Crystal Nails UK opened an eye-catching new training and retail centre in Chelmsford last month, and ROSE HARPER got to see it in its true light...
As popularity continues to soar for results-driven brand Crystal Nails, the director of the brand’s UK distribution arm, Annamaria Farkas, has expanded her team to open a stylish new centre in Chelmsford, Essex, where training, treatments and a vast array of nail products are on offer in a one stop shop.
“Opening the new premises means we have a base for techs to come and do their product and educator training as well as having a place for our more formal meetings,” says Kerry Moores, education and sales manager. “Having a central hub is the model for what we want all of our future distributors to achieve. Knowing that techs can come in, see and feel the products is the ideal and with over 3,500 products on offer, it can be hard to get the full idea over the internet or via a catalogue,so a retail centre of this kind was essential.”
"The retail area, which is bursting at the seams with everything a tech needs has been stocked with all the essentials and more, so all requirements are catered for. Annamaria notes, “When we first expanded the premises I said to Kerry, ‘this space is too big, we will never fill it up,’ and I was genuinely worried. Now with all the products lining the shelves the space seems quite small – we really had no idea that the variety was quite so vast and needed such a large arena to display them all adequately.”
Chelmsford offers a retail area with training space
upstairsfor nail classes, while on two days of each week clients are welcomed to the premises to indulge in treatments. “If you’re an educator I believe it’s important to remain hands on by working in the salon to keep yourself up-to-date with trends; it keeps your finger on the pulse,” relays Annamaria. “Education is great and has become my life; it’s why I started working with Crystal Nails in the
first place, but it’salso fulfilling to actually use the products, keep myself up-to-date and my skills speedy.”
The opening day itself was an exciting experience for those in attendance with the official ceremony proffering Champagneand cupcakes. However, the icing on the cake was delivered to a handful of techs, many of whom were Crystal Nails educators, who took part in a day of training with the world-renowned nail tech and Crystal Nails Hungarian education ambassador, Gabo Kovacs, showcasing her award-winning style of competition pink & white acrylic techniques. James Ford, a nail tech from Huddersfield reflects, “Workingwith Gabo is so exciting, she’svery inspirational and incredibly highly skilled. I know I’m learning from the best and getting superior education. So much ground was covered in her session;she was so inspiring that I feel as though I could now enter a competition. Gabo made it seem possible – she lifts your confidence and gives it a great big boost. I feel I could probably enter a sculpting competition now as I have a much better idea of what is expected.”
In the UK to join the international judging panel for The Nailympics London, Gabo Kovacs’ trip superbly blended with the opening of the new Crystal Nails showroom. “It’s my first time teaching in the UK and I’ve never been part of an opening ceremony before, so I feel very honoured,” reveals Gabo. “I love the UK, I wish I had more time to spend here, but I’m teaching all over the world so I’m working to an extremely busy schedule. In 2009 I took part in the Nailympics London and was awarded Division 2 Winner of Winners and this really brought the UK close to my heart professionally.
“I’m based in Hungary and one of the parts of my job I love most is seeing firsthand how techs differ from country to country. In the UK currently, natural nails seem to be the main focus for techs, however, in Hungary techs are more creative with length and design. I notice that lots of techs around the world will use only one product, for example only acrylic or just gel, but in the UK techs are happy to try new products, have more than one system available to them and they never say ‘no’. They are very open-minded and make sure they have possibilities and choice, which is what a wellrounded tech should do.
“If you’re an educator I believe it’s important to remain hands on by working in the salon to keep yourself up-to-date with trends; it keeps your finger on the pulse.”
“The Crystal Nails range is so vast and has been devised and developed with this type of tech in mind. The possibilities are endless and it’s exciting to be part of this product line and concept. Every spring and autumn the brand unveils a new product or technique in order to keep up with industry trends, to stretch potential and service tech’s needs. It’s important to have an evolving brand as it keeps techs interested, yet also allows them to offer new and updated services to their clients.”
Lisa Johnson, Crystal Nails educator and salon owner from Doncaster, was in attendance and explains, “I’m so happy that I took the course with Gabo. I learned a new technique, have now been inspired to look at the competition arena, I’ve improved my skillset and learned more about the technical side of competing.
Gabo is a world champion and I’ve been following her career for years, she is a massive inspiration to me, so it was fantastic to get up close and see her styling firsthand and to tap into her expertise.”
“With competition training we have two types of girls,” notes Kerry.
“Some taking the class will want to go forward and compete and are inspired to do so, while others are simply amazed at how much they can take back into the salon environment. The training does speed up and improve different parts of their techniques. So their skillset really benefits. I personally have been amazed at how much a competition class can improve my salon work.” Later this year Crystal Nails will be opening retail spaces in the North of England and Scotland much to the delight of Annamaria as it’s a sure sign that the brand is enjoying growth in the UK and its message is getting out there. “With any luck our popularity will continue to grow in a healthy manner,” she cites. “I see techs in forums on the internet discussing Crystal Nails while exchanging tips and ideas and that’s really exciting for me. Our products are being used by competitors who are getting really good results and I think this is due to Gabo’s huge success in competitions and that she is recognised globally for her skills and knowledge, people see what she is doing and want to achieve the same results. Techs are then taking this into the salon and introducing their clients to Crystal Nails products – it’s a win:win situation for all.
“When we first moved to Chelmsford, I was hoping to have this kind of premises, it was my vision, but I waited until the time was right to expand and it was only in the last year that people really opened up to the possibilities of the brand and really wanted to learn and try out the products,” reveals Annamaria. ‘It’s a big step for me and I hope it’s the beginning of many Crystal Nails centres all over the UK, as more and more techs get as excited as I am about this nail brand.”