Thursday, October 22, 2009

New InspirationZ 3D Colored Gels!

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

Opening a school and salon in Kiev, Ukraine

As well as being at the Estet show the last three days, our evenings have been spent viewing different premises in Kiev as we need a headquarters for the distribution business in Ukraine and a location for a new school and salon. Lena, our new Sales Manager in Ukraine contacted the real-estate agents and did an initial search so that Iryna and I had a short-list of properties to view. Lena did a great job!

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!!


Shows in Russia, England and Ukraine

It's Sunday morning here in Kiev, Ukraine. Bright blue sky outside and a hint of winter in the air. As I write this the bells from the 1000 year old Orthodox church of St. Sofia are ringing out across the city.

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: