including the USA, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany and the UK. All of this without advertising! It is only the start, but we are very happy that people like the magazine and are interested enough in nail art to want to buy it.
Read more on the website: www.imaginailtion.com
Monday, June 1, 2009
Helsinki is a lovely small city by the sea and it's easy to reach from Stockholm as low cost ferries run every day.
Iryna will be creating nail art on the stand so stop by and take a look! We'll also be showing the ImagiNAILtion magazine, Vicki Peters products and our own InspirationZ nail art products. You can find us near the entrance on stand 1e31.
If you are interested to know more about Helsinki, here's a link to their tourist website.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Here's the website links:
Premiere Orlando catalog
NW Networking Event
Long Island Networking
Hope to meet some of you at these events!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
But books are expensive and the content becomes old as fashions change and new styles and techniques are introduced.
A magazine is affordable by nearly everyone and it allows us to publish four times a year and to keep our audience both educated and inspired. It's still packed with stunning photography and nail art from some of the best in the industry though ;-)
The people behind Imaginailtion are Iryna and Bob Giblett. During the last 18 months, this dynamic duo have been awarded six front covers on international nail magazines and Iryna's designs have been published in 14 articles in six countries - a remarkable achievement.
Passionate about nail art and the nail industry, Iryna and Bob have created Imaginailtion magazine to both Educate and Inspire. Nail techs the world over are tremendously creative people who love nail art, but unfortunately outside of Russia, Ukraine or Korea there are very few schools or artists that excel at this.
We've recruited some of our friends, elite nail artists and competition winners to help us. Visit the temporary website at : www.imaginailtion.com to see what's in the first issue.
We're excited and we sincerely hope that you will be to. We did it for you. Enjoy!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
- You will need buy stock. You may have the money to do this or you may have to take a loan - if so, can you afford the payments if sales are slow? Will you have to secure your home to obtain the loan? If the supplier cancels your contract, or you don't make enough money what position will you be in?
- It will use up your time. If you are already working as a nail technician or running a salon, deciding to start selling products is like starting a new business. You will have to invest your time and money in marketing and selling, and this may reduce the money you make in the salon. It's very difficult to run two businesses at the same time - often one will suffer. If you have a lot of money then you might decide to hire someone to help you - just be careful it's someone you can trust who won't set up their own business later and compete with you!
You will need to estimate the time for your new business to reach break-even, this means to make a profit (and pay you a salary). Whatever time you estimate, multiply it by a factor of three - remember most new business fail because of insufficient money - they thought it would be easier or be successful faster that it was.
Find out if the manufacturer sells directly. There are few manufacturers who are happy to appoint local resellers but equally happy to make special offers via their websites and then poach the customers of their local school/reseller's. Some will also setup other resellers in your area if they think your sales are too low are not building fast enough - or worse they will cancel your contract and you could be left with $1000's of stock you can't sell. With some manufacturers it will always be tough for you to make money from selling products and build a long term business. So check the reputations of the manufacturers and talk to their out of state resellers to find out what the deal really is like when you buy in.
If you decide to resell, make sure you get a contract and understand what the manufacturers expectations are. I've heard a few stories lately about manufacturers that either don't give contracts or failed to give a copy of the signed contract to their reseller and then when they canceled the contract unexpectedly the reseller doesn't have a contract to take to their lawyer.
Don't buy into the manufacturers marketing or hype until you've proved it's honest. Good marketing does not mean it's a good product for you (or that it's even a good product) - it only means they are good at marketing. Look at who's behind the company and what their experience is in the nail industry. There's some fairly dubious claims out there so only believe what you can see, have tested or have been recommended to by people you trust.
Most nail technicians are not trained in business, so ask questions and get professional help. Some countries have government run business centers where start-up company's can get advice from experienced business people free.
I hope that some of these suggestions are helpful.
Monday, April 27, 2009
In my salon I have also used different manufacturers products over the years. Mostly I create gel nails, but I also create acrylic nails for some customers. Normally it's not possible to use only one manufacturers products because I usually find that there is one item in their range that I don't like.
Finding good salon products isn't easy, as first it's necessary to take some form of cross-over training to learn the specific preparation steps and then it takes months of testing before you get to trust and know how a product works.
When I'm choosing a product for my salon it has to meet the following requirements:
- the finished nails must look excellent
- be strong enough for my customers lifestyle - my salon nails are the thickness of a credit card
- nails don't lift, even after many infills
- don't yellow
- quick to apply with practice
So if you are thinking about changing products, here's a few things that I've learned:
1. Always take the manufacturers cross-over training to learn the correct preparation and application.
2. Test the products on friends, not customers. This sounds obvious but when I first moved to Sweden and couldn't buy the gel I used in Kiev, I bought a Kit from one of the big names and did a cross-over training. Three months later many of my clients nails started to lift after they have been infilled a few times. I spoke to the supplier but never got to the bottom of this. The supplier claimed it was my faulty application - but couldn't offer other suggestions (funnily enough, I later heard from a number of techs who had the same problem - which kind of suggests the product is not forgiving). Fortunately, I only had a handful of clients at the time and they stuck with me through this. But the moral of the story is never trust a product until you've done your own testing and test a variety of products before committing to use a new product on all your clients. Also have a Plan B if you find months later the product is not what you expected.
3. Decide what you want of the product and manufacturer. Are you only looking for a product you can buy from various sources, or do you want a deeper relationship with the manufacturer or supplier?
- Some manufacturers don't employ full time educators so while you can get cross-over training easily enough, if you want to advance to educator or global educator etc - it might be difficult as they may only run courses once a year or less.
- Do they offer the kind of training you want? If you are thinking about competing - do they offer competition classes? Or if you are interested in nail art - do they have good educators for this?
- What's their reputation for support if you have questions? Is there someone local you can call or go visit?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
You can read more about this in the pdf that Bob created for the show catalog here.
Hope that we will see you there! We're really looking forward to be in the US again!
Monday, April 20, 2009
If I make a nail photo using a compact camera I try not to use the flash - with the camera so close it over lights the nail and washes it out. Much better to use natural daylight, but preferably indirect light. A cloudy day is the best indirect light - there's no one light source like the sun to create bright spots on the nail or dark shadows. If you're photographing indoors and it's bright outside so several windows cause reflections on the nail - get yourself a sheet and create a tent around the sides of the nail to diffuse the light from the windows.
If you're at an exhibition or training, using the flash is unavoidable. However, before you go, stick a bit of the scotch tape over the flash - it will make the light softer! (use that easy to remove scotch tape not that darn sticky stuff you can't get off your fingers)
Macro is good - but most modern compact camera's have a picture resolution of 8 million pixels or more. What's a pixel - it's a dot of colour used to make up the photo (or show images on your PC screen or tv). 8 million of these blighters is a lot - means you can get good photo quality up to A3 size - bigger than most of us need to put nail photo's on our websites. So you don't have to use macro - simply take the photo and then cut out the nail part of the image to get a closer look. I use Photoshop to edit photographs or re-size them but cheaper software is out there, such as Picasa which is surprisingly good and a free download from Google: http://picasa.google.com/. Note that when you use this non-macro technique, get as close to the nail as the focus on the camera will allow - don't be a million miles away because you will never be able to see the nail close up on print in good quality.
Macro has the advantage it's like a zoom - you can take very close up shots. But the downside is that the depth of focus is less - so the top of the nail might be in focus but the base of the nail may not be (if you don't use macro, the depth of focus is bigger). You need to experiment a bit with your camera to find out what it's limits are here.
Another tip if you use flash is to angle the nail in such a way as the flash doesn't hit the nail head on (90 degrees) - the highlight cause by the flash will be less. Unfortunately so see the nails most clearly that's usually what you have to do. Just move around, take different shots and be lucky!
One final point - before you take the photo, try to think of an interesting background or theme. This will really help to give the photo's "life. Personally, I find this and composing the model the most difficult part - but when it works, it really works! You can look at old nail mags to see get ideas, I also visit jewelry websites for inspiration ;-)
All the photo's below were taken in natural light in a salon. The camera was a cheapo Casio but with 8 Mpixels. No macro was used. We call this one our working girl series - we did it for fun. Iryna is the model and made her own nails. Personally - I like close ups of the nails but also photo's which show the nails in real life situations - I hope Iryna's customers can then better visualise how the nails would look if they had them.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
We came across the idea having looked around to see what nail posters are already available for salons. There wasn't much choice that we could find and nearly all of the posters we saw only pictured french nails with fairly similar themes.
So we saw a gap in the market for nail art posters that have not only been professionally photographed but offer a unique fashion style. In other words, the kind of posters that we would like to hang up in our salon and would inspire both us and our clients.
Have we succeeded? Only time will tell. But take a look for yourself and please do feel free to send your comments to my email at the top of this page, or post them on this blog. Thanks!
Click this link to take a look: Nail Art Gifts webshop
Monday, April 13, 2009
From April 29 to May 3 they will have national competitions, so it was very nice of Sveta to invite me to visit as one of the judges. The competitions will include P&L, Gel, Nail art on French and Mixed Media.
During our conversations, Sveta explained that in the past Moldova had not been able to send their P&L/Gel winners to the International Nail Championships that are held in Düsseldorf Germany each year, often called the World Championships. Instead the nail techs from Moldova had to compete in the Ukrainian championships to win a place and that the distance and costs involved meant that many nail techs couldn't afford to make this journey.
Bob called Tina Werle who is the organizer of the INC and we learnt that providing we strictly follow the INC rules and conditions of neutrality, Moldova would be welcome to participate in next years competition! So now the L&P and Gel competitions on May 3rd have taken on a whole new dimension - Sveta has told us that the nail techs there are really excited and are so very pleased to have the competitions in Moldova recognised in this way! Big thanks to Tina for helping to make this possible!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
In addition to the step-by-step above, the Gloss special feature on nail trends contained some of my tip designs. These are part of a new spring/summer collection of 24 designs that I created a few weeks ago:
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The price per person is $1599. This includes hotel quality cabins, food 24/7, nightly entertainment plus music in bars and there are discos, plus terrific non-product specific education, nail fun and competitions. Plus don't forget this is tax-deductible!
For Bob and I, our first cruise in January rated as the best holiday we've had. We have many new and wonderful friendships from this holiday and life-long memories. Personally, I learnt a lot from the other educators and nail techs there. You can never know enough!
I've scanned a copy of the advert that appeared in this months Naglar i Norden magazine (it's in English). You can read more about our experience on the last nail cruise in one of the posts below.
Monday, March 30, 2009
"Nailed in the USA" is a description of our trip on the Vicki Peters nail cruise while "What makes You different from the competition?" includes some suggestions how to make your salon more unique and competitive.
I produced a step-by-step and an article on being a working mother. Both of these are in Swedish: