Waite, Winnie Huang, me, CND style director and co-founder Jan Arnold.

Waite, Winnie Huang, me, CND style director and co-founder Jan Arnold.

Lauren Wireman, Sarah Waite, and me.

Lauren Wireman, Sarah Waite, and me.

June marks graduation month for many. I remember one high school teacher referencing Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go” when our class walked the graduation stage. I’m reminded of this book again as another season of NAILS Next Top Nail Artist comes to a close. I have no doubt that our Top 3 will go far in their careers, regardless of who takes home the title.

After attending the 2018 CND Summit, I am convinced more than ever that there are many places a passion for nails can take you. Case in point: Season 3 NTNA champion Winnie Huang. I’ve known Winnie as a competitor, judge, and contributing editor. I’ve seen her grow in her career and was thrilled to hear that she has been named CND Color Ambassador. At the CND Summit she was swarmed with fans asking to take photos. When I met Winnie five years ago I knew I loved her personality and artwork. Seeing others appreciate her too, and seeing all the opportunities she has been afforded, has been one of the most rewarding parts of my job.

Four years ago I met blogger Sarah Waite at Cosmoprof North America. I, like many others, knew her as Chalkboard Nails — a talented nail art enthusiast. I wouldn’t have guessed then that she would not only become a licensed nail tech, but also an asset to the NAILS team as well as a CND brand ambassador. I now know her as an adept writer who always comes up with brilliant story ideas.

Then there’s Lauren Wireman. The artistic ability she displayed in NTNA Season 1 made everyone take notice. To see her come back as one of the sponsors for Season 5 proves that things not only come full-circle, but that Wildflowers is poised to have a lasting legacy within the nail industry.

It’s because of these women, our NTNA Top 3, and so many of the nail professionals I’ve met, that when asked at the CND Summit to select three words to describe the future, I chose: exciting, bright, and creative.

Hopefully, I’ll see you at Premiere Orlando to network and celebrate the NTNA finalists at our event on June 2. Buy your tickets here before they sell out: www.nailsmag.com/ntnasocial2018.

If you’re ready to take the next step toward an even brighter future, I recommend applying for NTNA Season 6: www.nailsmag.com/ntnas6application. The deadline is August 1.