With the presentation of the World International Nail and Beauty Association (WINBA) on the cover, I can’t help but think of competitions in the nail industry … competitions that have literally evolved in just the past few years into what is rapidly becoming a showcase of the finest work and talent available.

My thoughts go back to those individuals who had the foresight and patience to piece together a competition program around a product and technique that presented many unusual and aggravating problems. Individuals that in their own right had an obvious impact on competitions in general and the nail industry specifically.

Among the pioneers: Jim George, promoter and coordinator of the WINBA show and competitions; Rick Monuz, instrumental in the earliest competitions, currently runs his own Tournament of Champions competitions at his Nail Extravaganza show; Jack Sperling, of the first to develop a show catering to and recognizing the uniqueness of nail, and active in developing a viable competition program for his Nail and Beauty Expos; and Dee Russell, long time competition advocate, currently working to establish a respectable, nail competition for the International Beauty Show, held annually in New York.

Many other individuals have since taken their cue and pushed ahead with competition programs, but it was these individuals who took the heat when competitions were just developing, and who never abandoned the fight for fair, non-compromising events that recognized talent, the best talent, without questions of bias judging. These individuals deserve a great deal of credit for pushing forward with an objective that stymied many others.

So, if at the upcoming show you decide to pit your skills and technique against others in competitions, look around. You will be part of an evolving process that is at its best for giving credit where due. And that is basically what I hope to accomplish with this column … giving those individuals, pioneers, the credit due.


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