A lot has changed for Patricia Yankee Williams since she was named second runner-up in this same category last year. She moved up a notch to first runner-up this year, for one. But that's just the beginning. "This past year has been very exciting for me," she says. "My career has eveolved to an astonishing new level. I was told that many doors would open with my placement, and this has definitely proven to be true."

Yankee Williams, who owns Pattie's Place in Baldwin, NY, says that in the past year, she's made herself more available to consult for industry companies and to assist nail techs with technical issues. "My salon holds networking days every two to three months where local technicians meet to discuss the industry and fine tune technical skills," she says. She's even implemented a mentor program in her salon and purchased a nail school, where she hopes to expand her education and fulfill her vision to encourage women to pursue a career in the nail industry. 

Education isn't her only passion, however. Earlier this year she signed with a talent agency and even assisted Creative Nail Design during the spring and fall 2004 fashion week shows in New York.

Besides owning and running her salon, Yankee Williams is also an avid nail artist. She's also a manufacturere's educatir and is an instructor of nail art, sculptured and gel nails, and spa-type manicures and pedicures for a distributor.

Yankee Williams helped compile a training manual and videos for Dashing Diva, a chain of franchise salons. She also helped test and develop a full product line exclusive to Dashing Diva and trains and manages nail techs for the salon chain's booth at several trade shows. 

She realizes she's lucky to be doing what she loves to do, but her talent has certainly helped her achieve all that she has. "My young son recently reminded me how lucky I am to be able to do something I love and get paid to do it."

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