Can I just say how excited I am to announce that I placed first in The Industry Source's Waterfall of Color contest?!?!? I was having kind of a rough day to start with today and getting that news just made my day!
Though the contest had been announced much earlier in the year I chose to ignore it when I saw the ads for it several times thinking, "That's going to take forever to finish." and telling myself things like "I don't really like doing nail art." which is a complete farce. 150 sticks on this waterfall display covered in nail art by the end of June it said. No way.
When I went to Chicago back in March with some of my favorite nail peeps I attended several classes but it was the one with MaeLing Parrish for Hand and Nail Harmony that really got me moving on making a living portfolio of my nail art designs. I'd put it off for so long that I had decided that I was going to create at least 5 a week when I got home. Then I saw the ad again. $1000 first prize. I could use that, couldn't we all?? I thought to myself, “Even if I made second place, $500 isn't bad either.” and “ Heck, I'd even settle for the $250.” I started doing the math in my head... “150 sticks, 6 weeks. That's 25 sticks every week. 5 a day. Holy cow. That's intense. Could I do it? I think so...”
The first thing I realized was that the clear sticks in the mandatory display were going to need A LOT more coats to get full coverage than the natural ones I'd used for years. This meant that it was going to take me A LOT longer to get this job done. Between each client for the next 5 weeks that's what I was doing, painting sticks. They were everywhere. Most prepped, some half done, some almost done, some in my bag to take home. Did I ever run out of ideas? You bet! Thank goodness for Facebook, Pinerest, Instagram and Google Images to give me ideas. I can duplicate just about anything now but I love giving it my own spin. When in doubt, just add glitter!
The sticks became my life for those 5 weeks. I spent some nights at the salon until 1am working on them and one would have thought I just slept there when I had guests the next morning at 9am. I might as well have moved in for 5 weeks. 80+ hours later it was complete. I was exhausted and ready for it to be over but then I had the job of photographing my display and recruiting my beloved friends, family and guests to vote for my creation. Photographing I was simple since I happen to be a part time photographer and the votes came in without much trouble honestly. It was too good to be true.”Had I really done it?” I had. 80+ hours total of work. I made the top 4.
The next step was for the top 4 techs to mail in their display for the final round of voting. When I mailed my display I felt panicked. What if it gets lost in the mail? “Maybe I should drive it there,” I thought. (The Industry Source offices are less than an hour away from me). My amazing husband told me that he'd ship it with delivery confirmation and it'd be fine and it was as far as I know. All we were told is that an “industry professional” was doing all the judging. Um, when I was judging nail competitions there were 3-4 judges that critiqued specific areas and our identity was no secret. I sure hoped more than one person was making the decisions there. I also couldn't imagine who else in the Detroit area was qualified to judge this thing besides me (boy that's cocky of me! LOL).
A couple days later I was interviewed for The Industry Source's magazine where they will have photographed all the top 4 displays and share our stories. I was nervous and had prepared a little but was thrown off by some of the questions like, “what will you do with the money you win?” At that point I could have won between $50 (for 4th place) and $1000 so that was difficult to answer but I said that I would buy something I wouldn't normally buy and spoil my clients. Now that I know that have a lot more to spend I know the plan is to spoil my clients for sure and still have enough to stock up on my normal supplies for the next year! Another question that threw me for a loop was, "What's next for you?" Well Geez, I dunno. I'm still catching up on sleep and just stopped having nightmares about sticks. I told her about how I'd already done the nails for 2 covers and written umpteen articles for Nailpro Magazine which was always a goal for me. I guessed that it was strengthening my friend Kelley and I's networking group WHENN and sharing our knowledge and experiences with whoever will listen. I'll at least be proudly parading around town with my display!
So now I wait for the display to be returned to me where it's safe and sound, I'll be on pins and needles for the next couple weeks. I love having it on my table when I am having an uncreative day to spark some ideas and now it feels naked on my table without it. Next up? Shopping!!