Nail tech Ashley Thornton wanted to participate in competitions to push herself and her creativity, but none were available in her area. “In the Midwest, and specifically in the north Midwest, we don’t have much access to activities such as nail classes or competitions,” she explains. “I think this is because of the low traffic, unlike places like New York, Orlando, etc.” That’s why she decided to take matters into her own hands and arrange her own nail competition in Wisconsin. “It’s so important to keep the creativity alive and well, along with constantly pushing yourself to be the best nail tech you can be,” she says.
Thornton’s mixed media competition was held in October and featured a masquerade theme. There were two categories, student and professional, and over $1,200 worth of prizes were awarded. The competition was sponsored by Cuccio Midwest and held at Elite Nail School and Training Center.
“We had 20 competitors between the two categories, which is amazing given that I only advertised it for three weeks before the actual competition,” says Thornton. She’s already planning another competition to take place in December with a winter wonderland theme. “My dream is to make nail competitions mainstream here in the north Midwest,” she says. “None of the competitors who had entered had ever competed before. I was overwhelmed with pure shock and happiness to see how amazingly everyone did!”
Thornton says the competition brought happiness and confidence to the nail techs who participated. “I received messages and videos all night of nail techs surprising their loved ones with their winnings, showing off their creations, and thanks from nail techs who had had more fun than they ever thought possible,” she says.