Lorena Marquez can't ever complain about sitting behind her nail station all day. That's not to say she doesn't love doing nails at her Watsonville, Calif.-based salon, At Your Fingertips. As head instructor for inm she travels the world educating nail techs on the company's products. And as a top-ranked nail competitor she can frequently be seen on the trade show circuit competing for first place in any given number of competitions. "I am truly in for a great ride," she says. "I will be extremely busy this year teaching internationally and maintaining my full clientele, all the while being a single mom and raising my 10-year-old son Justin."

Marquez entered the competition circuit nearly eight years ago, and says she never in her wildest dreams imagined that it would open so many doors for her. She was soon approached by EZ Flow Nail Systems, where she became an educator, eventually moving up to international master artist educator. 

"I met wonderful people and had the best teachers the industry has to offer," she says of her stint with the company. Last year, she was offered a competition contract from inm. And later this year she'll be promoting "The Lorena Marquez Academy," a two-day seminar that will feature instruction on pink-and-whites, competition nails, as well as nail art.

Although she's busy, Marquez doesn't forget about her community. Her salon sponsors local schools with donations and she volunteers at her son's school, which puts on a drama production. Marquez polishes every little girl's nails and does their makeup, too. 

Throughout her career Marquez has been viewed as a leader and role model who has committed herself to positively influencing up-and-comers in the nail industry. Although Marquez has worked hard to achieve her status in the nail industry, she doesn't take all of the credit. "I am indebted to many people in this industry for believing in me and giving me wonderful opportunities."

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