When OPI Products launched its Competition Formula 3000 liquid and powder system last year, they were already planning to organize an international competition team made up of award-winning competitors. “We wanted to get involved in the competition arena and take OPI to another level,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive vice president of OPI Products. The team is winning competitions with Competition Formula 3000 as well as using the product for everyday use in the salon to give their clients show-quality nails, she says.

The Competition Team, which includes Christopher Truong, Michele Baker, and Rita Horvath, was introduced this year and has won its fair share of awards since. Selected from NAILS’ Top 25 Competitors ranking and through recommendations, each member received training from OPI’s top educators. At the beginning of each year, OPI decides which competitions the team should attend and pays for their travel expenses and models.

With countless trophies among them, you’d think there’d be just a little competitiveness among team members. Not true, they say. “We help each other a lot and even borrow stuff from one another at the show,” says Horvath, who works at Technicolor Salon and Day Spa in Allentown, Pa. “We also look at each other’s work and critique it.”

The day before a show, the three get together with their models and evaluate their hands. “We’ve been known to sit in a hotel room and burn the midnight oil practicing and discussing what we’re going to do at the competition,” says Baker.

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