Whether she was giving product demonstrations for Galaxy Nail Products at a trade show or competing in sculptured nails. Barbara Van Brandenburg (shown here with Galaxy president Tim Lee) was a consummate professional who really enjoyed her work.

Barbara Van Brandenburg was a friend to many, mother of two, a wife, daughter, nail professional, salon owner, award-winning nail competitor, and nail product distributor. It makes you wonder how one person could do all of this efficiently and effortlessly, but Barbara did. She was passionate about everything in her life. Sadly, Barbara was taken from all of us who loved her on May 11, 1998, by breast cancer.

Barbara was born in Englewood, N. J., on February 11, 1956. She came from a very close family with four siblings. At the age of 16, Barbara became the receptionist in her mother’s salon. It was her experience in the salon that made Barbara decide her career path.

Receiving her nail license by the age of 19, she was on her way. Twenty-three years later, Barbara’s resume also included doing work for both print advertising and the motion picture industry. I think it’s safe to say that Barbara was very talented and versatile.

I know from personal experience that it was always a great pleasure to work with Barbara and to have her as both a friend and part of the Galaxy family. Unfortunately, all of these experiences will now be enjoyed only as memories. I was fortunate to visit Barbara at home last March during the IBS-New York show. There were no words to be said and no jokes to be told to cover the inevitable. Toward the end of my visit, I had the chance to spend about 20 minutes alone with Barbara. Those were the hardest and shortest 20 minutes of my life. I was surprised to find that all of her concerns and worries were for the people she was close to, not for herself She will never be forgotten.

Kim Lee is founder/CEO of Galaxy Nail Products

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