This month’s cover tech, Kristina Baune, hails from Redwood Falls, Minn population: 5,000. You wouldn’t normally expect to hear celebrity stories from someone who lives in such a small town. But it just happens to be the case with Kristina, who has done nails for consumer magazines such as CosmoGirl, and worked backstage at the shows during Fashion Week in New York.

She’s been doing nails for 13 years and has owned her own salon, Ultimate Imagge, for 12 of those years. “I wasn’t necessarily ready to own my own salon just one year out of school,” notes Kristina. “But the salon where I worked was being sold and I decided to buy it. I was scared to death. But I was young and willing to take a chance.” And take a chance she did. Ultimate Imagge is still going strong 12 years later, with five employees, and an astounding nine competing salons—even in such a small town.

For the last four years, Kristina has been educating with Creative Nail Design and this is her third year as a member of Team Creative. It’s thanks to Creative that she gets to travel so much and work so many fun events.

“My town is such a small town, and everyone thinks it’s really cool that I get to travel and do all these neat things,” says Kristina. “When I did the Cosmo Girl thing, everyone went out and bought it and that issue sold out all over town. And now that I did the cover of NAILS, everyone wants to order the magazine.”

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