More than 100 nail techs descended on Camp Burton just outside of Seattle to attend the third NW Nail Tech Retreat held October 18-21. Designed by nail techs for nail techs, this event focuses on fun, friendships, and fantastic nails. Over the course of four days, nail techs attended six 90-minute classes, two five-hour hands-on workshops, and a marketing seminar presented by keynote speaker Millie Haynam. Nail Talk Radio’s co-host Athena Elliott joined Haynam for a live broadcast Sunday night, which included Lifewire speaker Ward Urion. Fundraising over the course of the weekend allowed the NW Nail Techs to donate $1,000 to Lifewire, a national organization for prevention and help for those suffering from domestic violence.

The event brought together educators Vicki Peters, Amy Becker (Masterworks), Nadja Freund (Magnetic), Tanya Sisson (CND), Athena Elliott (Nail Talk Radio and Medi Pedi), Mami Griffin (ShaNail), Jessica Hoel and Nicole Hollenbeck (Akzéntz), Ellen Torchia (Too Much Fun), Tami Schmidt and Christina Cronk (INM North), Tammy Becraft (Tammy Taylor), Joyce LaSilva (Graham), and Diane McQuoid (Elite Nail Supplies).

In a competition organized by Vicki Peters, 25 techs applied salon style nails and were judged by Elyse Perry, Amy Becker, and Tami Schmidt. Amazing art was brought out by 10 nail techs for the mixed media competition, which was judged by Ellen Torchia, Nadja Freund, and Mami Griffin. With 58 nail companies donating samples for techs to try, the swag bags totaled $530 in product for each attendee in addition to amazing raffle prizes that were given out over the course of the weekend.

The 2014 NW Nail Retreat will take place October 17-20 at Camp Burton, Vashon Island. Early-bird registration for attendees begins in February at $429, and the event expects to sell out completely by summer. For more information, go to

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