Sonia Glover, owner of The Nail Boutique in Myrtle Beach, S.C., did sculptured acrylic nails on this month's cover model.
Three years ago when she started competing, Sonia Glover made it her goal to one day finish in the top three of NAILS' Top 25 Competitors Ranking. She attained that goal in 1995, when she earned the No. 2 spot. Not resting on her laurels, Glover went on to win the No. 1 spot for 1996.
Glover, who owns The Nail Boutique in Myrtle Beach, S.C., competes because she says it keeps her on top of her profession, it makes her a better technician, and she loves to travel. Her love of travel and desire to share her technical skills with others were the main reasons behind Glover's decision to become an educator for EZ Flow Nail Products. She recently traveled to Dusseldorf, Germany, to compete and to train the staff at a new distributor. While on her trip, she also taught classes in Norway, The Netherlands, and Germany with the help of translators. "Technicians in those countries primarily do fiberglass, silk, and gel nails, so they were very eager to learn how to do pink-and-white nails," she says. According to Glover, it costs about $125 (US) for a set of acrylic nails in Germany. On the horizon for her are educational stints in other exotic locales, such as Japan, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
When you think of all that she has accomplished in her six and a half years in the nail industry, you would guess that Glover set out to become a nail technician. Actually, a friend encouraged her to go to nail school with her. Back then, Glover, who never had her nails done, was an assistant supervisor of product control at a manufacturing plant. "My job was similar to doing nails. It required me to work with my hands and figure out the fastest way to do something. It also taught me people skills and how to train others," she says.
Considering the myriad competitions she has done, it's no wonder that the toughest part of competing for Glover is not in the competition arena — it's afterwards, waiting for the winners to be announced. "That makes me more nervous than actually competing," she says. On the other hand, she says preparing for a competition is the easiest part of the process because she always brings her own model.
Next on Glover's agenda is opening a day spa since there is nothing like it in her area. But for now, Glover, who lives in what she dubs the "golf capital of the world," is setting her sights on educating. What better person to learn from?
Sonia Glover was taken by surprise at her first-ever cover shoot when NAILS' managing editor Erika Kotite came over with a magnifying glass to look at the model's nails. "Judges don't even do that at competitions," jokes Glover.