Courtesy of Linda Nordstrom
Famous Names CEO Linda Nordstrom shares how she started as a hairdresser but fell in love with nails.
- What inspired you to join the professional nail industry?
“As a child, I had always dreamed of being a hairdresser! My dream was fulfilled when I was able to put myself through cosmetology school in Rhode Island.”
- When and how did you get started in your career?
“The first job I had was in a great hair salon, and I was so excited to get started, but building a clientele as we all know leaves you with some open time. There was a nail table in the salon that I would sit at every day and PLAY with my nails. I started doing a client or two here and there, and I was then hooked! My career took a totally different direction after that—I met Creative Nail Design, became an educator, traveled internationally and opened my salon in Coventry, Rhode Island. My little town had never heard of a nails-only salon! The Nail Loft was an instant success, and in the first year, there were eight of us doing nails only!”
- As a female leader/professional, what are some obstacles you experienced, and how did you overcome them? Have you confronted gender-related roadblocks in your career?
“To be honest with you, I try not to let things like this enter my life. I go about my own business and treat everyone the same—with respect and honesty. I feel whether you are a woman or a man, own it, and do not judge other people.”
- How can women support other women in this industry?
“This is one of the reasons why I love what I do with Famous Names. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity daily to work with my fellow nail professionals. There are so many ways to support each other, and for me, the highlight of my day is when I have helped another nail professional with whatever they needed answered—whether it be about our products, about a customer’s nails or just a nail question in general.”
- Tell me about another woman who has inspired you.
“My beautiful mom! I am very lucky to have an amazing mom who has been a great role model for me. She is a firecracker; whatever comes her way, she deals with it and moves on! My mom always worked on eliminating as much drama as possible in our lives, raising four girls alone, which meant there was a lot of drama to diffuse. My mom taught me the values I live by every day.”
- What is one thing you know now you wish you would have known when you started in this business?
“How important teamwork is: When we all work together as a team, everything is not only better but also more fun.”
- What other key learnings and practices do you wish you to share with other professionals?
“Keep in mind there is always something to learn, whether you have been in this industry for 30 or five years. Education is so very important for all of us to be able to stay on top of our game; keep an open mind, and remember technology is always changing. Let us be the best we can be by keeping up with our education. ALWAYS put your customer first; without our customer, we do not have a business!”