Christine Turner should be dancing a jig. This triple threat—she’s a school owner, a product distributor, and salon owner—just won two major awards (the AVAs Nail Technician of the Year and Salon of the Year.) But after having those honors bestowed on her and running three businesses, how is it she finds herself frustrated by the industry she is so deeply immersed in? Because like all high-achieving people, no matter how much she accomplishes, she wants to do more. And it’s been that frustration with the status quo that has driven her to start each of her three businesses.

Christine told the AVAs judges in her entry that she originally opened a salon so she could provide a place that honored the high standards she had as a nail salon client herself. When she couldn’t find the products she wanted to use, she set up shop as a distributor to ensure that she had access to the finest products. And when the dearth of qualified nail professionals meant staff shortages, she launched The Polished Academy, essentially to home-grow her own staff. Industry recognition hasn’t translated into a fully booked school registration . . . yet. But when word gets out about the program, I know that the commitment Christine and her staff have to the industry and to seeing each student succeed as a professional will lead to open doors where she cannot yet see.

When she won the AVAs awards she said she hoped the honor would inspire others to reach the same pinnacle and raise their own standards. But she says that getting the word out about high-quality education has always been difficult. “I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a nail technician complain about her education.” She isn’t getting rich, but she is making a difference in this industry in a big way. All our judges were inspired by her entries and moved by her dedication to making the nail industry a better place for others. I don’t think it’s going to take much more time for the rest of industry to take notice of this dynamic individual. And for her to find herself frustrated all over again. 

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.