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The journey to opening my first nail academy – Part 1

By Erica Turley | 28 March 2019 | Business, Feature, Tech Talk, Training

Erica Turley

Hey everyone!

I’m super excited to make my return to blogging for Scratch magazine, where I’ll reveal my journey to opening my own premises.

Some may call me crazy for taking this leap I’m sure, but with work load demands, I’m finally about to feel the fear. I have recently joined Scratch Stars Nail Team of the Year 2018, HD Nail Artist Academy, as an educator and am opening a premises to teach the courses – which is a huge step for me and my career. Feeling the pressure of it all can be a little overwhelming at times, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

This is the first time that the people in my area will find out about my plans of setting up my own academy and retail outlet in the bustling high street of my boutique home town, Stone, Staffordshire.

The high-street is full of quirky coffee shops (such as BEAR, where I am currently writing this blog), eateries, performers, monthly farmers markets and unique shops. I love my home town and being able to bring students and techs from all over the UK to where I live is going to be amazing! There’s everything that visitors would want here.

I’ve actually been looking for a premises for a very long time, but finding the right place has been such a challenge. The main push from moving from my home salon is needing space for teaching combined with the urge to develop my business further. I want to set an example to my children that you can achieve anything you want in life with hard work, passion and determination. Looking back three years, I wasn’t even thinking about becoming a tech – let alone an educator, or even opening up an academy!

Venturing into retail I find is really exciting, and the vision I have is an open door policy where techs can come, have a drink, network and try out with the products. I always find that buying online is a bit of a gamble, so seeing the products up close is, I feel, a really great idea. I plan to stock a number of brands, including products from HD Professional Nail Systems, and  will have everything from cuticle oil to monomer. I will also stock everyday salon essentials such as acetone, sanitiser and couch roll.

The premises itself is two storeys, and I will be teaching upstairs and retailing downstairs.

The space won’t be a walk in nail salon as such, however it will be where I see my clients by appointment only, as I do now from home. Size was important to me as I don’t want to grow out of the place in a year’s time, but I need somewhere I can grow into. There is a short and long stay car park just behind the academy which was a big consideration regarding the academy’s location.

Cost was the overall driving factor, and making sure I could afford the rent, bills and other costs such as needing a licence to play music, disposal of commercial waste etc. which is something that I didn’t really factor in at first, as I didn’t know it existed before I signed a contract. Safeguarding myself financially and having back up plans is essential when making such a financial commitment. I’ve had to ensure I have the funds to bring it up to the level of refurbishment I want, not to mention having the money for hefty deposits and stock.

The building needs work doing to it, ceilings need replacing upstairs, new flooring throughout, lighting, walls repairing, and mainly cosmetic work downstairs. I have a budget for these jobs and I just hope it’s enough to get me through from refurbishment to finish! As with every refurbishment project, I am anticipating there to be unexpected costs and I’m sure this whole process will no doubt stress me out completely, but life would be boring without a little stress!

The fear of commitment has set in, as well as floods of ‘what if’s’. If you actually think about what you’re doing in detail, you perhaps wouldn’t do it, so remaining positive and keeping a professional work attitude is essential.

As I’ve now finished my coffee, I’m going to have a wander up the high street to my academy and see what needs doing to the shop front!

I will fill you in with the progress in two weeks’ time.