Feature
Marsha Edwards of the 'Back to Basics' nail technology class certified with an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) Level II Nail Technology Certificate
Photo: Contributed

Story Highlights

  • Entrepreneur, Marsha Edwards, has transformed her hobby into a business while helping other women to hone their skills in nail technology.
  • In September this year, Ms. Edwards began a partnership with the HEART College of Beauty Services to offer a certified course in nail technology.
  • At the end of the course, called ‘Back to Basics’, an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) Level II Nail Technology Certificate is awarded to those who are successful.

Entrepreneur, Marsha Edwards, has transformed her hobby into a business while helping other women to hone their skills in nail technology.

In September this year, Ms. Edwards began a partnership with the HEART College of Beauty Services to offer a certified course in nail technology.

At the end of the course, called ‘Back to Basics’, an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) Level II Nail Technology Certificate is awarded to those who are successful.

“Persons have been asking me about beginners’ courses because they want to learn the skill or they have stopped for a while and need to go back to basics. It is through this experience that I named my certified course, ‘Back to Basics’,” Ms. Edwards tells JIS News in a recent interview.

“Since high school, I have always had a love for nails but nail technology or anything like it was not offered as a vocational subject at my school,” says Ms. Edwards.

Undaunted, young Ms. Edwards did independent research and practiced on herself, family members and friends to develop her skills in nail technology.

As she transitioned into adulthood, she slowly turned her hobby and passion into an income-generating venture after being encouraged to get her license as a practicing nail artist.

“To be honest, I was never a certified technician until recently as I was purely self-taught and I worked off that. I became a licensed technician in 2004 and was certified through HEART in 2016,” Ms. Edwards explains.

While she built clientele and further honed her skills, the 34 year old worked in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector as a trainer and quality analyst, in order to feed her passion for doing nails.

“I have been doing classes since 2014 for persons who have been in the field of nail technology and want to upgrade their skills, but at the time, I was only offering certificates of participation,” Ms. Edwards says.

It was through those classes that the HEART College of Beauty Services got wind of Ms. Edwards and her work.

An instructor from the institution contacted her and shared that they heard about the work that she was doing. Students of the college said it would be great if Ms. Edwards could offer courses with valid certification because she is exceptional at what she does.

“She (the instructor) explained that she has been observing me for a while after receiving many good reviews. She went on to tell me that the HEART Trust was interested in a partnership,” says Ms. Edwards.

Not sure of how to treat the offer of partnership, Ms. Edwards explains that she took a little over a year to think about the opportunity and also to prepare for the work ahead.

“I currently offer an intensive six weeks beginners course,” says Ms. Edwards, who plans to extend the course by two weeks.

The course units offered include: performing interactive workplace communication; maintaining a safe, clean and efficient work environment; planning and organising work, providing manicure and pedicure services, applying knowledge of nail science to nail services, applying gel enhancement and craft personal entrepreneurial strategies.

“The ‘Back to Basics’ course facilitates small groups of approximately 10 but no more than 20 for each batch with morning and evening sessions, says Ms. Edwards.

The first cohort, a group of ten, recently graduated from the Back to Basics course with 98% being successful. The second cohort, a group of 20, will soon sit their final exam.

Ms. Edwards teaches the classes on her own but where additional help is needed, an instructor from the HEART Trust/NTA comes in to teach specific units.

She also extends her skills to the Caribbean region. A few times a year, she ventures to Trinidad and the Bahamas where she hosts 2-3 days advanced level workshops in nail technology.

The young entrepreneur hopes to open a major teaching facility in the near future.

“I wish to continue to offer the highest level of certification in Nail Technology through my partnership with the HEART and spread my offerings to other Caribbean territories,” she says.

The ‘Back to Basics’ teacher encourages others to follow their dreams and feed their passions.

“Follow your dreams and never be afraid to fail,” she says.

“I have failed many times before but that did not deter me and every time I felt like giving up, I remind myself of why I started in the first place,” says the young entrepreneur.

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