Balancing a bustling freelance nail career with teaching and a healthy obsession with Cardi B’s nails, Alejandra Ramazzini has found an outlet for her love of learning and sharing information in Blanche Macdonald’s Nail Studio classrooms. Always researching the newest trends, travelling and gathering as much inspiration and knowledge as she can, Alejandra shows just how portable, profitable, and global a career as a Nail artist can be.
How do you balance being a teacher and your freelance job?
Having the opportunity to be my own boss gives me the flexibility and ability to organize my own schedule, which is awesome! The Nail Studio program is Tuesday’s and Sunday’s, and the rest of the week I work out of my private studio. I love being able to make my work schedule fit into my life. This is how I have found my healthy balance between teaching, doing nails, and my personal life!
Everything just felt right when I stepped into the Nail program. It encompassed everything I love, it was creative yet technical. I could be my own boss and perfect my craft. I could be independent and still interact with people, which I loved. It was everything I was looking for.
What excites you about being a Nail Instructor at Blanche Macdonald?
What initially drew me to Blanche was their professional approach to the programs. I respected that “you will get out of this program what you put in,” and that’s really it, and that’s still what excites me. The program is fast-paced, intricate and requires focus and detail-oriented work. We work at the highest sanitation requirements. (Proper sanitation is serious business in our classrooms!)
I truly appreciate the journey that a student has from their first day when learn how to properly hold a nail file, to seeing them open their own nail salon after they graduate. It’s so remarkable what someone can achieve with perseverance, practice and patience.
How do you balance the technical aspects of Nails while also being creative in the classroom?
The majority of our program is technique-based because that is really the most crucial part about being a great nail artist and being a professional at your craft. The cherry on top is the Nail art! I encourage all our students to be themselves in everything we teach so that their creativity will flourish even while learning the fundamentals.
With practice and time, students find their style, voice and creative freedom. Even in perfecting their shaping, I want the students to make sure they feel like it’s their work and not just following steps they’ve memorized. Students should be excited to put themselves into the work no matter what it is, whether it’s picking a colour or creating nail art. Try everything, keep your skills up-to-date, read nail magazines, research on social media. It’s so important to take all of that and pour it into your craft.
What kind of students do you usually come across in the Nail program?
For the most part, our students are very open and looking for ways to be creative. While some are more naturally talented and some are more technically talented, they are all looking to express themselves in a creative way. Many want independence in their careers and are looking for an industry that will continuously challenge them. That’s the great thing about being a nail artist– you’re always growing and learning.
Through social media, our students often come in with an understanding of the technology or industry that they’re eager to build on. There is such a wide range of opportunities for a nail artist. A lot of students come in ready to be their own boss. They want the independence and flexibility that I have or that their other nail instructors display.
The Nail Industry is incredibly innovative and is always evolving. How do you keep up-to-date with this rapidly-changing industry?
As instructors we stay in the loop through social media. There is so much information and learning to be done via social media. Most of my information comes from online, I follow lots of nail artists and watch lots of videos on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. I’m also obsessed with Vogue magazine. I always look at their editorials for inspiration and to check what’s on the models’ nails. I live breathe, and sleep nails. I sign up to everything, I’m always getting updates and emails about upcoming trade shows, classes and I love meeting other nail artists to share our experiences.
The best part about Blanche Macdonald is that the majority of the instructors are working artists. We are able to bring whatever is unique to us into the classroom. We don’t just re-iterate information. Simona [our Esthetics Director] is incredible at allowing us to always bring our passion and research into the classroom. She’s really the reason the Nail Studio program is so cutting edge and incredible!
Our students are all looking to express themselves in a creative way. Many want independence in their careers and are looking for an industry that will continuously challenge them.
How did you get started on your own Nail journey?
Initially, I studied Fashion Marketing and Design. I’ve always been creative and artistic. When I was young, I was consumed by art. In high school, I was interested in the makeup program at Blanche Macdonald. Then, the possibility of being a Nail artist called to me because it offered the opportunity to have flexibility and ability to use the skills I had learned in the fashion program.
Everything felt right when I stepped into the Nail studio program at Blanche Macdonald. It encompassed what I loved, it was creative yet technical. I could perfect my craft and be independent and it challenged me. It was everything I was looking for!
The best part about Blanche Macdonald is that the majority of us are working artists. We are able to bring whatever is unique to us into the classroom.
What made you finally take the plunge and start your own studio?
I was working at a salon and I got really sick and had to go on medical leave. Within days, all my clients got in touch with me and said if they couldn’t see me, they would take their nails off! I had always wanted to have my own space and this basically catapulted me to get my own space set up ASAP. Having my own space has allowed me to get back to being myself– it’s been really incredible.
What is one of your biggest accomplishments?
I had the opportunity to do nails for Catherine Zeta-Jones. That was pretty awesome!
How would you describe your approach to nails?
I treat nails like artwork, because that’s what a nail set is. You create something out of nothing, so it has to be a perfect every time. The only way that can happen is to do it from your heart.
What are your favourite kind of nails to do?
Super long nails. They really are the perfect nails! For a long nail set with all the sparkly toppings to look good, your nail set has to be perfectly prepared, built, shaped, polished and finished! Long nails will only last if they were done by an experienced nail technician.
Tell us who your nail idol is.
I admire so many people in our industry. Currently, I’m so excited to see Cardi B’s nail style trending and representing nail culture!
What is the best thing about doing nails?
My clients! They bring out the best of my craft. Having a positive vibe creates a perfect environment for being creative and expressive.
What is your favourite nail brand to use on your clients?
Akzentz!!! Simply because they’re incredible and the fact that they are also local is awesome!
Tips to build a solid client list?
Social media these days is the key to everything!
What is the biggest nail-care mistake people make?
Not understanding the importance of the natural nail. Our nails are part of our body. They deserve love, care and attention. You can’t have artificial nails on a damaged natural nail. Make sure you have a certified nail technician working on your nails.
What is something you wish more people knew about the Professional Nail Industry?
We are a community of people who love what we do. We work hard and we are all very educated. We have to be, to do what we do. We work with humans, and are responsible for their hands and feet. That’s a lot of pressure! Nail technicians and nail artists are an important part of society. We help people feel better and encourage self care!
You are a major traveller. How does that translate into your Nail career?
I’m always researching where I could potentially work and learn and really there is no limit. It’s international. Art doesn’t require language translation, neither does the feeling of a new set of nails! New York is a my inspiration hub. I go there to fuel up, pick up supplies, get my nails done and check out street nail art styles!
If you could give some career tips for success as a freelance artist who owns their own nail studio, what would they be?
Be yourself, be honest and prepare to work hard. Success is measured on your own accord. That word means different things for everyone, so figure out what you want your success to look like and jump in!