Updated: May 27, 2020
Over 300 Gauteng nail techs and salon owners turned up for South African professional nail brand Bio Sculpture’s first ever exclusive industry expo, held at La Toscana in Johannesburg on 10 June.
The event combined the showcasing and sale of products with informative sessions presented by experts in their field, who spoke on social media marketing, branding, salon software and the importance of on-going education.
Said Bio Sculpture founder,Elmien Scholtz:“It is wonderful to see so many of you here today as this event was created especially for our loyal clients. I find it encouraging that so many of you, who already know a lot, are keen to come to these events to learn even more about our products and the nail business.”
Delegates were treated to an entertaining video about Bio Sculpture’s 30-year history, detailing each important company development and every product launch, as well as the brand’s successful foray into exporting – it is now to be found in 35 countries around the world.
In a surprise move, Scholtz announced a new direction for the brand this year, the release of a perfume called Carmen. The purpose of launching a Bio Sculpture perfume is to offer nail techs and salon owners an attractive retail option, being that perfume is traditionally a relatively easy sell.
As Scholtz explained, the perfume also has a deeply poignant back story.
“My daughter, Carmen, was born 22 years ago but tragically passed away shortly after I had given birth. From that point on, I always wanted to create a perfume to commemorate her memory. Then, in May 2018, 21 years later to the day, my son Eduard’s baby was born and he and his wife named her Carmen,” she said.
Social media expert, Magriet Groenewald,spoke about how to utilise Instagram to market your salon. “Once you’ve overcome your fear of this social media platform, it becomes so easy,” commented Groenewald. “Instagram is just a way to share your message that doesn’t take two weeks, like posting a letter. It’s not true that you have to have a huge following on Instagram to make it work for you. Accept that it’s perfectly ok to have a small number of followers; just stay positive and start building up trust with them and they will slowly grow.
“Instagram is the most amazing gift that we can leverage to make more money. The first step is to start posting valuable information. You already know your customers so you need to post something that will resonate with them. It’s always a good idea to share your knowledge in your posts – this way you can create authority. For instance, post something like: ‘How often should you fill your nails?’
“In terms of creating content, video is where it’s at right now. Think of yourself as a micro-influencer and start posting videos once a month and then once a week, etc. Your content must represent your brand. Always caption your pictures carefully. Explain what the pic is, like for example, ‘This was my first client of the day.’ Instagram is simple, visual and mobile.”
Photographer and designer, Pauline van der Merwe, who is responsible for creating Bio Sculpture’s imagery, spoke about how important it is to have branding that reflects your salon and is authentic.
Shivani Ramgolam from ESP spoke about salon software, while Bio Sculpture brand ambassador and model, Minki van der Westhuizen, revealed that she’d had her nails done by Bio Sculpture for the past 12 years.
Tania Biddle, head of education for Bio Sculpture International, noted that the brand is a training-based company that prides itself on giving the best education to clients.
“I would advise you all to stay in contact with your educators,” continued Biddle. “Don’t give your clients a reason to leave your salon. Always stay updated and attend training workshops.
“Bio Sculpture is continuously growing – we bring out new products monthly and you can never know enough.”
Guest speaker Sonette van Rensburg, a nail expert and educator, added: “You are never too old or too wise to learn – even myself who has spent 30 years in the industry – I learn from people less experienced than me. Remember that education is your future.”
The Bio Sculpture Expo also incorporated a hotly contested nail competition.
(Report by Joanna Sterkowicz)