Pro Spotlight: Katy Parsons
Meet Katy Parsons, also known on Instagram as nail art queen @blognailedit. We took the time to speak with Katy on all things nails, from how she started her career, new nail trends to look out for in 2021, and tips on how she's navigating COVID-19.
OPI: What made you pursue a career in the nail industry?
KP: In 2013, after working in software for 2 years, I decided to attend nail school because I found myself watching the clock, waiting for 5:00 to roll around. I'd been dabbling in nail art and nail blogging since 2010. I asked myself "Why not go to school and see if this would be something I really LOVED doing?" I'm really lucky to have found a career I truly love so early on in my life.
OPI: You post a lot of nail art on your IG feed. How do you get inspiration for designs?
KP: Oh man, inspiration comes from EVERYWHERE! In October, I participated in an online challenge created for pen and ink artists called "Inktober". Every day, a new word was given, and participants would draw, or in my case paint, their interpretation of the prompt. It's so fun to take a word and run with it! Sometimes I'd Google the word to get me started, and then my creative juices would just flow. I like to use the site "Creative Market" to find patterns as well, since patterns and fine detail is my favorite type of nail art to create. I've also asked complete strangers if I could take a picture of their shirt because I thought it'd look good as a nail design.
OPI: As the new year approaches, how do you think 2020 has changed the nail industry?
KP: 2020, or as I like to call it, The Lost Year, will change every industry - some good, some bad. Personally, the salon I work at has seen a drop in bookings, and I definitely attribute that to COVID-19. Some people just aren't ready to be sitting that close to another person they don't quarantine with, and I completely respect that. Even with the highest precautionary measures in place, it can be unnerving when we still have so much to learn about the virus. Changes in the nail industry are inevitable then. Clients are really taking a look at their salons, and making sure they're going to a place that is safe on every level. Nail technicians are exploring other outlets of incomes, such as the sale of press-ons and at-home service offerings. We're also using social media to reach audiences we may have been missing before. The hustle is real this year!
OPI: What holiday nail art looks are your favorite?
KP: Halloween. Hands down. (Pun intended.) But Halloween is just the kick-off to nail art season, leading into Christmas and then finishing with Valentine's Day.
OPI: Any ideas on what trends are going to pop up in 2021?
KP: I predict that more people are going to try intricate nail art designs, with more color. You're waving your hands around in your Zoom call, so why not move from fashionable outfit to fashionable fingers?!
OPI: What advice would you give other techs trying to learn how to do nail art?
• Buy yourself some good tools. Nail art brushes with actual hair (rather than plastic bristles) will give you finer lines. And the price difference is negligible.
• Watch tutorials and actually try them. You're going to screw up, a lot. And that's fine! Acetone will wipe away your mistake, or you can just paint over it with another color. That's the beauty of nail polish!
• Try different products. OPI has the biggest range of colors, but you may like another brand for finer gel detailing. Drugstore brands might be cheaper, but the consistency might not work for the kind of art you're trying to create. It's all about experimenting!
• Ask the experts. I promise you, most of the nail artists you follow online will be HAPPY to share their tips and tricks, or already have them posted for you to browse. It never hurts to ask!
OPI: We see you have a nail blog. How did you start that? What would you like other techs to know if they want to pursue this?
KP: I had been playing with nail art (especially stamping plates) since 2010, and had started a blog after seeing other ladies' blogs. I'd been interested in graphic creation so merging the two passions into a blog just made sense. I just picked a blogging platform and ran with it! Blogging is whatever you want it to be, so if you're thinking of doing it, just start. You can change your design, your platform, and the content you're creating for it. It's a personal expression for you, and whether or not it "takes off" shouldn't be your concern. Create content you love and share it!
OPI: What OPI shade are you loving at the moment and why?
KP: Yellow is my favorite color, and while it's nearly impossible to get people to choose yellow when they're picking their polish color, I'll always try! So for that reason, I'm loving Never a Dulles Moment from the Washington DC collection a few years ago.
OPI: COVID-19 has impacted the nail industry. How can clients and other techs help support each other during this time?
KP: Like I mentioned earlier in this interview, there is a lot we still don't know about this virus. We are all hoping for a vaccine and for a reduction in the number of positive cases, but until we can have definitive, scientific solutions, we just have to do our best to keep each other safe. The most important thing a client can do for their tech is to stay home if they feel sick. Even if it's just a tickle in your throat or a little runny nose, it could be so much more and could make your technician sick. We want to see you, but only if you're healthy. Techs can support other techs by sharing their knowledge of resources. Having a hard time purchasing gloves for your studio? Reach out and ask for supplier information from others. Unsure of the best way to set up your space for safety? Ask someone who's been doing it successfully since salons were allowed to reopen in your area. There's no stupid questions, especially when we all still have them.