The Mobile Manicurist: An Interview with Tracy Vinson – Full Service


Tracy Vinson (@mobilemanicurist), creator of the nail art education program “Bankrupt to Booked Up” has been a nail techician for 10 years. Originally launching her business as the “Mobile Manicurist,” and traveling to do on-location services, Vinson now counsels and coaches nail technicians on topics ranging from troubleshooting product use, gel structure, stratified nail art and growing your business. 




Vinson will be our guest and featured expert on a March 22nd free webinar, Financial Footing: How Nail Technicians Can Get on the Right Path with Their Business.  Register here. 

In this Q and A, Vinson answers questions about  how she started in the nail industry and why she chose to go all-in on mobile manicuring. 

NAILS: Did you start out doing mobile services or did you transition to it?

TRACY VINSON: I started from the get-go with mobile. Here in Virginia, there’s not much restriction for mobile techs to go 100%. I needed to make a little extra money and I thought this would help supplement my music teaching income. Six weeks after I had made the announcement that I was going mobile, I had to give up my day job. I’d built a full clientele in that short of time. 

NAILS: Why did you?

TV: Well, mobile has its advantages. I wasn’t in a financial position to rent a booth somewhere, and I couldn’t really go to work for someone else. I already had a job so I needed my nail business to be super flexible with my schedule. 

NAILS: What benefit did you find in going mobile?

TV: The biggest benefit for me was the personal relationship I established with my clients. When you’re working in their home, you’re in their personal space, and more on a personal level of attention for them. I know many people would day “no overhead”, but I invested what I would have spent in overhead (and more) to brand my business with my company cars, etc. People knew that when that little red Beetle pulled in their driveway, they were in for some relaxation time. 

NAILS: Any issues with licensing or State Board around doing nails inside a home instead of a salon?

TV: None. The only thing that I had to work around was acrylic nails. In Virginia, you must be in a properly vented space to offer that service. So while I was taught that method in nails school, I had to quickly learn and master hard gel in order to fully serve my clients in a mobile setting. 


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NAILS: What are some of your secret weapons, those tools or products you always have in your kit?

TV: One of my biggest secret weapons that I can recommend for mobile nail techs is to be the whole package. Your branding is not about your business card! It’s about the way you dress—I always wore a uniform and my name tag so I didn’t look like a random person that just showed up at your door to “wash your feet”. It’s about the way you answer your phone, it’s how you show up ON TIME for every appointment, and mostly, it’s about how organized you are at keeping your mobile bags packed and stocked well. If you’ll take the extra time and effort into these areas of your mobile business, you will thrive like I did. 

I retired in July 2020 from seeing clients and stepped into the role of full-time education for Nail Techs. While I am no longer the Mobile Manicurist that drives to you, I am now the Mobile (as in mobile-phone 📱) Manicurist that you watch in your home or salon a few times a week. 

Free Webinar, March 22: Financial Footing: How Nail Technicians Can Get on the Right Path with Their Business.

In this conversation with NAILS, Tracy Vinson will answer our questions about how to get back to business during a difficult time. We will dive into these topics:

Raise the price of your service ticket without charging more for the service. How can you add value to every service?

Are you pricing your services properly? Nail supplies are expensive! Do you know much you have invested in your service?  By knowing your numbers, you will know what to charge.

Building a clientele: We’re going to talk about the challenges of doing this during a pandemic.  But Tracy has some great ideas!


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Originally posted on NAILS Magazine





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