Vicki Peters, mentor to many in the nail industry, nail know-it-all, one of the earliest competitors, competition judge and show-runner, product creator, cover tech, nail cruise director, e-file expert, former competitive roller-skater, dog-lover, sister, and friend, passed away at the age of 60. Vicki loved nails, the nail industry, nail technicians, nail magazines, nail jokes, nail cruises, nail trends, nail memes, nail salons, nail shows, and just about anything nail-related. And as you can see from these tributes, the nail industry loved her right back.
I received a call from Vicki in 1993 after seeing the print work I was doing for IBD. Her statement was ‘Juli Miller, I would love to meet you, I have watched your work and you have your own style and I like that about you!’ We became very good friends and she has been my rock in the industry. When I was with INM I traveled to California at least once a month and was lucky enough to have traveled there on the day of her salon opening. If there was just one more visit, I would tell her “Thank you!”
After coming into an industry where I had no friends and all land was foreign to me Vicki helped me tremendously. Years later, I still use the Vicki Peters Filing System. I will sure miss seeing Vicki at shows and always inboxing me to cheer me on. Vicki was very instrumental in my decision to be a full-time nail professional.
I had sent Vicki an e-mail asking for some technical advice (she was my go-to person on these things). I didn’t hear from her for a few days, which was odd, and then I got a text from her. I immediately called her and she proceeded to tell me how sick she was, but sounded so optimistic and positive. We chatted about it; I offered her my love and support and was ready to hang up; when she said, ‘Wait a minute, let’s talk about those audio questions you have.’ Despite what she was going through she wanted to make sure I knew and understood how to set up my audio equipment for a class. I will always miss that great smile and her amazing words of wisdom.
Vicki and I have been friends for way over 20 years. In fact, we actually tried to figure out the exact date we first met and couldn’t. I was the one who could give it back to her in spades. I remember telling her, ‘You know I’m not afraid of you, right?’ She was quiet for about two seconds and then she said, ‘Yep,’ and we both burst into laughter for five minutes. I loved her, I respected her, and l looked up to her. I treated her like my sister.
Vicki mentored and trained me then threw me into the competition arena with the old ‘Just shut up and do it.’ The very last time I competed was in Dallas at a show where our friend Madelyn Johnson had organized a competition. Janet Estes and I were going there to compete as Team Vicki. Madelyn was sworn to secrecy and we got a big surprise to learn that she was competing too. As she was competing against us, she was coaching us. Team Vicki finished first, second, and third place with Vicki in the lead. It was the last time she sat in a nail competition arena.
Vicki Peters was my nail sis, confidant, and femtor for 18 years. I owe her so much for guiding my career and I will miss her very much. The challenge now for the nail community that mourns the passing of this great woman is to embrace Vicki’s vision that no tech should be left behind when it comes to education.
A few years ago, my Italian customer asked me to work on the first-ever Nail Cruise Italy. Because of Vicki’s experience, she too, was invited. We flew out of LAX together and arrived in Venice. We made it to our ship and were paired together in a room. We drank coffee together on the balcony every morning. Between teaching classes we toured all the Greek islands. Our last day in Venice we went to Rialto Bridge and walked to St. Peter’s Square where we had a highly over-priced breakfast. We walked and shopped the entire island of Venice. For lunch we had pizza in a small pizzeria. On that trip we really got to talk about things not nail-related. We were two friends on an amazing trip together.
I will miss her always smiling face, her kind words, and her never-ending positive encouragement. She touched my life deeply as she did for many. Please know we have a very special angel watching over us all.
I can’t even trace back how long I have known Vicki but I know it’s well over 20 years. The laughs, the tears, the ‘I need your help’ calls in both directions. Then there was my infecting her with the NASCAR bug. We spent many a Sunday afternoon texting about the race. I think the best were the practical jokes. There was the year we all invaded her class at Premiere Orlando 2002. Vicki had been going on and on in the forums and mailing list about dressing for success, be on time, and be courteous. At least 10 of us dressed in poolside flip-flops and cut-offs, marched into her class late, talking and totally ignoring her, while hollering to all of the people we knew who were already seated. The look on her face was priceless!
I ran across Vicki Peters via Beauty Tech as a student. She was so willing to help me even though I felt like a bumbling idiot concerning everything enhancements. Her selfless contributions to education over the years made Vicki one of my ‘nail moms’ that I credit with helping me, guiding me, watching over me, and leading by example in being willing to help anyone and everyone. I’m thankful to have known such an amazing woman who contributed to and shaped the industry we all love. She will live on through passion, education, and the love of all whose lives she touched.