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«If you want to teach, you must learn»

Interview with Natalia Goloh: how to open your nail school?

STALEKS Journalist.
I write about the beauty industry, collect information, and share trends. I manage an interview column on the STALEKS YouTube channel.

How to become a teacher from an ordinary manicurist and set up a nail school under your own name – Natalya Golokh knows this firsthand. She risked drastically changing her life, trusting her intuition and deciding to do what she loved. Having received financial education, the girl dreamed of working not in this specialty but becoming a nail master. The risk was a success: Natalia Goloh make a dream come true and became not only a talented manicurist but also a judge of specialized contests. She founded her nail school, Natalia Goloh Manicure Art High School, where she educates beginners features of this jewelry procedure. We met with Natalia Goloh to talk about how her journey began.




– Natalia, in your preview on the YouTube channel you said:  If you want to change your life, you must change your profession. Tell me, please, is it based on your life experience? Did you follow that way? – Maybe yes. If we want to change a life, then we need to radically change our views on the things you are used to. You need to change the angle of view.  You need to change the angle of view. For this,  I think, the change of profession is just the right moment. – Initially, you got a financial education. Did you work in this sphere? – No, I didn’t [in the financial sphere]. I have two educations: financial, the second was legal, but I received it in parallel when I was already living in Kiev. Having moved here, I received a second education and already got a job as a manicurist. – Have you seen yourself in the beauty sphere? – I have not, never.  It was my hobby, creative self-expression. Perhaps this is some aesthetics in the eye, beauty in the eyes of the beholder. And I always paid attention to the hands. – When you arrived in Kiev, you have found the job of a manicurist. How did this happen? Right away? – No, well, for some time I was still lying on the couch [laughs].  Did not do anything, thought. There was no depression or difficulty in adapting to the environment, I somehow quickly adapt. I got a job, probably in a couple of months. Fast enough. I just gave self manicure: I covered my nails with a pale lavender color and made myself a French in the form of a glitter strip on the edge of the nail. I went with this manicure to the nearest salon; I made a try. And I was hired right away. The director says to me: “Did you give self-manicure?” I say yes.“Well, you can get to work tomorrow.” – Does it seem the secret of a successful interview? – And the next day I get to work.  And I immediately had clients. I did not have a communication barrier. As if I had been doing this all my life, I was ready for it somewhere internally. I got to my place.  It was very easy for me in our profession.True, this is not boasting, so, probably, it just happens in life with people when they get into their habitat.


How did it happen that you become an instructor and owner of your school?  When this click happened, what did you decide to change? – This click occurred at the first exhibition, which was held in Ukraine. And so, at this first exhibition I, as a law-abiding manicurist, came and froze for all three days at the ALLABELLA stand.  And I met a very talented manicurist who made a design with an aquarium effect on nails. It was some kind of cosmos for that time. – What year was it? – 2000.As soon as I saw it, I have frozen up to the closing of the exhibition, from morning to evening. I looked at everything: how the manicurist opens and close the cans, how she takes the brush, how she holds the nail file. And the head of the company, of course, was difficult not to notice this crazy person, who stands and stares at the same point from morning to evening. We talked, I wondered where I could learn. And at that time in Ukraine, there were no branches of this school.  And they were looking for representatives, distributors of their company in Ukraine. I was offered to come to Moscow and take an instructor course. Moreover, before that I had not studied either the manicure or the pedicure art, I did it in the way I understood. As much as I liked it. – Did you not take courses? – Forgive me, please, I immediately went to study as an instructor. It so happened that I fell into the hands of Trang Ngyen  [Trang Ngyen – manicurist, certified instructor and president of Odyssey Nail Systems, – прим. ред.]. I passed one instructor course with him, received a diploma.And instructor training cost crazy money. – How much did it cost? – 3,000 dollars. I borrowed the money from relatives, then gave it away, worked, filed the nails, trained, sold professional cosmetics. – You returned to Ukraine and decided to follow in the footsteps of your teacher – also to teach? – I was offered to stay in Moscow. They probably saw something special in me. And Trang Nguyen suggested that I become a member of his team and be in the design championships. But I refused.


Natalya, to open your school – was this also a kind of experiment? – So there were circumstances. It was not an accident, and I already knew that I like it.  I will continue to go in this direction – I knew that for sure. The circumstances have arisen – this means that the company that I represented has made certain demands. I could not do it myself from the financial side. And, since the representation of this brand was closed, I had to conduct the training independently.  It is how my school appeared. – When did you open your school, how was it? How can a manicurist with an instructor experience start a business? – You need to find the office that you like, make a signboard and start teaching. You write your programs, at best. Well, I’m exaggerating a bit now and pronouncing a model that exists today – the way schools are opening now.  There are no differences in how it was before. Our legislation does not require instructors must have a professional teaching education. Want to open your school – just open. – Is there a difference in how to open a school then (at the time when you did it) or now? Are there any differences? – Of course, colossal. Then we did not have so much information.  We invented something, developed it. It was challenging but exciting. The deficiency is always stirring interest. And now, please: from each portal any information, take it and apply it to the action. Of course, it’s a huge difference.


– You said: “there was such a lack of information, a deficit, but now there is a surplus.” Including the channels of information through which it is spread, was not there either.  How did you promote your school? – Yes, it was not. There were specific educational exhibitions. There was only participation in exhibitions and magazines, professional editions. – Have you published information about your school, about your courses? – Yes, I did. We did step-by-step technology, shooted backstage, wrote articles, participated in exhibitions. And even before I become a teacher and how I made my championship, I participated in competitions. – Manicurists who have received instructor diplomas from you, they can open their school and teach. Are you not confused by the fact that you are giving knowledge and you can be “moved aside” because of this? – No, not confused. I am proud of the achievements of my students. Well, in general, it seems to me that the soldier who is not dreaming of being a general is bad. And I have no competitors, I communicate with everyone equally. Many schools that opened, with the same progression closed. – In Ukraine? – Everywhere. – Why do you think they can not “survive”? – Well, because word of mouth has not been canceled. Because people have many sources of information and there is an opportunity to compare. And walked in a publicized school, for example, after reading some reviews written by someone, following in someone’s footsteps at this school, they become frustrated. Because I can say anything about myself, but sooner or later this game ends.  I can’t close the comments; I can’t close people’s mouths, so they don’t talk bad about me, for example.


How much money did you need to open a school 20 years ago? – I did not have start-up capital. – And was there sponsorship? – No. – Money just for the office? – Rent a room, yes. The company, with which I began to cooperate, was given products for sale. Unnecessary I could buy out. And due to these new working capital, which appeared in the company, it turned out to be at least some capital to advertising. All funds are spent on rent, on advertising, on salaries to employees, on the purchase of new material. That’s all. Earn more by moving from manicurist to teacher – nothing like that. Manicurists earn much more than schools. – I was wondering if a manicurist who dreams of starting his business, open his salon, what can he lose or gain? – The golden mean is to have a manicure studio and with it a training class. Then you can exist. But this is a huge amount of work. – That is, the hall for teaching you mean? School and another place for clients? – Yes. Because the manicurist will sooner or later be forced to abandon clients and go entirely to the teaching. You can not break: to be beautiful and smart. And file the nails and teach. If you want to become a teacher, then it means you have to go through this crucial stage, abandon clients at some stage, and develop yourself as a teacher. And smoothly go into teaching. – When you became an instructor, did you immediately stop all this? – I gradually had to abandon customers, although it so happened that I had unusual customers. I had ministers’ wives, and there were stars, famous personalities that are very difficult to refuse. I apologized, I said goodbye because I understood that if I did not hurt now, at this stage, I would stretch this pain for some time. Therefore it was necessary to do so.I’m not saying that only for customers it was painful. For myself too. – Did these people help you in business development? – No. And even at some period, there was such a moment that they offered some help, they say, please contact us.  Maybe some stars gave me concert tickets. Just thanks.


And now how would you call yourself, in one word? – The teacher.  Instructor, first. I love it very much. I love my students very much. – Therefore, it is interesting, the transition from manicurist to instructor – was this the next step in your life or is it just a change of activity? – Well, it somehow turned out smoothly; it is logical. In itself, it flowed from one state to another, and that’s it. I think this is normal.  There is no career promotion plan in our profession. It is impossible to stop. A student, manicurist, assistant instructor, instructor, school owner, then own studio, owner of a business, production of brand, participation in championships, own team, judge, own brand …  The main thing is not to look at someone else’s career, not to build yourself some authority and focus on your feelings. You need to make a business plan, calculate, investment.  Because many people take credit for opening educational centers, thinking that tomorrow there will be a line of students, the full landing and occupancy of all groups. It is happening with each year, with each group more and more difficult now.

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