Lorena Marquez, Tom Bachik, and John Hauk at a BBSI competition.

Lorena Marquez, Tom Bachik, and John Hauk at a BBSI competition.

1995 was arguably the year that nail competitions reached their pinnacle. After holding the top spot on NAILS Top 25 Competitors list for two years, Kim Morgan was knocked off her perch by none other than Tom Bachik. Also in the Top 25 that year were standout competitors Sonia Glover, Amy Becker (then Amy Cooper), Sheryl Macauley, Michele Baker, Claudine Morgan, Danny Haile, and Tom Holcomb.

Claudine Morgan, Bachik, and Victoria Sozio with their models in 1996.

Claudine Morgan, Bachik, and Victoria Sozio with their models in 1996.

Facing such a fierce field of competitors honed the participants’ skills, and led to success in other areas of the industry as well. Several competitors — including Bachik, Becker, Haile, and Holcomb — started their own nail brands. Other techs whose careers were launched in the competition arena in subsequent years include Trang Nguyen, Alisha Rimando, John Hauk, Kirsty Meakin, Lorena Marquez, MaeLing Parrish, and Max Estrada.