Big Winner

Who: Salina Rush, owner of Studio 10 Hair & Nail Design in Wooster, Ohio

What: NAILS photo shoot, photographed by Caesar Lima

Where: Caesar Photo Studio, Calabasas, Calif.

When: Friday, August 23, 2002

Why: To shoot the December cover of NAILS

Complete prize package: In the fall of 2001, Salina was named NAILS’ 2001-2002 Nail Technician of the Year. She was also the 2001-2002 Salon of the Year (1-4 Nail Techs) winner. And shortly thereafter, it was announced that Salina was NAILS’ #1 Top 25 competitor for 2001, As part of Salina’s prize for wining Nail Tech of the Year, we flew her to California to do a 2002 cover. (We slid in just under the wire with this December cover.) So was 2001 Salina’s year, or what? “I made it a goal to be a finalist for the Nail Tech of the Year and the Salon of the Year awards, and to just place in the Top 25 for five years in a row. As my fifth year in the Top 25, I pushed it a little farther and hoped to palace in the top five,” she said after winning. “It’s unbelievable to win all three. I never imagined achieving all three in the same year.”

What she’s been up to since winning: Salina has not been absent from the competition circuit. At press time, she was sitting at the number-two spot behind friend and fellow competitor John Hauk. “I wanted to stay on the Top 25 list, so I went to some competitions, but I really didn’t want to put all the time and money into it that I did last year,” she says. Since Salina lives in Ohio, she was shelling out a lot of cash to travel to compete and often the reward wasn’t enough to make up for the money spent traveling and the time off from work. “Every time I went somewhere to compete, I had to rearrange my whole schedule. It’s a lot of work. It takes a lot of time away from the salon and it really takes a lot out of you. I run the whole business, so when I am out everything starts to fall behind.”

And since she has had more time in the salon, she has really focused or remodeling certain areas and adding additional services. “I just added an infrared body wrap system and I am going to be renting out rooms to an esthetician so we can offer body treatments”

All this and she still finds time to teach. Her independent classes include Pretty in Pink-and-Whites, Troubleshooting, and Competition 101 (an eight-hour class that actually ends with a competition where Salina scores and critiques the nails). Her students can’t let down their guards just yet; Salina plans to continue competing and would like to stay on the Top 25 list. “I am so looking forward to the Nail Olympics next year.”


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