Pro Spotlight: Chelsea Baart
Meet professional nail tech and OPI Educator Chelsea Baart. We chat about her start in the professional nail industry, her role with OPI, and where she draws inspiration from.
OPI: Tell us who you are.
Chelsea: I am OPI Global Artist Chelsea Baart. You can find me on Instagram @chelseas_nails. I am a wife and mother of two busy boys.
OPI: How did you get into nails?
Chelsea: I actually started as a a model for a friend of mine who was taking a nail course. She let me play around with her nail kit and I fell in love.
OPI: When & why did you decide to become a licensed nail tech?
Chelsea: I've always loved being creative and I was always a girly girl. The combination of art and beauty was perfect for me.
OPI: When did you decide to become an OPI Pro? Tell us how that relationship started.
Chelsea: In nail school I was very inspired by my teacher. She was very knowledgeable, kind and creative. I always thought I wanted to teach nails and I have always loved OPI products so when my first son arrived and I started working from home, I decided to apply to become an OPI Educator.
OPI: Tell us about your job with OPI.
Chelsea: My job as an OPI Global Educator includes teaching classes and demonstrating products at distributor events, industry trade shows, as well as in-salon visits, sales meetings and corporate events. I also contribute nail art designs for our seasonal collections and blog content for our professional blog.
OPI: Tell us about your relationship with OPI (Products & Brand).
Chelsea: I have been using OPI since the beginning of my nail career nearly 15 years ago. I use OPI exclusively in my salon and I truly love and believe in the brand and their products.
OPI: Why do you love using/working with OPI?
Chelsea: I have had a lot of success using OPI in my salon and my clients love it. It's a bonus that they know the brand and see it in magazines because it connects them to that world of fashion and entertainment. As an educator, the people I work with are so inspiring and it's such an honor to be able to work for the #1 Salon Brand Worldwide.
OPI: How did you become successful in the nail space?
Chelsea: Taking chances! There were plenty of times I almost didn't apply for something or put my hand up and say "I can do that!" But I didn't listen to my self doubt and I put myself out there no matter how scary.
OPI: Tell us about your journey.
Chelsea: When I started my nail career I had a couple jobs that just didn't positively impact my nail life. So after 2 years I decided maybe nails wasn't right for me. I stayed in the industry, I managed a hair salon, and I practiced nails on myself and friends and family. When I decided to have children I knew I wanted to be able to stay home with them so I started taking nail clients again and attending multiple nail classes and trade shows. Working for myself and networking with other technicians, I found my passion for nails again. While growing my home business I decided to apply to OPI so I could pass along the passion to people who might have been discouraged along the way as I had been.
OPI: Are you a nail art girl?
Chelsea: Yes! Forever and always. I love all forms of nail art and I enjoy finding new techniques to try. I especially love handpainting intricate designs, but I like to push myself out of my comfort zone and find different ways to abstract a look.
OPI: Where do you usually get your nail art inspiration from?
Chelsea: I get inspiration from lots of places! Usually fashion, but also from nature and architecture. When I'm creating for an OPI Collection I will Google search images and research the collections destination. There's always so much beautiful inspiration from all the destinations, but the spring summer collections like Fiji and New Orleans really excite me.
OPI: How do you think social media has contributed to your success?
Chelsea: I think it's a very important business tool and it plays a big part in keeping me connected with my clients, current and new. Prospective clients can take a quick look at my Instagram or Facebook page and quickly see my style, my preferred products, and info to book. Regular clients keep up to speed with the newest trends and techniques that I can offer so they can ask for it at their next appointment.
OPI: What are some of your go-to products?
Chelsea: The one product that lives in my purse is my Avoplex Cuticle Oil To Go. I take that everywhere! But my favorite products at my station are currently my Artist Series Gels and Artist Series Brush Set. The Striper brush is my ultimate fave for all my artwork!
OPI: Are you a lacquer, Infinite Shine, or GelColor girl?
Chelsea: While there is a system for every client, my favorite to work with is GelColor. I find it to be so beautiful to apply and I love the unique art techniques you can create with it.
OPI: Can you tell us what you like about each of the products?
Chelsea: Collectively I love the color selection and shade names of all of the colors. I like the ease of removal but high shine and long wear of Infinite Shine. But my heart lies with the longevity and the out the door with no smudges aspect of GelColor.
OPI: What do you see being the future of nails? What is the next big trend?
Chelsea: I see a few different and contradicting trends happening in the next while. I think with the recent chrome and holographic trends we will push the limits on metal a little further. We will see more unconventional uses of golds and silvers and incorporating pieces of actual metal in the nail art such as wire nails. On the flip side of that, there will also be a more natural and organic look. Nudes, florals, and soft ethereal type looks. Very feminine.
OPI: What do you love about your job?
Chelsea: My favorite thing about my jobs is passing on the passion for beauty. Whether I can help a struggling tech reignite her passion for her craft or nudge a client out of her comfort zone and into something that makes her feel beautiful and unique, I just love to see the happiness a little nail art can create!