Barb Nailsplash of Nailsplash.Com
Hi, my name is Barb; I am first and foremost a Nail Technician and Educator of Nail Technology. I am the webmistress and author of Nailsplash.Com (an Educational Website for Professional Nail Techs that offers over 400 pages of free education and information for nail professionals), and also the owner of the online supply store GelNails.com and President/Creative Director of Nail Splash, Inc. Many nail techs know me simply as "Nailsplash" from the internet and message boards. I have over 12 years experience in the nail industry as a nail tech and 10 as a teacher. I not only teach nails.... I DO nails in the salon...just like most of the nail technician students I teach!
I am a nationally certified and active educator for the National Cosmetology Association and an Illinois state board licensed educator of Nail Technology. The designation of NTA (Nail TechAmerica) was awarded to me in 1993 and as such I a member of the Americas Teaching Committee for NCA. I also hold national certification as a nail technician. I am a 10-year member of NCA with local affiliation and membership in Cosmetologists Chicago and the Illinois Cosmetology Association. Recently I joined a newly formed association called INTA (International Nail Technicians Association) and hope to become active with them as well.
Other achievements include being an award winning competitor, competition trainer, competition judge, beauty industry author (my website and instructional manuals and video tapes as well as published in Nails Magazine), editor (Milady's Art and Science of Nail Technology reviewer), licensed nail tech (IL) and licensed teacher of nail technology (IL). I am currently a salon owner, and formerly a nail school owner. Recently I was profiled by Nails Magazine as one of the "50 Most Influential Nail Techs" of the decade. I am often quoted and used as a source for articles in Nails and Nail Pro Magazine as well as other consumer magazines (such as Self and Allure) I and have recently started writing freelance articles for Nails Magazine and contribute regularly to the "Help Desk". In 1998 I was profiled in Crain's Chicago Business Newspaper in an article about entrepreneurs in the beauty industry.
My specialties and credits in teaching include: Chemistry for Beauty Professionals: Reading and Understanding MSDS, and U-V Gel Nail Services, among others. I have also taught Trend Classes, General Nail Technology (beginner and advanced), Manicure/Pedicure, and Fill-In Procedures. My personal favorite was teaching the 5-day intensive "boot camp" for the Illinois Cosmetology Associations School of Continuing Education at Eastern Illinois University each summer from 1996-1999. (ICA-SCCE).
I am a free-lance generic educator (non-product specific) and most of my teaching is done through my own company or through associations, although I will occasionally educate for manufacturers whose products, people and principles I admire, as well (most recently a free-lance assignment for Light Elegance gel nail products for example). Teaching is done in either group classroom settings or one-on-one with students. I also educate and consult online in email and message boards as well as over the phone and of course in my educational video tapes I produce.
My newest innovation in education is called "video consultation": I have the nail techs set up a tri-pod and film themselves working, explaining out loud each step as they go through it for my benefit, and then they mail the video tape to me. I watch the video, take notes and write up a critique and suggestions for improvement in their techniques and application methods. N.I.N.E.S. (Nailtechs In Need Emergency Supplies) is a new project I'm starting to help nail techs in financial need or distress (new techs from poverty or techs who experience financial ruin through fire or theft, for example) to get supplies they need to work. Both used and new supplies are donated from other techs around the country and sent to me to sort and warehouse and then distribute. This program is still in its infancy, but I'm hopeful it will blossom and expand to reach its goals.
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) in Bioscience and Business in 1982. Previous jobs during and after college, but before my nail career included: Chemical Technician for a Plastics Chemical Company, working in the lab and the pilot plant; Personnel Director for a Human Resources Co; And many years spent in the corporate world in sales and marketing. One position was with a frozen food manufacturer (Stouffer's) where I was named Rookie of the year, among other honors, and the other was with a well known beer company (Heillemann's Old Style) as a territory manger, where I was honored as the "Midwestern Salesperson of the Year" and also charged with the duty of educating and escorting Hans Kessler about and through the Chicago beer market (many remember Hans as the Augsberger Brew Meister before Old Style "stole" him away). So how did I end up in nails after starting out as a Chemical Engineering major (long story!), and then pursuing a career in the corporate world? Good question! But here I am, for over 10 years now. And I don't plan on leaving anytime soon.
My goal and my teaching philosophy, both in-person and online at NailSplash.com is to teach every nail technique from a generic perspective, so that techs can learn (and relearn) some good, basic fundamentals, as well as advanced techniques to apply to their personal favorite product line. I also like to give practical real-world advice and give tips on how to save money on supplies, and the business side of running a nail business! I hope to impart enough information to people so that they can feel confident in the choices (whatever they may be) that they make! In my store GelNails.com, I only sell products that I personally use and recommend in my own salon to give nail techs the benefit of my many years experience of trying and sampling products and help them to narrow down their choices.
My two favorite personal mottos I live by are: "Work hard, play hard!" and "Knowledge is power!" The nail industry is my career and my passion, which is why I am willing to share my knowledge and insights to help promote education and professionalism for our entire industry. Through these efforts I hope to help raise the level of respect for our industry, and thereby raise our paychecks and self-esteem! We all can ride the "coat tails of success" of one another in this industry. As one of us rises higher in her career, so do the rest of us. Unlike so many other industries, where there is a limited amount of "space" at the top of the ladder of success: where in order for one person to climb higher, someone else must move down; the beauty industry offers unlimited opportunities for unlimited numbers of people. We can all rise together and raise each other up in the process. Others in this industry have and continue to raise me up the ladder of success with them; I hope I can do the same for others and help them succeed in their careers so that I can give back to the industry I love so dearly.
Thanks for taking the time to get to know me,