I’ve been collecting stories for the March issue of NAILS that will honor Vicki Peters. It has been a daunting task, as I have never had to put together a remembrance story before. I met Vicki almost a year ago at the ISSE show in Long Beach, but I already knew who she was. At the time I had been with NAILS for just over a year, and I had seen Vicki’s picture and read about her countless times. I’m finding that I had the same reaction to meeting her as many of her peers did. It was like meeting someone you already knew. At the NAILS booth Vicki invited me to go to her salon, which is in my neck of the woods. A couple of months later I found myself entrenched in wedding activities for my sister. The salon I had planned on taking her to fell through and I began to panic. While out doing some errands I happened to pass by Polish and I remembered Vicki’s invitation. I called her immediately, and when she asked how I was doing I admitted I was stressed out. She replied in what I now know to be typical Vicki fashion with “Well, that’s life.”
Vicki saved my sister’s wedding. Not only did she accommodate the wedding party for an entire day at her booked salon, but she gave me, my mother, and my sister perfect sets of nails. My mom is not the adventurous type when it comes to nails, but Vicki convinced her to wear a gradient manicure. She also gave my sister picture-perfect acrylics. Vicki told me later that what my sister had really needed wasn’t a manicure; it was a place to relax. She said my sister ended up staying at the salon from opening to closing, lounging on the couch, talking, and snacking until everyone was done. Vicki knew what my sister needed and she gave it to her. In a small twist of fate, my mother learned that Vicki’s sister owns a nail salon in the neighboring Northern California town where she lives. My mom had told Vicki she needed a good manicurist and Vicki set them up. My mom has been seeing Diane ever since. Vicki specialized in making connections. If she saw a need she could help fill, she filled it.
Although I had been in the business of nails a year before meeting her, I didn’t really feel that I was a part of the industry until I met Vicki. I loved her stories, her knowledge, her ideas, how she knew everyone; she was living nail history. Even as I type this there is a story on our run-up that I thought of after talking with her in June. Vicki showed me that it’s not just about knowing something, it’s about living it. My takeaway from knowing Vicki is to be consistent. Do what you say. Say what you mean. Do everything on time. And most importantly, give when you can. As an editor, my job is to seek out inconsistencies and correct them. Vicki believed in not only correcting, but perfecting, which is why she set the standard for so many.
I went and visited Vicki, Natalie, and Kim a few more times, the most recent being in October. Every time I came by Vicki asked about my mom, sister, and everyone at NAILS. I can’t help but feel slightly cheated when it comes to knowing Vicki. I only got a year of her friendship and so many others have decades of stories. It’s not fair. But that’s life. After reading all of your tributes I feel like I not only know Vicki better, but those in the industry better as well. Once again, Vicki has brought people together. Thanks Vicki, for never failing to give me exactly what I needed, and so much more.
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