Chloe: The major question everyone asks: “Are you able to be successful in this?” and I would say: “Yes, absolutely; by march end of March, I would say, I have hit the six-figure income from my first year. So, yeah that’s not something that I ever expected when I started this…
Hey there! What’s going on, welcome back! Today we have our very first interview on this channel and we are going to be interviewing Chloe, By Chloe’s Nails.
She is a young entrepreneur who started her press-ons business using our knowledge here on our youtube channel about press-ons.
I’m super excited to have her on! Make sure you got your listening ears on because she’s gonna peel back the curtain and take us behind the scenes.
Her business shows the intricate details and a little bit of strategy because Chloe, after one year just a little less than a year of launching her press on business, is very close like five-thousand-dollars-away kind of close of making her first six figures as an entrepreneur selling press-ons.
Her press-ons business is about to grow six figures and we’re super excited! We hope that we can help her get her there via this interview so I hope you enjoy it.
Let’s start the interview:
Paola: Today we have a very special guest. We have Chloe from By Chloe Nails and she specializes in making custom press-ons. Chloe, hello, hi, welcome!
Chloe: Hi, I’m excited to be here.
Paola: Chloe, the reason why we brought you on today is that we want to kind of peel the curtains, like see behind your world. I’ve been following your Instagram for a few months and I’ve noticed actually you have been liking my work and that’s how I was like: Wait, I see Chloe. Chloe, let me click on Chloe, you know? I see her liking my stuff often so I clicked on your profile and I’m like: Oh, Chloe does press-ons! I forgot what the initial conversation was on our DMs (direct messages).
I know that you tagged me in a story post and it said something like: “Thanks to Paola I’ve been watching her for years on YouTube” you know, thank you!
Chloe: Cool full-circle moment for me, for sure, to be here and doing what I love and getting to chat with you about it.
Paola: Thank you for being a loyal subscriber. So, I teach on the topic of Japanese gels, soft-potted gel systems and I saw that you actually took on another piece of content that I’m somewhat popular on and that’s the topic of press-on nails. Let’s talk about Chloe pre-press ons so before she became By Chloe Nails press-ons. What was Chloe doing?
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Chloe: I started back in March of 2021. When I first created my page but before I was doing that, I was working as a personal chef and like house manager out in Long Island. I’m located here in New York City in the five boroughs, and I was really looking for a way to get into a career that I liked.
I knew what I was doing temporarily wasn’t gonna last me, it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing long term and it was just kind of getting me by for the time being.
I wanted to go to nail school, this is like right in the middle of the pandemic here in New York City, which was pretty crazy. Thankfully, you know, everything’s looking better but I wanted to figure out where I needed to go to nail school. Figure out what I was going to do, what I was going to offer, and what I was going to specialize in.
As I was figuring that out, I kind of did a few of my friends, traveled to them, etc. While I was looking for training courses and schooling I realized that it was pretty challenging to do travel services here in the five boroughs. Pricing, gas, mileage, tolls, setting up, cleaning up; so it actually was one of your press-on videos, I believe it was the first one you posted a while ago.
It’s like a series of three videos for what you need to do to get your press on business off the ground, I was like: That’s a good idea. Salons aren’t really open at the time and everybody was home so definitely took some thought into that.
Paola: Let me just stop you there. So, I remember that video, so like you said 2020 was happening and before, in 2018 I started to not do nails if that makes any sense. I had just moved into my new home had babies, I just wanted to do that but surely, the nail feels started creeping back in, and then I was like: Oh, I really want to play with my nails stuff but I don’t want to do clients. I don’t want to take on clients and so I started doing press-ons.
For me it was like a little bit of a gateway, a launchpad to start my entrepreneurial spirit in a way and I was like: Well, I want to do something that’s not so hands-on so I started with that.
I thought I’ll just send samples to agencies or maybe some not-super-super big celebrities or some kind of get my work out there and I’ll just continue posting on my Instagram.
That was my idea but my husband was like, all right girl if you want to do something, why don’t we do teaching? You have this Youtube Channel, let’s get it going, and then I was like: Okay.
Just for the background story, that’s how I kind of got into press-ons and where it ended in a way, right? By then I had collected a lot of knowledge. I realized that we needed to do sizing kits, I needed to know who was going to be the clientele; was it going to be salon clients? Was it going to be celebs? Who was going to be my market? so I had done a little bit of research and it all kind of stayed on pause. Almost everything that I needed to launch that press-ons business was done but it was literally sitting there in my drawer.
Comes 2020, I’m like, I feel really bad for not only what’s happening to the world but specifically for my industry so, I said, you know what? I’m just gonna publish a small series of videos with some good detail, not all the detail, but some good detail and that was one of the first ones, I think it was like “How to start selling press-ons” and I just wrote it down in an essay and recorded a video on it.
It did very well, as a matter of fact, it still continues to get views so that’s how that happened for me and you’re like one of many that have contacted me and told me “this is what happened, you know like your video and I just started putting anything that I didn’t cover, the missing parts to it and they eventually launched this press-ons business.
You are not the first one to tell me that it’s been profitable for you. I put it out there and I said, I don’t know if it’s going to be about a viable business that was the word that I use. “Are press-ons a viable business? Can they help you put food on the table?” So you have an idea, you kind of get an edge and so you say, I know we talked before this call, I saw one of your reels on Instagram and you said that you asked the question on a story, right? You say it to your audience of just friends and family.
Chloe: Yeah, it was just on my personal account so my friends, previous colleagues, family, things like that and everyone, before that, I would post pictures of me painting my own nails, what I had on my nails, just as little stories here and there, you know? My friends would react to it and so I figured.
I painted a really quick set I remember it was around Valentine’s day, I posted a picture of it next to some flowers to make it look cute on the stand and everything wasn’t even on my hands and you know, all I did was put a: yes or no. Would you be interested in buying custom gel press-ons? Question mark, yes or no and I think everybody answered yes and so I was like, okay so now I know I can’t keep nails on my personal page; that got me thinking how am I going to market this? How am I going to allow people to purchase this? How am I going to share this? Which led me to Instagram for a nail page.
Paola: Okay, so you’re thinking just to kind of get it out there, continue testing if it’s viable, or are they just being supportive, right? Are they just being friends and saying yes of course, and then, you launch that thing, and here you go and you end up in a financial hole. So you don’t. You take it onto Instagram and you create a separate Instagram account right and you recommend that, right?
Chloe: I do, I absolutely recommend that because you want your followers and whoever’s coming on to your page to really understand what your purpose is. What are you offering to them? What are they going to be getting from you if they choose to follow you?
Paola: Three seconds. Like, hop on your page, what is this page about? and do I want to follow it?
If we go to your page, which we’ll talk about towards the end, how people can find you; you go, you see your bio I believe it says something press-ons and you say what kind of press-ons specifically you specialize in, which is custom hand-painted, I believe?
Chloe: Yep, gel press-ons.
Paola: Because you use the Aprés brand which markets their press-ons gel tips, also on your highlights, you have sizing, if I remember correctly?
Chloe: I have all of it set up so it’s really cut and dry so there’s not much left to guessing or any confusion; so, order, frequently asked questions, reviews, and customer pictures.
Paola: Perfect. I think what really works on your account, just from a marketing standpoint because that’s kind of now my area of expertise too, are reviews and I see it work across the board everywhere. I think you have like an “As seen on” or something like that.
Chloe: Yep, my customer reviews.
Paola: People know that when they order from Chloe, there’s an expectation, she’s going to be fast, she’s going to be reliable, and she’s going to be high-quality, right? So those reviews are golden and you do a very good job of positioning that on your Instagram so with that being said. Do you have a website where you sell your press-ons?
Chloe: I do, so I take most of my orders through Instagram; however, when we’re finished deciding what they want, what shape, what color, how many, and what the price is going to be, I then send them over to my website where they’re able to add certain items into their cart to get them to the proper price and that way they can choose their form of payment; whether that’s PayPal, Cash up, card debit/credit, google pay.
Paola: What website are you using are using? Are you using Shopify? Wix?
Chloe: I use Square currently. It’s really user-friendly, super-easy to connect your Instagram and…
Paola: I think it’s free to start, right?
Chloe: It is if you have their base platform it is free but then whatever your needs are you can pay for a monthly plan.
Paola: What does your clientele look like? Take us through your demographics a little bit of your clientele.
Chloe: This is really important. I would say for anybody, not just press-ons, anybody selling anything you have to understand your customer demographic, your target audience, and who is ultimately going to be purchasing your products.
My customers are all female they are from the ages between 18 and 35; they’re active young women, they have jobs, they like to take care of themselves, they’re into fashion, and things that are in trend and so, that’s what I try and keep up with on my page keep up with the latest nail art. With all the newest colors, glitters, I definitely specialize in short active-length press-ons. The longest length I offer is a medium.
I found that out actually pretty quickly early on. I only had maybe two shapes a short and a medium and everyone was asking for short and shorter, everyone wanted even shorter so I needed to find options for these girls. Personally, I don’t offer any hand shaping of my nails no custom shaping so I took some research to find a good brand that had good shapes and a good variety of lengths as well so my girls definitely love their shorter nails, extra short.
Find “By Chloe Nails” on Instagram at @by.chloenails
Paola: “By Chloe extra short nails” lol, that’s great. You said it was very important for you to know and I’m glad that you know that information because all the content that you create and the press-ons that you exhibit, you know showcase that type of demographic.
Now, would you say that these ladies were going to the salon before meeting you? or have they always been into press-ons? Did they make a transition because of the current world situation? What do you think?
Chloe: I would say it’s pretty mixed, it’s about 50/50, I would say I’m able to convert 50 from salon to press-on nails because I like to pride myself on offering salon-quality nails at home that are delivered right to your door, so a lot of people love the convenience of that.
Then, the other 50 have either never been into nails before and they’re looking to get into nails so that’s where they start off is press-ons or they’ve ordered from other press-on companies bigger ones or they’ve purchased from the drugstore before and are looking for a little bit more of luxury there.
Paola: I want to go from there because I pick up a big roadblock, a big thing that people can’t get over like: Well, what’s the difference between me creating press-ons and spending hours doing so versus them just going to the drugstore? I’ve seen them on target, they’re cute, this or that I get them for $7.99. What would you say to someone having an objection like that, that’s trying to get into this business?
Chloe: Drugstore nails are ultimately a couple of days use, you’re getting a one-time application that will last you maybe three or four days if you’re lucky. You don’t have many options, you don’t have many shape options, they’re typically pretty flimsy, and not very well shaped; they don’t look as natural as luxury press-ons can, also luxury press-ons can be customized however you want, whatever shape, color, and style. They’re really durable you can reuse them. These are all marketing things that you can use on your page to really show your customers why you come to me. This is why you don’t go to the drugstore or buy online.
Paola: I even thought of an Instagram reel that you can create, where you can buy a set and then take the difference to show your set and be like: “look how this fits and look how that fits” just like you said, to market them. That’s great because that’s the way I see it. You’re buying something that’s custom, big first of all, you’re supporting a small business, you’re supporting an artist. I think that if anybody, you should comb through your potential client list and anyone that doesn’t value that from the get-go just knock them down to the bottom list if not.
Chloe: exactly it’s not part of your target audience.
Paola: Yeah, this is gonna be like I’m not gonna have this conversation if I need to explain to someone that this is how I make a living, how I express myself, my art, my work, this thing.
Chloe: I know some girls come to me and they’re like: “I can’t figure out why everyone is not seeing the value?” It’s either because you’re not marketing it correctly, you’re not taking the right content pictures, you don’t have any reviews, you know you definitely have to work on stepping up your educational posts because there is definitely a learning curve when you get into this. Trying to let everyone know why they come to you and not the drugstore.
Paola: Exactly and that’s the best way to create content, especially in this niche, is to take the biggest objections and turn them into a post and consistently educate on those topics. So what that is there are only three objections? You can take that objection and break it down or maybe one day make a carousel post out of it another a real post about it an image post about it. You can always talk about it, it’s a pinpoint so you can always bring it up and it’s not going to disappear next week, you know? Because you have not conquered the world of you know press-on entrepreneurs and there’s still many more coming up and they want fresh information on how they can get by those objections.
So the other thing is, you don’t sell on Etsy correct?
Chloe: No, I never have and I probably never will.
Paola: I have an opinion about it but do you have an opinion on why you don’t sell on Etsy?
Chloe: I do, I like to be in control of where my products are going to, who they’re going to, what the rules are, and how I want to operate. It’s my choice and my business. I feel like on Etsy you lose a lot of that freedom unfortunately but I know it works for some people. I know people really enjoy those who are on it; however, I just prefer to keep it all to myself, all hands-on.
Paola: My opinion about that is, just think about this, when someone would order on Etsy, let’s forget about the competition because everybody and their mom has amazing press-ons on there so you’re always competing but at the end of the day, what do they say? Oh, I got these from Etsy not Chloe, even though made by Chloe and Etsy’s getting all the credit, and meantime your brand is cruising by and your business is really a hobby, which is totally fine but you got to be aware that it’s a hobby not a business at that point.
So, how do you target new clients?
Chloe: It’s a good one. I got a lot of questions on this and I feel like it can definitely be overwhelming at first especially if you don’t have your target audience nailed down, that’s definitely where you have to start from the beginning. Who you’re looking to market them to, age range, interests, hobbies, etc.
I do everything through Instagram. I spend a lot of time researching how the Instagram algorithm works, what content works best, what times work best, hashtags are super important. I also like to tag brands that I use in my products which also gets a lot of exposure, for example, last night OPI just reposted one of my pictures on their page so that’s actually the second time this has happened so it’s really cool to kind of work those brands into your page to offer more exposure.
Paola: Oh my gosh! Congrats! and I did speak to someone else who had found my content and used it to launch their press-ons business and they said the same thing. You’ve got to write off of other people’s friends who already have an audience and you are using their products that’s the best way and that’s what she was saying,” I got a few hundred followers just by tagging other brands”. Another thing that you mentioned that is so important with businesses is hashtags; your hashtags must pertain to what you’re posting, okay? They cannot be irrelevant, for sure tag brands especially those that are a little, even much bigger than you like OPI. That’s amazing, use that and use your hashtags to be found.
My other question to you is: Do you offer sizing options or sizing is something that your customer does completely on their own?
Do you mail out sizing kits, have you ever experimented with that?
Chloe: At the beginning, I didn’t offer anything but a sizing chart, a guide to how to size your nails at home what the most popular sizes were, and kind of like a little description; however, I found that most people don’t want to take the time to sit down for 15 minutes measure, type it all out and send it to me so, I started offering sizing kits. It’s kind of like a one-time thing that I send to them it’s one of every nail size that I have, really quick they size their nails.
It’s great because they can also share it with friends and family members so that they don’t have to purchase their own because it is a convenience that I am willing to send them to them. After all, they don’t want to take the time to measure their own nails.
I do charge a $10 fee for the sizing kit so they get to pick which shape they want into their kit and then since I use one consistent brand all the sizing is the same.
Paola: Gotcha. Oh, interesting. So the oval is not different from a coffin and they all size the same?
Chloe: Yeah because I use the same size. Some people use a sculpted or a natural shape so I only stick to the natural, that way the sizing is pretty much consistent all the way across the board.
Paola: All right. What is your promotional schedule like? Do you have a launch period, do you launch every week, do you launch every two weeks?
Do you say, I have a few spots available? Take us through what your strategy is.
Chloe: I know this will vary for everyone, I know everyone kind of has their own different what they prefer and how they like to work it.
I like to keep a really rigid schedule. I like to know that I’m going to be working Monday through Friday nine to five, so I open my orders every Monday morning at 9 00 a.m est and the DMs come in, and then as they come in I respond to everybody so I can send them over to the website and they can check out.
I only keep 35 design level sets available for every week so that means anything other than one solid color set so french-tip, polka dots, flowers, anything, and then once those are filled up I close my orders for the week.
Paola: Oh my gosh, that’s pretty cool and I have mentioned that. You need a strategy, you can’t just be creating and say “Hey! This set is out, go buy it” there has to be some scarcity behind this. People like have said “oh, what’s the difference between me and the supermarket?” or whatever and well, the difference is that there are limited resources here, YOU, and that’s always going to have a lot of value when it’s just you. That’s not a bad thing, that should always be a good thing, financially also.
Okay, I love that it’s like, okay, I only have 35 sets because I have my week booked out, I know what hours I want to work, I don’t want to be working nine to nine because that’s not why I went on and started my own business.
Great, I love that you have some structure to how often you work and you’re willing to do eight hours a day but you have the orders and you’re taking your Saturday and Sunday and you don’t have to do nine to five but that’s just the schedule that you chose and that’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur even in such a like entry-level as a small press on business, which is not so small we’re going to talk about that in a moment, it’s okay.
People always look at me like, for real Paola? A press-ons business? and I’m like, well, listen it is what you make out of it and it’s a little bit about bandwidth you know how much time you have and energy to create these things.
You don’t go into it for the money, it is an art and you don’t become a painter because there’s a lot of money in it, you become a painter because it’s something that you love, it’s something that you don’t mind if it’s a hobby for a little bit and later you know something? takes off and you make some money and whatnot so I do want to be clear about that.
I have been asked before by one of my dear students, who was like “I think I’m just gonna stop doing nails” and she’s making good money, I believe she’s making six figures as a nail tech and I said “I don’t know, again, I didn’t go through the whole process of start to finish with the press-ons business but I do have some lovelies on YouTube who are doing that so just hold on, let me get back to you. Don’t quit your day job or in this case, let’s just wait, so it’s good to know that there is some structure. It can definitely be a full-time business if you want it to be.
With that being said, how do you have tiers? Do you price your sets? what is it with solid color the same as a one-color, what does that look like for you?
Chloe: Pricing was definitely something that took me a while to figure out um because you definitely don’t want to be losing money making this and you want to value your time appropriately, all of your products that go into it, your skill level, your packaging is also something you have to consider, a lot of factors go into it. I think it’s just a lot more than what you value yourself as there are some numbers involved when it comes to pricing but I do structure it.
Solid color sets are the basic bottom tier, $40 for any set, any glitter you could have every nail, ten colors if you wanted as long as it’s one color each nail. From there I have simplistic, moderate, intricate, and extreme design level sets so kind of depending on what you want I’ll place you in which tier, and then for those really extra crazy sets, I have art add-ons that can be 5, 10, or 15 dollars onto your sets as well.
With that being said I kind of did miss this question, so you only send 10 nails right you’re not sending extras correct?
Chloe: Correct. I only do 10 nails unless you want to request extras. I do have the option to select extra accent nails, as I call them, or if you need replacement nails for a previous set.
Paola: Very cool and now would you say that when you open up your order dates on Monday, are most of your clients returning or mostly new clients? What does that look like?
Chloe: I would say at this point is 70/ 30. So 70% returning 30% new, which I think is really important, you want to always make sure that you have new clients coming in because you can always rely upon every week for regular customers to order every week. After all, not everyone needs nails every single week.
So it’s nice to have a steady stream of new customers and clients coming in.
Paola: I think I just have one more question for you. I think I’ve gotten through all of the major ones that I wanted to ask.
You started your business almost one year ago in March of 2021, you are going to be one year in business. Chloe, would you say that you are at the six-figure mark or near the six-figure mark within this first year of a full-time essentially press-ons business?
Chloe: This is like the major question everyone asks. “Are you able to be successful in this?” and I would say: Yes, absolutely.
By March, I would say, I have hit the six-figure income for my first year so yeah, that’s not something that I ever expected when I started this, so thank you, thank you, thank you! If you are willing to put in the work, put in the time, and put in the effort, as you said, it’s not about the money and not did I ever think that this would happen in the first year or ever, really, I never expected this to turn into that. It is possible for sure.
Paola: That is lovely. I think because you put so much detail at the beginning of being descriptive, like, this is what I’m doing, this is how much it’s going to cost, look at my behind the scenes, this is how you order, getting rid of some objections, sending some examples; you did all that hard work in the beginning, now you’re just mostly busy. Not campaigning every week to get new clients, you’re busy with your work and you’re right, so close to making what I used to make in the salon it took me like five years to get there and so you’re doing the via press-ons.
For anybody wondering, does it make sense to pay $50 plus for press-ons? The answer is yes. She has to ship this thing out for you, okay so she’s gotta pay the shipping cost, she’s gotta wrap it beautifully because she’s not gonna cut corners there, it’s all about the feels when you get her package and anyone’s package because everyone’s really about the packaging now. It doesn’t have to be extravagant but it does have to have some sort of personalization to it.
Don’t go out there and say I’m going to charge $15 for these press-ons just because you’re new. If you’re not getting sales, we talked earlier about how you can change that; you need to go on Instagram which is a great platform for press-ons, I found out that people sell a lot through there and get specific, take people behind the scenes and show them your work, answer their biggest objections and why are yours are different, take beautiful shots because it’s always about the aesthetics on Instagram.
The algorithm knows pretty and non-pretty, somehow it does know beautiful from not beautiful as far as aesthetics of an image are concerned so, with that being said; Chloe congratulations on your first year!
I think it’s awesome that you’re doing this within your first year, you’re almost in, you’re projected to make 100k by the end of the year and I know you’re going to give this a big push! I hope that this interview also helps get you there, for anyone reading this and considering press-ons go give Chloe a look on her Instagram @by.chloenails.
Paola: Thank you so much and I hope that via this interview we can get you to those six figures. Thank you so much again for your time girlie, I wish you another six figures in the upcoming year and beyond, okay?
Well wasn’t that a treat having Chloe on? How about her journey of almost six figures doing press-ons, who would have ever thought? Right? Keep in mind she does that full time so it might be a little different scenario for you if you decide to start. I hope that her story inspired and motivated you to launch your press-ons business or your nail business whatever it may be, okay? Take baby steps so that you can create clarity.
All right and since we’ve actually shared our knowledge here, we have launched a press-ons course. The doors to that program are closed at this moment but if you would like more information or you want the 10 Steps to Launch Your Press-Ons Business make sure you download our free guide HERE. I’ll go ahead and send that over to you; otherwise, I hope you enjoyed it.
Give Chloe a follow and if you’re interested in more soft potted gel education, Japanese gel, we’ve got a group class coming up very soon. CLICK HERE to join the FREE 3 Day Challenge to start preparing.
All right I’ll see you next time! let me know what you thought about our interview, do you want to see more of them? Who would you like to see on the show here? Talk soon goodbye…
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