Hello everyone! Some of fellow competitors may already know me but for those who don’t please let me introduce myself. My name is Tammi Merritt. I am an educator and competition team member for Odyssey Nail Systems.
ISSE Long Beach 2010 was my first competition. I have been working as a nail tech in the industry for many years and decided it was time to step outside my little box and challenge myself. I entered salon success and unfortunately did not finish in the allotted time. I was devastated but it was a valuable learning experience for me. Since then I have tried a few other categories and have even been placing in the top ten novice.
Competition, for me, has both motivated and challenged me. I see my work differently (in a good way) and can be more objective when I look at my score sheet and see where I did well and where I need to improve. I also want to say I have met some amazing people who are also fellow competitors. I want to thank them for being so kind to this newbie who is always trying to just keep her nerves in check before a competition.
Right now my focus is on Orlando. I have a few categories I plan to enter; one of which will be a first time entry for me…fantasy nail art. I try to spend some time working on my entry at least five days a week. Of course, I can dedicate more time to it on my days off. My fantasy entry has definitely evolved. I scrapped a lot of my early work on it but again it is a learning experience and also challenging. I am also practicing those smile lines and getting some practice models lined up to help me prepare for the other competition categories in Orlando.
For anyone who has considered entering a competition — find a mentor and go for it! Competition is an excellent way to challenge yourself, improve your skills and see your work progress to the next level. I am so glad I didn’t let my fears hold me back from competing. Now, off to my practice table!
See you in Orlando!