Nail professionals gather for an OPI education event.
Sometimes, people are told to “look for a sign” that will show you things are going to change in your life. For Joey Brown, International Spokesperson for OPI, she followed a very literal sign pointing towards her future.
“Back in 1982, I owned a full service salon and I was looking for a nail polish line,” says Brown. “I was at a trade show in Reno called “Best in the West All Manicurist Show.” I saw this little sign with an arrow that said “OPI This Way” and I followed it, out the door, up the stairs, around the corner and I poked my head inside a small room. There was George (Schaeffer) sitting on a table and one educator. I started to back out but George said, ‘Hey, where you going?’ I told him that I just followed the sign because I was curious to know what this OPI was all about. He said to me, ‘This is the best damn nail company in the world.’”
“George” was George Schaeffer, Founder and CEO of OPI Products, Inc., a hand and nail care company that has been at the forefront of the industry since 1981. From that moment at “Best in the West” to present day, Joey Brown has directed people’s attention to OPI. A licensed cosmetologist and nail technician, she represents the brand all over the world and leads a team of educators and artists who find themselves in the midst of a global nail frenzy; nail polish sales have exploded in recent years, as have salon services. Today, you aren’t fully dressed unless you have a manicure.
“I was talking to Suzi (Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive Vice President and Artistic Director) the other day about how exciting it is to see all this nail art in the magazines. It doesn’t matter your status in life, your income, your size, your sex--everything you want to do in nails is a-go today and I love it. It’s exciting because I never know what is coming around the corner.”
Brown’s team of Certified Educators, Guest Artists and Nail Artists keep ahead of the nail curve, bringing OPI education, technology and knowledge to the far corners of the world. What she looks for in these artists is someone who will represent OPI in a poised, professional way at all times.
“We want people to come to us with at least three years of professional experience. We’re looking for someone who is very adaptable, willing to listen and learn, and someone who can represent us on the road. We spend time teaching them technical skills and presentation skills. After they have successfully completed our training, they become a Certified Educator. They teach classes, they go into the schools, they work the trade shows and they are available for press, runway and photo shoot events. That is the first level.
The second level is for those who aspire to being a Show Team Leader. They will assign educators to position and run a show team.
Another status level is being a Guest Artist. These are educators who have shown us they have wonderful presenting and technical skills. They conduct classes at our trade shows and are being spotlighted as someone really special. We also have a Design Team of very talented artists. Their specialty is nail art, design, and nail shapes. They do our ‘how-to’ videos.”
With the development of gel polishes, a service that can be easily mastered and adds $30-$50 to a ticket, Brown says any salon professional can start doing nails. “Hairdressers who do nail services like having the chance to sit and have a one-to-one, relaxing experience. If it’s offered to them, women will stay and get all their services done in one place. It makes a happier, more frequent client.”
Brown encourages everyone to keep an open mind about nails because the sky is the limit. “I can’t believe that little sign has led me to a wonderful experience that I am still gratefully experiencing. When you are transforming someone’s nails, you are touching their heart. You’ll have a client for life. ”
For information on how to become an educator, go to www.opi.com and click on OPI PRO to learn more.