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Stepping Away From The Nail Salon Business


Every week we are indebted to the wealth of knowledge YN’s Tracey Reierson brings to the table. She’s an inspiring example of the pursuit of happiness and a vital part of the “Live Your Passion” movement that we preach and practice here. As our Director of Operations/General Manager, she's an indispensable member of the YN family. She’s our sister from another mister. Learn more about how she got into the nail business, why she stepped away from the salon, and how she keeps life interesting after being in the industry for what amounts to a lifetime.

Tracey was already running a very lucrative salon business in Northern California when she first met the guys at a Sacramento trade show. After refining her skills for three years as a nail tech, she went for it and bought a salon. Her salon was busy and a local favorite. She managed a full clientele, four workstations, five part-time nail techs, and worked three days a week. This was a schedule of her own design because she wanted to be available for her school aged son, too. At the time, she also happened to be working for a competitor as an educator. The early days of Young Nails on the road was not today’s well oiled machine. The guys were clueless in a lot of ways trying to make the most of their shared 10’x10’ trade show booth. They needed to borrow some forgotten basics so they could do their own demos. Tracey bailed them out. Thank goodness for serendipity and unpreparedness.

Most people would be happy to keep the cash flowing and familiar salon life Tracey had created for herself. Who wouldn’t enjoy a short work week, being your own boss, and financial stability? Tracey is not most people. She took her first class with Greg at the big Las Vegas trade show and the trajectory of her life took on a different spin. YN showed up flexing a huge booth. The company had gained a small favorable following. After a couple more training sessions, Greg invited Tracey to join the education team as a mentor and offered her a chance at distribution. Poof. Just like that, she took on YN products as a side hustle. It was a characteristically quick decision to make. Going on instinct and a trusty credit card, she just went for it. The distribution sounded good and she was up for the challenge. Like other huge decisions in her life, this one was made independently and she never looked back.

Taking calls and making deliveries, the YN distribution took off. Things were makeshift at first then the pace started to get hectic. Business was good on both fronts. Overextended, a decision needed to be made. What would now get the bulk of Tracey’s attention? After another three years as a salon owner, the time felt right. Without hesitation, Tracey sold the salon and redirected her focus into the distribution. She was able to trust herself and her ability to make good decisions. She always kept an eye open for opportunities and an open mind to feed her curiosity. It was a natural progression in a life of nails and a love of business. The distribution grew slowly and steadily from a couple of rooms in a warehouse with odd hours to a converted retail space with regular store hours and employees.

Education, the constant desire to learn new things, has always been a huge motivator. Being an educator, got her to that first trade show in Sacramento and an interest in enriching her nail arsenal landed her at the class with Greg in Las Vegas all those years ago. Tracey eventually sold her distribution back to the guys to take on a full-time role as the YN Director of Education relocating from Redding to Anaheim. In this role, she shared her passion and excitement with the next generation nail techs seeking to carve a life out for themselves; reinforcing what Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” It was a thrill to travel for work doing nails, teaching classes and leading the YN Mentors at trade shows or at special events like fashion shows and photoshoots. Everything added an extra layer of credibility to the techniques and processes. Now, as the YN General Manager, her journey continues.

Tracey grew up in a family that moved around a lot for her father’s work. She remembers transfering into two or three different schools in one year alone. That can be tough on a kid's sense of self. She completed her high school education via American Homeschool. Married at 17, Tracey had her son at the age of 19. She didn’t go to college but instead found nail school. She was and is a challenge driven, self-made woman. When she tells you about her experience it’s important to note all that she came from and how she was able to take control over her life story. She will be the first to admit that there are two versions of Tracey that exist. One version can be found curled up in bed, doing nothing and depressed. The other version is the overly productive workaholic you know and love. All this is made possible by first being aware of who she was and identifying what makes her happy. Her life lessons teach us that it is all about embracing trial and error. She shows us how to give ourselves permission to fail and to step away from our comfort zones. She shows us dreams can be fashioned and refashioned. She teaches us about having realistic expectations about growth, and expansion into new directions.

**This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, “BIZ TALK: WHY I STEPPED AWAY FROM THE NAIL SALON"

***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion here: