Yes, I Would Like a Little Cheese with my Whine, Thank You

So, there are precious few days left standing between me and the beginning of another competition season.

Last year I competed in just a couple of the events at ISSE Long Beach and then had to step back and admit to myself that pursuing another season of competing while also establishing a new salon was madness and I couldn't afford to compete in 2010 financially or physically. So I valiantly exclaimed, "I'll be back in 2011!"

And here I am, biting my nails (do as I say, not as I do!) and counting down the minutes while I still haven't registered for any of the competitions and — despite having a killer idea — still haven't begun working on my nail art entry either.

There are just so many reasons why it's difficult to keep competing. And every time I talk to anyone in the industry about them all, I feel like I'm whining. And I feel like whoever I'm talking to, particularly people who are heavily involved with competitions, are nodding and smiling and thinking that I'm whining — making excuses for not getting out there.

Well you know what? Competing requires some serious commitments. Financial commitments, for starters. Each competition entry fee is $100, and there are four or five different competitions at each show. Entering all of them will set you back a hefty step. Plus, you'll need to drag along at least one model — two if you really want to enter every competition. That means finding models who not only have legitimate professional model-quality nails but who are able to travel with you. Realistically, that means covering the expense of their travel, lodging, and it'd be nice to offer them food. Plus your own travel, lodging, and meals. Don't worry about including money to shop at the shows — if you enter every competition, you won't have time to set foot on the showroom floor anyway. And, in my case, I also have to cover the cost of the BF's show ticket so he can come sit through the awards ceremony with us.

Meanwhile — if the money isn't an issue — there's the time commitment. I do nails for a living. Forty-two hours a week, plus one whole day dedicated to making sure the salon stays clean, stocked with paper towels and tissue, coffee, creamer, trash bags, AND nail supplies. Also on that day I have to balance my checkbooks, and make sure all my bookkeeping is up to date — and my website. I usually end that day with four out of seven things crossed off my to-do list.

Just exactly when am I supposed to find time to spend 20+ hours on a single nail art entry? Mind you, there are often two turn-in nail art competitions, and if there's a fantasy nail art comp, then you need to make most of your doodads in advance. AND still find time to practice, practice, practice your sculptured nail techniques.

I want to become a competitive force to be reckoned with — someday. But I just cannot fathom what sort of daily lives the top competitors must live in order for them to remain top competitors.

I know it sounds like whining, but "just do it" isn't a feasible motto for all of us — so I'm gonna try to enter a competition here and there until I can afford to cut my work schedule in half ... and I'll keep some gouda and maybe a good local cheddar on hand to go with my whining in the meantime.

On another matter ...

With regard to my blog post about the difficulties I’ve been having with my gel polishes, I’d like to say thank you to everyone at Nail Tech Supply who rushed to my aid. I totally understand that sometimes wires get crossed, chaos rules, and an entire month can slip through your hands before you even notice it! That's sure been the case for MY last month!

So seriously, no hard feelings and that's not what it's all about anyway. My point was more about not getting a response from the manufacturer regarding whether or not they were intending on addressing any of the issues I'm having — and not just this manufacturer, but lots of other companies in lots of other industries as well.

Thanks for the brushes, Suzanne!

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