Editor’s note: The following letter to the editor was written by a nail technician who has become well-known on the competition circuit, not only for her skill in sculptured nails and nail art, hut for her winning attitude. She wrote this letter to encourage other technicians to compete and attend tradeshows, not to brag about her own accomplishments, but we think her accomplishments warrant mentioning so we provided the photo and the background information on her. Listen to her: She’s got the trophies and prize money and loyal clientele to her: She’s doing something right!

Nail shows are a part of our industry that I think the average nail technician overlooks. There is more than just product discounts offered at these shows. The education is invaluable, and it’s available not just from the manufacturers’ classes. The sharing of ideas from other nail technicians, the friendships made, the networking for future ventures-it all adds up to great nail technicians who want to see our industry grow.

I have been a nail technician for 12 years and I’ve been in 24 competitions. I started to compete as a learning experience, and not only have I learned to do nails better, I have also learned a few other things.

Nail technicians who come to the show to watch the educators at the booths and to compete are the elite in this business. When I go back home and share with other nail technicians what I’ve learned at the shows, they don’t seem the least bit interested or even jealous. It’s my world, not theirs, they tell me. I believe that the nail technicians who go to shows care about their craft and they strive to be the best to achieve greatness, not just to do nails any old way and make some money. We do quality work and are rewarded very well for our efforts.

Never give up. If you want to be the best, it takes a lot of practice and dedication. The first time I wanted to give up competing, I thought I just didn’t have what it takes to be a winner. Before the awards ceremony I told a close friend that I was ending my competing and giving up! That’s the show at which I took my first Sculptured Nail trophy.

I have become well-known at these shows and many doors have opened for me. I became a part- time educator for a nail manufacturer; NAILS Magazine has quoted me in several articles and I did the cover nails for the May and June issues; a feature article was written about me and my achievements in another trade journal; I have met so many terrific nail technicians and made so many friends; and the quality of my work has improved. My clients appreciate that I take the time for this education so much that they stay with me year after year.

It means so much to me to be a part of the nail industry. I can’t fully describe I his feeling to you in words. If the nail industry is going to grow and really stand out from the rest, we need to unify and be consistent doing nails. We need to network together in order to grow. Come to these shows and see what I mean.

Kimberly Patterson, Artistic Nails (Fairfax, VA)


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