Melody C Montgomery – All-Round Talented Tech Interview
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
*LOL* It would take me a novel to tell all of my background! I am a nail stylist/musician/artist/writer/graphic designer from eastern North Carolina. I have been a tractor-trailer driver, worked in a recording studio, was involved in some of the local bands around my home town, been a waitress, draftsman, short-order cook, and an office manager for a respiratory consulting firm just to name a few jobs I have taken in my life—none as satisfying as being the nail artist I have become.
Which came first for you, art or nails?
I come from a long line of artists and musicians on both sides of my family. I was drawing from the time I could pick up a pencil and singing before I could talk, according to my mother.
I’m a rock-n-roller from the 80’s and I am heavily influenced by Stevie Nicks and Melissa Etheridge with undertones of Roberta Flack.
I gave birth to my son at the age of twenty-seven and found myself a single parent a year and a half later. I was working as a draftsman for a surveying/engineering firm and decided to take manicuring classes at night so that I could do nails as a second job. Truthfully, I tried to work in a salon full time in ’95 after I obtained my manicuring license, but couldn’t make enough money to support myself and my business, so I went back to work full time, keeping nails part-time on the side. Nevertheless, I continued my education in the nail industry and kept up my licensing. It was not until the end of 2003 that I decided to go back to work full time in a salon…and there I have been since!
You’ve been involved in the nail industry since the mid-nineties, what kinds of changes have you seen over the years?
Our great industry—the beauty industry—has changed so much in the last fifteen years! Products and services—not to mention, application methods—have come a LONG way! More importantly, manicuring services have been brought to the forefront of the beauty industry and have become as much a part of fashion as clothing.
You have been certified by CND as a Nail Design Grand Master, any advice for aspiring nail techs?
A “Nail Artist” is so much more than a “manicurist.” We handle more chemicals than our counterparts in this industry, have more direct physical contact with our clients, face more risk of infectious disease and spend more contact hours with our clients. However, in most states—at least, in NC—required education is less than one third that of cosmetologists.
Educate yourselves! Educate your clients! Together, we can transform the way we are viewed by other professions and gain the respect that we deserve!
Do you find that your education and experience provide you an edge in the nail art industry?
Education and experience are certainly to my advantage… but nothing replaces hard work, dedication, excellent customer service, dependability, immaculate sanitation.. and did I mention excellent customer service?
You promote natural nails, but offer a variety of services. Do you find that people’s nails are as different as their fingerprints?
When you have been studying people’s hands and nails as long as I have, you begin to notice that there are recurring characteristics in hands and nails. However, everyone is different right down to their lifestyles. During initial consult with any new client, I ask and answer questions to determine what the client’s lifestyle and goals are, be it to manage their own natural nails or decide which type of enhancement better serves them.
What is your most popular treatment?
I guess I have more clients maintaining their gel enhancements; however, I find it’s an even mix of all my services: mani’s, pedi’s, gel polishes or conventional polishes, Minx. I am trying to expand on designer acrylics and gels, however.
On the cutting edge, you are also a Minx master. How do you see their products changing the nail industry? Tell us about the advantages of Minx products for hands and feet.
Being a graphic designer, I am educated in the vinyl printing/cutting industry and its application. When Minx hit the market, I was thinking, “wow, what a stroke of genius!”
Minx has revolutionized nail fashion by a means that cannot be duplicated with polishes, paints or any other products! What’s more, it’s ideal for natural nails and doesn’t cause damage on any level!
(Let me add, at this point, as long as it is removed CORRECTLY!).
Obviously you love Minx, but what other nail products do you love?
I LOVE ANYTHING NAILS! That is why I named my business, “Everything Nailz Ink!” I have always recognized the need to be proficient in all the available products in our industry so that I can provide any service upon request. I provide natural nail services, gel and acrylic enhancements, from traditional pink and whites to designer “bling” nails such as the Edge and the Stiletto. I never really was into nail art until “bling” hit the nail design forum and now I cannot get enough because it is another outlet for me to be creative and do something unique!
However, I still appreciate the art of a perfect polish application and going to work every day to a job I never get tired of! I love what I do!
If you could work on anyone’s nails, who would it be?
Stevie Nicks! She is my all-time favorite female vocalist! I taught myself to perform (sing) practicing with her solo CDs! It would be my life’s dream to meet her!
I did, however, accompany my friend and colleague, Athena Elliott, to Las Vegas, NV this past August. We went to provide services to Beyonce’ Knowles band and background vocalists. What was a blast!
They were an awesome group of talented and gorgeous young women who, despite their fame, remain humble and down-to-earth. I had so much fun hanging out with them!
Aside from nails, what else do you love?
Karaoke is my only claim to the Music Hall of Fame these days… But I love graphic design and marketing, so I do a lot of business cards and other marketing materials for myself and anyone who contracts my services. I’m also a “geek,” so I do some website design. I created and maintain my own site, www.everythingnailzink.com.
A big thanks to Melody for answering our questions, be sure to keep up with the latest about her on Everything Nails Ink and stay tuned for more interesting interviews with other fun & fearless members of the nail industry.