We’re all busier than ever, with 7 in 10 people believing their lives have become just ‘too busy’ in recent years. Statistics state that, alongside the average 9 to 5 working day, childcare and general life admin, clients are finding it increasingly difficult to make time for themselves, making it harder for beauty professionals to keep their clients happy and offer an appointment to suit their busy schedules.
Award-winning mobile nail techs, French & Drench, cater to clients with busy lives, offering nail appointments in the comfort of their own home at a time to suit them. From busy mums to clients who work unsociable shifts, Jo Tompkins and her team are on hand to provide show-stopping nails wherever and whenever!
We caught up with Jo to find out more about her innovative business, her recent Scratch award win and her love of all things nails.
How did you first become interested in beauty and the industry?
When I was a teenager, I loved spending my pocket money on nail polishes and I used to go down to Surrey Street market in Croydon on a Saturday afternoon to a stall that sold every colour nail varnish possible.
During my twenties, I loved to get a gel polish mani-pedi but thought I could do it better and make it much more convenient. After about five years of deliberating, I decided to go for it and set up French & Drench, a mobile nail service.
How did your studies and experience help you get to where you are today?
I’d never worked in the beauty industry before I started my business but I asked for the CND™Shellac™ beginner’s course for Christmas one year and spent about six months perfecting my nail skills before I started charging clients.
I have a Marketing degree which helped me build a brand identity. With little money to invest, I did pretty much everything myself including building my website and designing all my own marketing material. Since starting my business, I’ve spent a lot of time on self-development and learning new business and marketing skills which has got me into this amazing mind-set where I believe anything is possible. Continual training and self-development is a must to succeed in this industry as it’s a fairly fast moving sector and I find there are always things I’ve forgotten.
“Our clients are all super busy mums and/or working women so we make it as easy as possible for them to use us.”
Tell us more about French & Drench – what makes it different to other nail businesses?
I relaunched French & Drench in April 2017 after coming back from maternity and, in under a year, the business has grown from just myself to a team of four. I absolutely love it and have big ambitions for us all!
All the team are trained in CND™Shellac™ and luxury spa manicure and pedicure and they are all provided with the same kit so that, whoever the client books in with, they receive the same amazing standard of service and product choice.
We work mobile, seven days a week until 10pm and we are all about offering our clients the most convenient and best nail services around. Our clients are all super busy mums and/or working women so we make it as easy as possible for them to use us. I believe some of our success is down to being open late every day, offering online and offline booking options and accepting cash and card payments at the appointment.
We strive to be the very best. Winning the 2018 Scratch Stars Award for Mobile Nalist of the Year certainly helps our clients put their trust in us.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I’m lucky as I enjoy both the beauty and business sides of the job. I love helping people so being a beauty therapist and an employer both appeal to me.
I love seeing my team blossom and improve their skills but I also love nothing more than making a client feel more confident and relieved that they have found a way of actually fitting their nail appointments in while their kids are asleep upstairs.
“We work mobile, 7 days a week until 10pm and we are all about offering our clients the most convenient and best nail services around.”
What challenges do you face within your role?
Everyone always thinks that, because you run your own business, you can choose your own hours and work around the kids – It couldn’t really be further from the truth. Time management is a big challenge when juggling nail appointments and managing my team, as well as all the marketing, enquiries, accounts and towel washing I have to do on a daily basis.
What advice can you offer to anyone hoping to pursue a career in the nail industry?
I would recommend training in a well-known brand such as CND™Shellac™ and sticking with the complete system. Don’t try to cut corners and mix different brands as this will invalidate your insurance and make you look unprofessional.
Buy as many nail colours as you can afford before starting to charge for your services and make sure you re-invest all your earnings to start with into more colours and looking professional. Clients really love a good choice of colours and it’s certainly a great way to get your clients coming back again and again.
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You can book an appointment with the talented French & Drench team here.