Team Vicki members gather for a group photo at the Chicago Midwest Beauty Show in February of this year.

Team Vicki members gather for a group photo at the Chicago Midwest Beauty Show in February
of this year.

To outsiders, the world of nail competitions can seem mighty intimidating. But thanks to the efforts of Kupa’s Vicki Peters and Team Vicki, many techs find this just isn’t so. Team Vicki is not just a competition team, but an ongoing mentoring program providing support and encouragement to anyone who wants to participate — even if only for a single competition. The entire team pitches in with plenty of pre-competition information and advice, dispensed both in person and online. NAILS recently talked to Peters about the genesis of the team.

When did Team Vicki start and why?

Peters: It was not planned, really. I thought the best way to stay involved with competitions and continue to mentor competitors while working for Kupa was to have a team of my own. I had dabbled in directing three other manufacturer teams that later fell through, so I thought it was time to do my own. I never dreamed it would blossom as it has.

How were the original team members selected?

Peters: They weren’t. They selected us after I put a post out on and recruited for the Premiere Beauty Show competition in 2004. We recruit all the time. We have definitely created a team culture and make a point of embracing new competitors. Anyone is welcome to compete whether it’s only once or long-term.

What kind of tips do you give new competitors?

Peters: Technical tips, of course, such as timing, how to prepare, shortcuts, and fine-tuning, as well as what to use. We also help pave the way by sharing our experiences. We team up a newbie with a seasoned competitor so no one feels like she’s alone in the competition arena. We accompany new competitors to pre-competition classes, have pre-competition meetings the morning of the competition, and each competitor receives a critique sheet. We set goals as a team and for each competitor. Then we have a follow-up meeting after the award ceremony to put closure to the experience.

What kind of support do you provide?

Peters: Rhonda Kibuk, one of the original team members, created a mailing list and website. Once a new team member has committed to competing, we sign her up on the Team Vicki e-mail list. We communicate daily with competition chat, questions, reminders of competition registration deadlines, hotel rooming lists, and travel itineraries. We have membership contact information and competition information such as my book “The Competitive Edge,” packing lists, and a list of potential models. Plus we have a Team Vicki chat every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. PST. The chats are archived for the members who cannot make it.

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