Jayne Knowles on the importance of education

By Kat Hill | 27 October 2018 | Feature, Tech Talk

Jayne Knowles

Here Jayne Knowles, Brillbird UK educator for Chester, shares her thoughts on the importance of education in the nail industry…

“I come across many people who say education is too expensive, but can you really afford not to do it? I’m not just talking about the financial implications here; education is essential for many reasons apart from the obvious learning perspective.

“In that one single moment I realised that I had become stagnant within my work.”

“My personal experience of this began in 2010. After many years as a successful technician, I decided to begin my teaching degree. One student approached me asking for a demonstration on a ‘bubble nail’. In that one single moment I realised that I had become stagnant within my work – I didn’t know what that was.

“I began to expand my practical skills through education and continue to do so every year. Many wonderful techs are run small business or working in isolation. Although it has its benefits, it can be a lonely way to work and sadly some people give up as a result. Courses or workshops are a great way of networking and building support groups with confidence. We may find it easier to ask for support, guidance or even feedback on designs we are inspired to create through these connections.

“There are different elements of education:

Tutor/Student Learning:

“It’s easy to understands this element; you go to college, learn from a teacher and then pass your exams. That’s great, but it doesn’t stop there… This is where CPD (continued professional development) comes in. What is it and why is it important?

“CPD is simply investment in yourself, your skills and, therefore, your business. This is what I personally failed to see even though I understood it fully. Yes, I invested in new equipment and products within my salon, I decorated it in the latest trends, and even did some marketing. What I didn’t do was invest in me! You are the center of your business – invest in yourself.

“There are so many courses available, with so many different focuses; structure, artwork, new product lines and more. These are easy to find, so push yourself to do something scary, step out of your comfort zone. If you like art but can’t draw, book a basic painting course. You will surprise yourself.

“Competitions are another area, although the sound of this word filled me with absolute fear for years. With support of my wonderful nail buddies, last September I attended my very first live competition. It only took me 33 years, but I loved it! If you don’t push your boundaries and kick your fears they will keep you from achieving your true potential.


Independent Learning

“Theory is important as the industry changes so fast. For example, new products are always becoming available and the way we use them changes. Cross-blending core systems, such as liquid & powder, is not advised, but do you really understand why? Educational books or articles from reputable sources are great, contact your brand provider who would be more than happy to help with questions.

“Other areas which are overlooked are insurance, government guidelines, laws on GDPR, COSH and health & safety at work. The list is endless. It is important to keep your knowledge of this up to date. Contact your local government department for advice and support.

“Sharing information helps us grow as individuals and as an industry.”

Peer Groups

“What are peer groups? These are a group of people with the same interests and status as you. This is a great way to find out new things that are happening within our industry, with the use of social media platforms information can be accessed easily.

“However, it is important to remember to check the information is correct, the internet is also rife with misinformation or part-information.

“My best advice is to find those people who support you, are not afraid to tell you if something is wrong and explain why.  Sharing information helps us grow as individuals and as an industry.”