Hi! My name is Kristen Hartley and I own Foxx Salon and Spa. I am a licensed hairdresser, certified esthetician, certified nail technician, certified lash technician, and a certified microblading technician.
I went to school in Sarnia, Toronto and London as well as taking many small online courses. This is my third time competing in NTNA… third time’s the charm?!
Aside from my business, I’m also a married mom of 3. I met my hubby, Tyler, in high school and we’ve been together for over 12 years. I have a 6-year-old boy Cole, a 4-year-old girl Quinn, an almost 2-year-old boy Kade and two dogs Ellie and Zoey.
I know I deserve to win this year because I’m always striving to be better and when I’m feeling stuck, I find a way to express myself in artistic means.
Being an artist and creating for others really fuels my passion to shoot for the stars. I’m going all in this year!
In Nailandia, I am the Queen of Creativity. I serve my people by instilling in them the same morals and virtues that I live my own life by. I am the creator of my destiny. I am the creator of my future. I encourage others to create their own paths to walk upon and to stay true to these choices no matter the consequence.
For this week’s challenge, we needed to showcase our own version of Nailandia. In my Nailandia, the landscape is peppered with Money Trees that grow and flourish based on your own personal hard work and integrity. They are connected to the owner, and will only blossom and provide to those who work hard.
All of the clocks in Nailandia have wings, because in my town time flies when you’re having fun and being creative. Nail polish flows like water in Nailandia. Every river, lake and pond offer a different color to allow for the ultimate creative variety.
In this town, no dogs are allowed. Just Cheshire cats, roaming the streets, singing and shouting “We’re all mad here!” Mad about art, creativity and originality. In my Nailandia, we celebrate diversity, uniqueness, and individuality. Everyone is encouraged to celebrate everything that makes them special and different, and to never stop believing in themselves.
This set of nails, and my personal version of Nailandia, truly represents how I feel as an artist. I always knew I had the ability to be creative, but I didn’t always know how I could use those abilities to establish a career. All I knew was that I needed to find an outlet for my art that would allow me to provide for myself and my family, and to make other people feel unique and beautiful. By creating unique nail designs tailored to each of my clients’ personalities, I am able to pass the thrill and excitement that my artistry brings to me on to them.
Have you ever wished you could turn back time? Have a do-over? Make one decision differently? I believe that people who spend their lives constantly staring at the past, have their backs turned towards their futures. This next challenge encouraged us to look to the past, and to create something futuristic.
One of my biggest goals as a parent is to give my three children a life that is different from what I had. A life where love and affection doesn’t come with a price tag, and a life where snuggles and hugs are welcomed and encouraged. Everyday, I challenge myself to look to the past, and find a way to ensure the future is better.
I don’t believe that I have a specific moment where I would make a different choice, for everything that I have now is a result of my handwork, dedication and commitment to my husband and my children. I created this next set of nails with my kids in mind.
Their vivid imaginations, and colorful stories of all things creepy and crawly, are some of my favorite conversations that I have in a day. These last few months have awarded me the chance to be home with them more than ever, to get actively involved in their learning and their play. When I look ahead to my future and my children’s future, it is always through rose-colored glasses. I am hopeful that my ability to turn my back to my past and to create a future that is filled with happiness and love, will be the thing they remember most about their childhood.
I hope that when we all look back and talk about how challenging it was to live through the last couple of years, that we will all remember the little bit of extra time and extra fun that we were blessed to get to have together.
Click on the nail art image above in order to see additional images from each contestant.
Buddha once said, “There are three things that cannot be hidden. The sun, the moon and the truth.” I live my life by these values. I am an open book, bound by the truth. My honesty shines the most in my art, as it allows me to be the most vulnerable.
The third challenge needed to represent CND’s Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle oil. This oil promises a big secret in a little bottle. Well, the secret is out. This product is an eye opener.
I found this set of nails more challenging than the rest. I wanted to ensure that I was able to do this product justice, and represent the integrity and ingenuity of this product in a way that would shine. Once again, I tapped into myself to find inspiration.
In my first assignment, I represented myself with a lioness, as I am a Leo. The sun, the celestial body that governs life and vitality, rules the sign of Leo. Known for their stability, loyalty and consistency, I believe that my life and my career live up to these traits.
While my past was everything but stable and consistent, I vowed to not allow history to repeat itself. I work hard, as a parent, a spouse and in my career, every day, to provide a consistent, stable and loyal commitment to every aspect of my life. Just like the sun, the moon and the stars, I will shine bright, even in the darkness.
In this design, the sun and the moon are watching each other, connected through a subtle gaze, for one cannot be without the other. Like in life, we cannot truly appreciate the joy without dabbles of darkness. The trick is to not allow yourself to get stuck in the darkness, but instead, rise above and continue to shine. If this last year and a half has taught me anything, it’s the power of perseverance, the value of friendship, and that love will always win. This is how I choose to live my life, and what I hope to teach my children. That even in the darkest of times, the sun will always rise again tomorrow.
This challenge involved choosing an outfit from a couture designer from the Paris Fashion Week. Defined as a French word for “High sewing or high dressmaking,” haute couture is the creation of exclusive custom-fit clothing. The clothing is constructed by hand from start to finish, made from high-quality, expensive, often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail. All the pieces that are showcased are finished by the most experienced and capable of sewers. These garments are also described as having no price tag, as budget is not relevant.
I chose an outfit from the Chanel 2021 Spring/Summer collection. The entire 2021 Spring/Summer collection is based on a Bohemian style, which I tend to gravitate towards myself in clothing and accessories. The top of the outfit boasts delicate flowers with incredible beadwork at the center, which is one of the elements that this challenge needed to include. The top also has a lace underlay which caught my attention. The lace paired with the shear pieces in the skirt tied everything together perfectly. I immediately knew that I could do this dress justice portrayed on a set of nails. To top this look off, they added a feather crown with strings of pearls throughout. This was the “chefs kiss” on an already stunning outfit.
All of Chanel’s designs are based on the statement that, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must be different.” The design of these nails lives up to this statement.
This one of the most unique designs I have done, and I will be incorporating aspects of this design into my everyday art and work. Coco Chanel said of haute couture that, “It’s the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” I believe this to be true of this exceptional, bold and unique set of nails.
In this challenge, we were to create a mural nail design based on the letters “C, N and D.” My inspiration for my design was Courage Never Dies. These three words represent not only my growth as a nail technician, but as a person. I chose the Lion to represent courage. I am also a Leo, so it represents me as well. I added the floral crown to make the lion a little bit extra – like me.
The lion is roaring, which I believe shows strength and perseverance. This year has been particularly hard on me personally and on my business. I’ve had to make the difficult decision to close down my store front and downsize. It took a lot of courage to make that decision because I have worked so hard to get where I was, however, with these uncertain times I had to make the tough choice to put my family first and go back to a home salon.
Then, I have my three little cubs behind me. They are my inspiration and the main reason behind all of the decisions that I make. I did not have the most positive childhood and learned very quickly that my every word and action would influence the wellbeing of my kids. They learn from what I tell them, what they overhear, how I relate to others, and most importantly, how I act in our home and in the world. I strive to set a positive example and always be the best person I can be. Not perfect, but a decent human being trying to do my best. I chose to add the little notes of positive words under the cubs to represent how I strive to parent and act as a person. These words also start with the letters C, N and D.
I really enjoyed painting this piece and I hope that you can see, through my art and my words, that it takes a lot of courage to flourish in every aspect of life.