ASHLEY: Welcome to Outgrowth: A Slice of Pro Beauty with your hosts Ashley Gregory Hackett.
JAIME: And Jaime Schrabek. A recent article published by the New York Times sparked a firestorm when it questioned the future of manicures, and by extension all professional beauty services.
ASHLEY: Rather than just ignore this as another example of sloppy beauty writing, let’s take this opportunity to challenge the assumptions and educate clients about the value of our work. Let’s grow together.
ASHLEY: Well, Jaime, another week, another major development.
JAIME: And we’re not even talking about the election.
ASHLEY: No, I feel like this was a nice distraction from election anxiety, but unfortunately it comes at the expense of both of our professions.
JAIME: It was very ill-timed.
ASHLEY: Well, let’s talk about what exactly happened.
JAIME: I think you should talk about what happened because this was happening while I was working on clients in my salon. So if it hadn’t been for you bringing my attention to it, I would not have noticed it until later in the day.
ASHLEY: So on Thursday, November 5th, the New York Times published an article entitled Is This the End of the Manicure? And I was actually tipped off to its existence by Dasha Minina from Maxus Nails. So thank you, Dasha. And she asked me if I had seen it, and I told her I had not yet seen it, but as soon as I read the headline, I became filled with rage and skimmed the rest of the article because I knew what I was going to be seeing. And sadly, my suspicions were correct. And then I took to my computer and knew I had to write a blog post even before I sent it to you because I knew you’d probably talk me down and try to be reasonable.
JAIME: I’m so glad I didn’t because I was able to read both the original article and your response consecutively, just one after another. And I want to comment on what you just said about having read the title of the New York Times article, because phrasing it as a question, we could guess what the answer was going to be by the end of the article.
ASHLEY: Right, and unless it spoke about some new amazing innovation, or some kind of new product innovation that made salon services obsolete, I knew that this was going to lean toward the anti-salon bias that we as manicurists know is alive and well and exists across really the globe.
JAIME: How much time elapsed from the point that you read the original article and you banged out your response?
ASHLEY: You know what I’m going to look at that because I’m not entirely sure, but that’s a great question. From when I received the text to when I pressed publish on the blog post, it was pretty quickly. In general, I write best when I’m motivated by some type of feeling. I knew that I needed to get my rebuttal out as quickly as possible, but also that it needed to be really well-written, stand on its own, and answer each one of the points made in the article, kind of like high school debate, when you each take turns going to the podium and making your arguments, and then you get up and rebut the other team’s arguments, whether you question their sources, or you question their logic, or whatever. I felt like this was something that needed to happen sooner rather than later.
JAIME: And were you compensated for doing that, Ashley?
JAIME: I didn’t think so.
ASHLEY: Am I ever? No, no. That is hilarious.
JAIME: So tell us what the response was to the article itself. I know that readers of the New York Times can post comments. And then there were responses directly to the writer of this article, which I didn’t get the chance to see. I’ve actually spent more time reading the reader’s comments than comments directed to the author.
ASHLEY: The author received quite a bit of backlash immediately after publishing it. And most of the criticism came from the nail industry itself and manicurists and nail technicians who are a part of it because it was just, well, we can get into why it’s so egregious, but essentially the author of this piece has not made any further comment other than the piece that was published and published an Instagram story basically calling those who would criticize her trolls. Now, I’m sure some took a more aggressive tack than maybe those who were trying to reason with this author. And then one of her professional acquaintances also decided to jump in, and defend her, and say that her perspectives and point of view were very important, and that we as members of the nail community should just, it was basically it amounted to, quiet. The adults are talking and it didn’t go well for either of them. Now on the actual New York Times piece, you can comment and those comments were probably worse than the article itself.
JAIME: There were a few that I found humorous in that I thought they captured what I would have responded, but you’re right. By and large, most of them were calling out their own disdain for anyone who would seek to get nail services, anyone who’d want to wear a polish, just being very critical of the lifestyle choices that really don’t impact them. As I know, you’ve pointed out many times in discussions we’ve had since this was published that, how does it impact you that someone else gets their nails done?
ASHLEY: Yeah. How does it impact you or why is it so offensive to you if someone wants to support a small business, or support the immigrant population of New York City, or support someone through this pandemic? I mean, there’s just so many angles to come at this that they’re all wrong. To answer your earlier question.
JAIME: Oh, good.
ASHLEY: I received the text about the article at 12:27 PM and I published my piece at 3:08.
JAIME: You work fast.
ASHLEY: Well, again, on the wings of rage. So let’s get into what the actual article puts forward as its thesis, and how it supports it, and then I can talk about my response or my rebuttal to it because I feel like the stakes are a lot higher because this isn’t something that’s like in Allure magazine or somewhere that’s kind of written off as inconsequential just because it talks about beauty. This was in the New York Times.
JAIME: There is that a sheen of credibility for having been published. Congratulations. She had a piece published in the New York Times.
ASHLEY: Yeah, it’s a big deal. I just wish that it was factual.
JAIME: If we were actually represented within the context of this article and represented accurately, we wouldn’t have as much to talk about today. And when I say we, I mean, those of us who are licensed manicurists who work in a salon setting, to be even more specific.
ASHLEY: Exactly. I mean the backbone of the nail industry. When you picture or think about getting your nails done, this is what it was talking about. The salon nail technicians who work full time performing nail services in a salon setting and I can’t even put myself into the author’s perspective and think about what she was trying to accomplish with this because the original argument it makes completely changes by the end of it. But essentially the article states that because of the pandemic and because everybody has gained some perspective throughout the COVID-19 process, and the use of hand sanitizer and hand washing and things like that, that the entire world has embraced a more natural look. And not only do they prefer to have their nails bare, but now they find nail services in a salon repugnant because of it.
JAIME: I don’t think we gained perspective as much unless we’ve done some work and some serious work on ourselves throughout this process. Our priorities have shifted, but I think that’s more in response to the realities of not having the same resources and the same freedoms to do what we were doing before the pandemic started. The attack being directed at us, we have talked about this every time we talk about legislation directed at the beauty industry. Every time we’ve talked about discussions about dangerous chemicals or the consumer harm that can happen from going to a salon, it’s always going to be about us.
ASHLEY: Right, and the fact that the credit or the blame will 100% lay at the feet of the nail technician and there is no in between. The article goes on to say that not only are people everywhere preferring nude nails or naked nails, but that they’re noticing how much stronger their nails are for not going to a salon or not visiting a salon for their nail service. And then it goes on to say that every product we use destroys the natural nail and that we should really be embracing a more organic, holistic approach. Which on its face, I think a holistic approach to self care and beauty absolutely has its merits, but if you have to tell me your thing is better by cutting down my thing, then you’re not a very good sales person.
JAIME: I want to say something to anyone who’s listening and thinks this doesn’t impact me because I don’t do nails. This absolutely impacts our entire industry. And just because we’re being picked on first doesn’t mean that that they’re not coming for you because we could have very easily have said something similar about getting your hair colored, or getting facial services done, or any number of other services that sustain all of us as an industry.
ASHLEY: Thank you for saying that. Because you and I are both manicurists, and licensed in that, and work in that field, I know some of our listeners who don’t work specifically in the nail part of our industry might roll their eyes and go, oh, another podcast about nails. But I guess it’s like when someone comes for you in a very personal way and attacks your livelihood, I mean it’s just the same as when we had people railing against shutdowns, and being closed and saying, how dare you attack my industry in my livelihood? Not only did we have that as nail technicians, but now you have this added layer of a large part of the media coming for us as well. So I just hope that even though there is separation between beauty disciplines, that the rest of the industry can come together, and help support and hold up the nail industry in this moment, and help counteract some of that bad information. Look, we have to take the good with the bad. We have to own up to the fact that there are some nail salons that do some things that aren’t exactly above board. But we also have to know that this industry is made up of very passionate, very talented, very eager and ambitious people who are just trying to do the same thing as every other beauty professional, which is to make a living by being creative. And so when someone publishes something on such a large platform and it’s just rife or riddled with inaccuracies and we don’t have a way to respond because it’s not like the New York Times is asking me to write a piece to rebut that, it gets that much more disappointing. And I think just the feeling of helplessness that we’ve all felt through this pandemic has now just been magnified for the nail community.
JAIME: One of the issues that bothered me most was the dismissive perspective on the relationship that we have with our clients and to suggest by quoting someone that was being sourced for this article, that somehow our clients don’t enjoy having their services done. I mean, do hair clients enjoy spending eight hours at a salon having how many different processes done on their hair in order to achieve some dramatic make-over? Do individuals love having Brazilians done? I mean, is that the best part of their day is going to having a Brazilian? I mean, I could call out any number of services, but obviously these clients feel it’s worthwhile or they wouldn’t be doing it. No one’s forcing them to go get this stuff done and the fact that there are so many places you can go to have these things done, and it’s unfortunate that in the nail part of our industry in particular, that these salons compete on price, that we have opened up this service and made it available to people who normally would not be able to afford it if it were priced correctly.
ASHLEY: That’s a good point. Sorry. I just totally lost my train of thought because I’m looking at this dumb, dry gloss manicure kit and it’s sold out now. It’s $39 for a cuticle oil pen and a little half-moon shaped buffer.
JAIME: Do you remember being able to buy a buffer at the mall to shine up your nails? Do you remember that? And they were selling them for like 20 bucks, like just a regular shiner with some lotion, which you didn’t even need the lotion for the shiner.
ASHLEY: Like a Shammy-style?
JAIME: Yes, like in this kiosks, yes.
ASHLEY: Oh, wow.
ASHLEY: That might predate me a bit, but.
JAIME: But it was not that long ago. And, and consumers are like, wow. Wow. It’s like, oh my gosh, you know what? As a nail professional, I do that every day in my salon with a buffer that costs less than a $1.50. I’ll retail it to you for three bucks. You’re happy. I’m happy.
ASHLEY: Well, and this product is referred to as the anti-manicure in this article, which, by definition, a manicure is the grooming of the nails and hands. So what part of buffing your nails with an oil is not a manicure? Just because it doesn’t come with color afterward? I just keep shaking my head because the more and more I read this article, and the more I delve into things, and click the links, and really look at the quotes that are there, just the sadder I get about it because I think this really was like a dagger to the heart of the nail industry because we’ve been fighting so many misconceptions. We have been fighting to have our salons open. We’ve been fighting to really get a seat at the table with the rest of the beauty industry. And then at the worst possible time, these beauty writers come down from on high and speak about our industry as if they have any kind of knowledge about it whatsoever. If you do read the piece, which we will link to in the show notes, because we’re generous that way, you’ll see that it really makes the hard sell and the case for completely naked nails. It also then takes it so far as to say a manicure is part of a patriarchal beauty standard that we should no longer uphold. Honestly, I’ve never seen anybody get their nails done for someone else. And to go back to what you said about the percentage of clients who enjoy their services, I don’t elect to have a service done that I don’t enjoy. Like I leave that for the dentist, you know what I mean? I don’t seek out beauty services, and elective procedures, and things that I have to lay down money for, and go, wow. That really sucked. Do you?
JAIME: I am shaking my head over here. I want to reflect some more on the title of that product, because you know, we know that one-minute manicure has already been taken.
ASHLEY: Oh, I remember that stuff.
JAIME: We should all know that the anti-manicure is washing dishes without gloves on, duh. That is the anti-manicure,
ASHLEY: The anti-manicure I think is biting your toenails.
JAIME: Chewing your hang nails instead of trimming them. Yes, all of that is very anti-manicure and I happen to be pro-manicure. I don’t know about where you fall along these lines, but I’m pro-manicure. I am pro things being clean and neat because that also means that the skin is intact and the nails are healthy, but healthy doesn’t mean you ignore them.
ASHLEY: I’m pro people doing what they want. I’m pro bodily autonomy, but I’m also pro do whatever you want. It doesn’t affect my life. Some of the comments on the New York Times website were very, very racist, very classist, and resonated with this undertone of less than. That somehow working in the beauty industry, the service industry, and especially the nail industry is so beneath them as the commenter that they can’t even imagine that that would be something that would be important to someone else or a priority. And that’s fine, do you. But it really discounts the experience of just so many people and the culture that exists around nail art, the communities that have beautiful nail art, the cigar rollers in Cuba, the women of the Bronx in the seventies and eighties. Like there’s a history here that I think people are just willfully ignorant of. They don’t want to know about it because they feel it’s beneath them.
JAIME: Well, it’s like they can take it or leave it as a consumer, right? As the client, in order to be in this habit of having your nails done, they’ve been exploiting these workers for all this time, and now they’re going to walk away? Do they think it’s the workers that choose which products get used? No. Not unless the person who’s actually providing the service owns the salon also. Those choices they have no control over. They don’t control their schedules. They don’t dictate how quickly they work or how carefully even when they’re being pressured to churn through as many clients because you’ve got somewhere else to go and you need to get to brunch.
ASHLEY: Well, and that’s the experience that I think a lot of these people are drawing from going to a discount salon, express salon where unfortunately the care of your natural nails is going to be the first thing to go when it comes to getting things done on time. There’s a lack of consideration I think that we’re just seeing as a country right now, where it’s very hard for certain people to see themselves in other people’s shoes, especially the person removing their shoes to perform a pedicure for them. And I don’t know if that has a lot to do with the wealth gap, or I guess just the fact that so many systems are biased towards those who already had money to begin with, or a good education, or a good upbringing, or whatever. I guess if this article were indicative of a changing or evolving beauty trend where we’re moving away from color and vibrancy, and moving into a more nude muted whatever, this would make sense. But tell that to the manicurists who are being begged to make house calls, or those who are being begged for press on nails, or just get me something to get through the next month or two or whatever. It’s hard to talk about classism and racism when you don’t experience, in general, the bad side of that. As two white women, again, as we have many times on this podcast, acknowledged our privilege, but also want to use our platform to bring light to the fact that there’s a really ugly side to this industry. And if your only frame of reference is a $25 mani/pedi place, or like in my neighborhood Facebook group, where people are looking for, I want to get my nails done, but I want to find a place that has like a weekday special. I don’t want to spend too much. Then do it yourself. If you’re only willing to pay $25 for something that you could do yourself, but you’d rather not. You want to have the experience of having a luxury pampering service done and performed on you. Why wouldn’t you value that higher than $25 and a $3, $4, $5 tip?
JAIME: Do they want the experience really? Or do they just want the results?
ASHLEY: That’s a good question and you raise a very valid point there. I think they want both, honestly. When you look at, okay, let’s say with you with waterless pedicures, and when you teach those classes at shows and people go, no, my clients want the bubbles. Okay. So they want the experience and the result, but we know that those aren’t always the safest route. Just because again, this is something they’ve experienced in a discount salon or a walk-in salon, we now feel like we all have to adhere to some kind of standard that’s been set.
JAIME: But is that a patriarchal standard? Because those are the only ones that we need to get rid of.
ASHLEY: Listen, I am all for knocking down the patriarchy, but this article tries to make so many points at once with just so little evidence. And coupled with everything else that’s going on in the country right now, the way that people of color have been treated and the response to movements like Black Lives Matter, the overt racism against people of Asian descent because of COVID, and on and on and on. This was the cherry on top of a turd sundae. It’s just one more thing to be piled on about that, first of all, we can’t control as manicurists. And second of all, it didn’t have to be done this way. I know for a fact that the brands that were approached for this article were asked, tell us what you’re seeing as far as COVID nail trends. Are there things people are moving towards or away from? And when the answers didn’t align with this narrative of naked anti-manicure, it was removed from the article or not even considered.
JAIME: Here’s the article I would have written and it’s only gonna be a change of one word in the title and it would have changed everything. Is this the end of the cheap manicure?
ASHLEY: Oh my gosh.
JAIME: Mind blown.
ASHLEY: Someone please write that.
JAIME: Mind blown. Okay. So I will work on that and you can work on it with me because that should have been the article. In this time when things have shut down and we’ve acknowledged that we cannot go back to what we had before, clients can not go back to it. Salon owners cannot go back to it and workers should definitely not have to go back to what they had before. Wouldn’t it have been better to talk about how we could have reopened as an industry with only those salons that were going to be doing this legally and ethically? That meant prices were going to go up. That meant salons were going to get clean. That meant that they were going to protect their workers, pay them appropriately, pay their taxes. Everything that’s been lacking, everything that we know better to do, if that were getting done, how different would our industry look?
ASHLEY: It would be night and day. I know through conversations that we’ve had, whether it be at shows or online, or just with each other about raising our prices, giving our industry a raise that is so sorely needed and has not happened since the late eighties. People are so reluctant to do any kind of work around their pricing structure because they think, well, the salon down the street is going to charge less. And I’m going to lose clients and I’m not going to be able to continue to have this business. I’m not going to make my margins. I’m not going to make my rent. There’s no easy answer to that, but the way that the industry works right now, unfortunately is not tenable. To have that $25 mani/pedi, $32 mani/pedi deal, and have to turn that chair in an hour to make the $2 and 50 cents of profit that that will yield, if any at all.
JAIME: The answer is simple if we accept that not all salons should be in business. They shouldn’t be. If they can’t do it legally, they are creating unfair competition for other salons that are doing it the right way. So if through all of this, we lose 25% of salons, please let it be the ones that were exploiting people.
ASHLEY: Are we that lucky?
JAIME: No, but clients, you’ve said this repeatedly, clients need to take more responsibility for the businesses that they support. They need to take ownership for what they’re paying for. And who’s really paying in these circumstances are the workers. They’re paying with their health. They’re paying with their inability to make a living. They’re not getting any of the assistance that’s owed to them, whether it be legally or just ethically, because of their precarious situation.
ASHLEY: That assumes though that we inherently care about other people. And I don’t think we’re there yet. Because in order to get the pricing that really should exist, there shouldn’t be a regular polish manicure happening for under $20 at this point.
JAIME: And that shouldn’t take more than a half hour.
JAIME: At that price.
ASHLEY: But it’s going to be a huge leap for clients to pay the prices that that service is worth. And also see it as being worthy of that price, that the value exists in having that service done when you can go and get your nails done for $11 and it’ll look okay versus someone who is autoclaving their implements, and using liquid disinfectant correctly, and preserves the health of the natural nail and does everything that takes the extra half hour to soak your gel manicure off correctly as opposed to scraping it off with a metal tool. Which if that’s happening to you, be your own best advocate and say, no. We need to soak this more. I don’t honestly know if that’s something that we will see even in the next decade because it’s almost like we go back to any type of artisan who puts their art online. And there was this hilarious TikToK meme that was happening about a balloon artist creating something and just going on a rant about how people weren’t willing to pay $300 for it, and challenging everyone to go to Party City, and try to make it themselves in a half an hour, and many people tried. There’s just a huge disconnect between I think what clients think the service is worth and what they’re willing to pay. And sadly, for most, that ravine is always going to exist until we as an industry do something to correct it. Whether it’s we all agree to raise our prices to actually meet our margins, or exceed our margins, or whatever that will be, or that we agree to do the math and finally do it right. Or we come together and understand that we are all charging too little. In some cases, we’re paying our clients to give them a service. I don’t know what that looks like, but this article sure has fired up enough people that I think we could move in that direction.
JAIME: Well, you would think so, Ashley, except for when we all got up in arms with what Governor Newsom said about nail salons before, there was all this talk again about people coming together as an industry, and pushing back, and where did that get us?
JAIME: It gave us some soundbites and some language that really did not advance the conversation at all. And we’re not any more unified as a part of the industry than before. And when we ask repeatedly, what will it take to get us to come together? Everyone thought that was it.
JAIME: And now people are all excited, or angry enough, or whatever to talk about coming together and committing their money to some sort of organization to defend the industry against these kinds of attacks. I don’t have much confidence in that.
ASHLEY: Some groundwork needs to be laid first, and it’s just like any kind of association, or organization, or union of individuals, or whatever. We have to agree to what we agree on. What our best interests are, and what it is that we’re going to stand for as an industry, and what we need to advance. I think client education is number one.
JAIME: Do you? Because I’m not challenging you really, but even if we agree on what the goal is, the tactics and strategies can be so different
ASHLEY: Oh, of course.
JAIME: That I can’t even get behind some people for that.
ASHLEY: I’m looking at results. I’m looking at like, what is it that we’re trying to do? Because if we’re trying to counteract this specific piece in the New York Times, then we need to be better at engaging consumers around correct information, factual information, things grounded and based in science and not feelings, the anatomy and physiology, and the way that the chemistry of our products work, and things like that. But at the same time, we can also work toward ending worker exploitation. We can work toward ending labor misclassification, So I don’t think that necessarily we have to organize around goals. I think we just need to organize around what we agree on. What are the foundations of our industry? What are the fundamentals? What are the pillars? What are the things that if you asked any nail tech in the world, they would say, oh yeah. Oh, I agree with that. That’s the challenge.
JAIME: Hmm, because even as I hear people pushing back on this article. I’m hearing things that I disagree with, that I know are factually inaccurate and we can’t fight inaccuracies with more inaccuracies.
JAIME: We need to come with truth because any opportunity that someone has to dissect your argument, we can’t hand it to them so easily.
ASHLEY: And so that helps us understand that there is like a base level of education that we’re missing and we discussed that in the episode about beauty education and beauty schools. But when the gauntlet is thrown like this and we’re given basically a look into what the perception of our industry is from outside, now we see like our homework has been given to us. These are our marching orders. This is what we have to actively combat and counteract. And I don’t think it’s something that’s going to be fixed with just one ad, or blog post, or whatever. This is a conversation that needs to continue to happen and remain ongoing.
JAIME: The media will likely give us multiple opportunities to do this because this is not a subject that will go away. And we know that we’re going to be targeted repeatedly. What this does is gives us the opportunity to connect with others who we may not have interacted with before, understanding how we each have something to contribute, determining how we fit in the industry, because not everyone does the same thing even within the narrow focus of nails. That’s true of skincare. We have individuals who only do lashes. In our industry, like that’s what they do. They do lashes. They may be licensed to do other things, but that’s how they choose to earn their money. And we could look at every different part of our industry and find those little segments, but across the industry, we need to do more to recognize our shared interests and help each other out. I mean I have the back when things are done that challenge the hair industry, or barbering, or skincare. I am right there providing whatever help I can, taking a cue from those who are much more knowledgeable than I am, but I will contribute what I can. Are we going to get that from our fellow professionals when things like this happen?
ASHLEY: I would hope so, but I’m also not that naive to think that we’re all going to come together and have this kumbaya moment, especially right now. I guess all we can do is really what we can do. I’m encouraged by the motivation that I’m seeing from other members of the nail industry. I’m encouraged by the conversations that are being had. I guess I feel like this is sort of our calling, our call to action as Outgrowth, and you and I to lead the charge toward whether it accomplishes all the goals that we’ve laid out at least moves us in the right direction, and helps get everybody kind of organized, and moving towards something positive and some type of change, whether it’s through advocacy or through outreach, or education, whatever it’s going to take to get as many people on our side. Because as we discussed last week, we won’t be taken seriously as an industry without some type of organization effort. Because we have the numbers, we just haven’t realized our power, to use your great quote from last week’s episode.
JAIME: To be fair, we do know a number of fellow licensees from hair, skincare, even massage and electrology who reach out and offer their support. So we do see you. We welcome you. We want to be able to provide that for any challenges that you might face that seem more focused on your part of the industry. That’s where we build the network and the, and the connections that will help us not just, you know, start from zero when these things happen. We can just spring into action and be ready because we’re not making introductions. We already know each other. I mean I think that’s part of the problem is that we haven’t done enough to learn more about the different parts of the industry. I think probably cosmetologists have more of an advantage really, because at least they’re licensed to do everything and they’ve been exposed to it, even though they may focus, they might have a specialty of their own. There’s been some exposure, but, but even now, if it weren’t for celebrity stylists and influencers, I think many of us would be hard pressed to name individuals in other parts of our industry that are in positions of leadership. And I don’t just mean by popularity, but I mean like actual leadership.
ASHLEY: Right. Actual leadership and leading by example, doing things correctly, behind the scenes, doing things correctly when the cameras are off, and treating people ethically and legally in their salons and beyond. So I know that’s a short list. But you know what I’m happy to be at the top of that short list with you as far as the nail industry is concerned, and this is no shade or slight to anyone else in the nail industry. I just think if there were other people as passionate, and engaged, and consistent around these specific things in the nail industry than they would be talking with us right now. So I’m not going to try to toot our own horn here, but I think that it’s become clear to me, and I’m sure to you as well, that this isn’t one of those times where we just wait around for someone else to do it.
JAIME: No, it’s not the state board’s responsibility. And even the associations, the broader the coalition in an association, the more you might have individuals within have different opinions about something. So we could even look at the Professional Beauty Association and as they represent salon owners, and individual licensees, and manufacturers, and distributors, and allies to the industry, so other organizations and businesses that are connected to the industry but don’t fit into any one of those categories, It’s not likely that we’re always going to come down on the same side of an issue.
JAIME: Because what’s good for a salon owner might be perceived as bad for a worker and vice versa.
ASHLEY: Yeah, I guess what it’s going to take is unity around the things that are universal for every member of the beauty industry, whether you are a salon owner, a booth renter, an employee, an enthusiast, whatever, and just try to crystallize around that. It’s really all we can do, at least to begin, as we try to shape out the planks of our platform.
JAIME: And that’s going to mean some compromise. We are going to have to recognize our individual roles and then understand how these different pieces fit into the industry and understand where we can give a little and be empathetic, and where we should not. So around issues of product safety, for example, I’m not willing to let manufacturers slide on not publishing everything that’s contained in their products or producing inaccurate safety data sheets. That, that’s not something I’m going to compromise on.
ASHLEY: Nor should you, and nor will I.
JAIME: So if we could just think about what’s best for the industry as a whole, and if we think about the industry as being different parts, and I know when we referenced beauty editors, we understand their target audience is not us. Their target audience is consumers, and there is a difference between professional beauty products and products intended for consumers. I mean, we’re talking about different brands. We’re talking about different marketing, different distribution, pricing, packaging, just about everything about it is different. And yet they’re still beauty products. The ingredients aren’t that different, but we’re being paid not only for our access to these products, but we’re being paid for our skills. We’re being paid for our ability to use these products in a safe way.
ASHLEY: Now it’s just time for our clients and other consumers to see it that way too.
JAIME: Do yourself a favor and read the original article, and then do what I did and immediately read Ashley’s piece to get a perspective on what we’re seeing as being problematic in how our industry is being portrayed.
ASHLEY: Well, thank you. Like I said, I write better when very motivated and I think we both share the same love and protective instincts for this industry. And when someone from the outside wants to come at us, it’s like, no. Nobody, nobody hits my brother but me. All right. Well, that’s where we’re going to leave it for this week.
JAIME: We’d love to continue this conversation. As always, you can follow us and comment on recent episodes like this one on Instagram at @outgrowthpodcast.
ASHLEY: Also, if you’re enjoying Outgrowth, leave a review for us on Apple podcasts with just one click. Visit bit.ly/outgrowthpodcast.
JAIME: Thank you, Ashley.
ASHLEY: Thanks, Jaime. Until next week, be smart.
JAIME: Be safe.