Professional Nails Poll - Inspirational figures


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Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2003
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Hi all

Back again! I am just putting together the April issue of Professional Nails and as it's our show issue for Olympia, with training and demos from some fab pros at the show, I thought the following might be appropriate.

For the month's topic, I want to find out which industry figures you look up to. Who has inspired you and why?

I hope you all feel able to comment and won't mind me using those comments in the mag. As usual, feel names and names of your business would be great. But if you don't want to divulge your 'secret identity' on the board, feel free to send me an email with your comments and details to: [email protected]



Deputy Ed
Professional Nails
I was 'doing nails' for 6 years and enjoying every minute but going nowhere in terms of education or inspiration until I attended the first Nails Only show in London in the 1980's.

It was at that show that I went to listen to a talk given by a lady named Jan Arnold (President of a company called Creative Nail Design.)
Number 1... I couldn't take my eyes of her because she had such an unusual funky look and
Number 2 ... she spoke so intelligently and articulately and so expressively that I was mesmerised by her. She was the consumate professional; dramatic, flawless in her presentation and so PASSIONATE in what she had to say, that I was spellbound. Anyone who has ever seen Jan present will agree.

Near the same time, I also met Doug Schoone (the world's top chemist for nail products and well know author as well as Head of R&D for Creative nail Design). NEVER had anyone before been able to answer the many questions I had about how the products actually worked. Having a Chemistry background myself, I knew that a thorough understanding of the products I was using would help me immeasurably if I ran into any problems. Doug gave me all the answers long BEFORE he wrote the book!

From these meetings, my business changed, my life changed, the life of my family changed. I became part of a world-wide family with friends in nearly every country of the world. From these beginnings I even met my future son-in-law and was given 2 of my beautiful grandchildren.

Influential figuresfor sure.
I feel that there are so many inspirational figures in the nail industry today.
I look up to people like Samuel Sweet, Antony Buckley, The Untouchables.
I also value the advice of the people who have made the industry what it is today such as Doug Schoon and Gigi Rouse.
hiya all
i have always wanted to b able to... give a pesentation like Jan Arnold
... teach like Samuel Sweet
... do nails like Ketan Petel
... b a friend to all like Gigi Rouse
... have as much knowledge as Doug Schoon
these people and many,many more have been my inspiration now for 15yrs.

i've managed to acheive lots of my ambitions which makes me v.happy.
however, something that pleases me a lot is to read some of the posts on this board & see how so many people have access to people like the one's above.

it's great to b able to give something back!

liza smith xx
Inspirational figures:
I for one wouldn't be where I am today without Gigi Rouse, Samantha Sweet Samuel Sweet ,Liza Smith and Antony Buckley.............

I started in the nail bizz over a decade ago....set up Shop in the city of London and did what most Techs do, plodded along, doing things the way I had been taught. Then by pure chance found a post on the intenet,the Beauty Tech USA site, and thought Nail Geek, who is that??? So I followed the link ..............
Only to find out that Gigi Rouse was a member on this Website, that is dedicated to educating and informing Nail Techs all around the globe.............

I thought OMG,I used to read about her and her Company Desinger Nails UK, years ago in the trade magazines and thought , now there is a smart woman........... I wonder if I get to meet her one day ????

Well it wasn't that long after that long dark evening in January 2003,thanks to The Geek Site.......... In July of 2003, I met her, she took me by the scruff of my files and made me want to be better...........She inspires me.......she mentors me............... and the best thing is.............. She is my friend now..............not just a passing acquaintance, but a true friend.
What this Lady doesn't know about nails, can be written on the back of a postage stamp..........She says it how it is, and what you see is what you get, a wealth of knowledge, a bundle of energy and a very funny person, with a kind and empathetic nature...........

Samantha Sweet is like a breath of fresh air and her enthusiams and her love for the bizz are awsome.............and her sense of humour and her PR skills are next to none...........Her fantastic personality make her someone you just have to love and respect.............

Samuel Sweet, now he is the best educator this side of the big pond......
His seminars are fun, educational, his educating skills are fantastic, he has a unique learning approach.......... Take a spoon of fun and add a bag of knowledge, add half a pound of skill and you have the receipe for a guy, that just wants you to be the best there is........ He inspires new and seasoned Techs alike............He keeps the education standard at Desinger Nails high and makes his education team the best in the country....
His work on his Geek site is never ending and he never tires to amaze me.......

Liza Smith, 4 word summon her up...........Kind, Considerate , FAB Educator....
I have first hand expirience in her training class.....She has a very professional approach, great love for teaching, and her work is fantastic......
Without her push I would have never even considered Compiting at Excel 2003 nor Manchester 2003 and placing in the top 5......
Her enthusiasm is catching and inspiring............

Antony Buckley, well he his unassuming, never seeks the lime light........
but he should be up there, in the hall of fame for inspirational people.........
His nail art is awsome, his personality is fantastic, his nail art skills are just to die for.......He never tires of giving personal advice, always has time for everybody..............

All these people are my insperation........If I can be like them, then I will be the best there could possibly be................
Smart and formidable,
Knowledgable, patient and diplomatic........
Wanting me to Aspire, to maybe one of these days, be a fantastic educator, that can in turn inspire and teach others to be the best they can be, spotting talent and pushing them further to even greater achievments, whilst staying normal, with my feet firmly on the ground and remembering how I got there.....With the help of these special people............
Cheers guys.............
The internet inspired me to begin with, allowing me to read alot of other peoples knowledge like - Vickie Peters, Gina Wallace, beauty tech, hooked-on-nails etc.

For beautiful gel nails it has to be Anna Lajourde.

Nail art using acrylic, Tom Holocombe and Anthony Buckley.

Sam Sweet who makes sculpting look as easy as buttering bread, and l could listen for hours when he talks nails, as it isn't boring and all the information sinks in.

Doug Schoon for making chemicals interesting and fun to learn.

And one of the biggest inspirations to me is the nail geek site.
What lovely posts I have read on this thread!! So Kit Kat I thought I would put my 2p in!!

Gigi Rouse - someone who is unassuming and doesn't seek limelight and yet changed the industry of NAILS for ALL of us here in the UK - her skills, knowledge and passion for education is unsurpassed - it would be so wonderful to see her up there with some recognition truly truly deserved!!
Jan Arnold - I guess I would re-iterate what Geeg said here - she is truly brilliant and if it wasn't for her dad, her family and her passion - there would be NO CND!!!
Doug Schoon - for changing the face of monomer liquid as we new it!! For always having time for us when we need him - he is a truly BRILLIANT CHEMIST!!
My hubby - for making us laugh whilst teaching us unique and fun techniques! For being selfless in putting time and energy into creating a site that is helping 1000's of nail teks worldwide - I love you sweetheart!!
Antony Buckly - because he is a 'love', he is kind and again his passion is in helping others.
Sue Marsh - she is a truly brilliant artist who knows how to think 'out of the box' - she is probably one of the finest nail artists worldwide!!
Jacqui Jefford for all she has done and is doing to help our industry and also my admiration for her talents also - she is probably one of the finest airbrush artists worldwide!!!
CND Ambassadors - I know what they have to go through to represent CND and I admire and love them all!!
CND teks - for their loyalty and passion and for who they are and their aspirations!!
Rhonda Benbo from CND who literally helped us become the company that we are today!!
That's me done - -wow I feel all choked up now!!!
Sam, you may recall I asked you if you knew anything about the US magazine Nailbiz? (And you didn't) Well I got a copy and they have an article in there similar to this thread - 'If you could spend the day with anyone in the nail industry who would it be?' and guess who has popped up? :suprised: Yes you! Ta Da!! :cool:

A lady in Ford City, PA says that you are "not only knowledgeable but you have the same sense of humor" (american spelling) as her. She goes on to say that "sometimes, you can learn more from a person that can relate to everyday things with a touch of humor". I'll second that! :lol:

Just thought you might like to know. ;)
Kim said:
Sam, you may recall I asked you if you knew anything about the US magazine Nailbiz? (And you didn't) Well I got a copy and they have an article in there similar to this thread - 'If you could spend the day with anyone in the nail industry who would it be?' and guess who has popped up? :suprised: Yes you! Ta Da!! :cool:

How funny is that?

I love and I hate these kinds of questions.
I love them as I like to see who inspires who and for what reason.
I hate them as I feel like I couldn’t begin to list all the people who inspire me in the industry.

Off the cuff, I can easily name a handful of people who have inspired me in one way or another:

Doug Schoon. The man is a freaking rock star scientist. That alone does not qualify him for inspiration but he still is one of the most influential people in the industry to me. Why? Because the man has such a passion for nail technology and devotes his life to instilling his enthusiasm for it in everyone he meets. Discussing nails with Doug is like discussing girls with a puberty ridden boy. Actually, discussing damn near anything with Doug is like that ;).

Jan Arnold. What a kick ass artist and visionary. Her ability to communicate and inspire is second to none. She could get Eskimos to desire Snow Machines if she really loved them just though her ability to communicate that love she has for something.

Tom Beachneck. Tom is a true teacher and mega talented nail artist. The thing I love about Tom more than anything else is his desire for others to do as well (or better) than he has. Tom is grounded and cantered and only wants to help his fellow technician be the best they can be.

Ma Geek In Law. Gigi Rouse for her determination to ensure that nail technicians are as educated and successful as they can possibly be. For those of you that do not know... Gigi (along with Pa Geek In Law - Simon) also happen to be the two most generous people I have ever met. To them, you are only as successful as the people you help to be successful.

Mrs. Geek. Well... Just thinking of her induces a serious sense of the munchies. But aside from that she inspires me more than all others. Why? She inspires me with her passion for all things nails, her desire to elevate the industry, and her relentless and unerring knack for organisation and perfection. To me, she is all this and more and I can only live my life in an attempt to cherish the fact that I am married to the most inspirational figure in the world. so, naanaananaana. As Jack once said (paraphrased), 'She makes me want to be a better man'.

Ok... crikey. I could go on forever (Ruth, Dawnie, Antony, etc..) but I wont, because I cant (I would be here until next week).

In closing I would actually like to make mention of the fact that:
A- The most inspirational figures are truly selfless
B- They want others to do well
C- They have passion and desire
D- I am married to one :twisted:

Oh wow where to start!

Alicia Byant-Mayes: she taught the first Creative Nail design classes I ever attended. I sat in her class in awe of her professionalism, knowledge, and presence. I fell in love with Creative that weekend and I dreamed to become a tech someone like Alicia could respect. Seeing her gift for sharing and inspiring also made me want to become an educator some day in hopes to contribute to Creative and the nail industry.

Debbie Doerrlamm and Sam Sweet: My second love is my computer and to see two people with incredible knowledge that give so much time, patience, and passion into bettering the industry is trully an inspiration. It makes me all tingly to know I can be a nail geek and a computer geek with pride!

Nikki Birch, Samantha Sweet, Gigi, LaShaun Brown-Glenn, and Crystal Yearous: These women are eager to share their love and knowledge of nails, as well as their time and patience. I have had such wonderful answers to my questions from each and felt as though there were no limit to where I could take my career. These are very sincere, very intelligent women.

Doug and Jan: These two are an incredible inspiration. Doug makes me feel like I can be as knowledgeable as I want to be, by presenting information in a way I can understand and process as well as share with my clients to include them in my education. He is so amazingly easy to talk to and so willing to share his time and knowledge. Jan vibrates an energy that makes me want to take my career to the next level. I met her this past weekend briefly and I felt like she really listened to me and encouraged me. She makes you feel like you could do anything if you only tried.

Linda Thorne: My instructor in nail school. She sparked my passion for nails and has been there for me ever since when I need her. She is a great person with a never ending beauty that radiates from within.

I know I have not thought of everyone, so many people have touched my life and some even my heart. This is an amazing industry with beautiful, intelligent, inspirational people on every corner. Networking with your fellow techs can help you take your career as far as your dreams can reach!

Holly L. Schippers
CND Advanced Master Technician
Iowa, USA
I'm only just starting out in this wonderful world of nails and after a shaky start found creative. so that is top of my list
Gigi Rouse - who not only knows her stuff big time is so so willing and helpful to all us little geeks who come up with really silly questions all the time. she has been such a help to me and i have never even met her. - hopefully will one day.

ruth (nailsinlondonone) as well as running her own biz always has time to reply to my questions,re-assure me and keep me going when i want to give it all up.

Mrs geek aka samantha sweet - she has been truely helpful

Mr geek- beacuase as well as making the tutorials fun - i laugh so much at his phrases - he statrted this site and i would have still been using substandard products had i not have found the nail geek site.

anne swaine in my two courses with she has never once looked at me like im a dumbo! she has a great way of teaching - making it look easy and the whole of osns milton keynes are lovely too .
i am not too good with words so bear with me.
i have always been interested in nails and had some previous training :rolleyes:

first i have to put Sam Sweet ( designer nails) as without finding this website last year full of so much information i would`nt be where i am now.

second is Antony Buckley ( ezflow)as he was the FIRST true nail technician i met last november and i learnt far more from him in one day than i had anywere else and i also realised i knew NOTHING!

third is RUTH (nails in london) she is always there to answer any of our questions, and has a wonderful way with words lol

fourth is GEEG who i hope to meet one day, for bringing us creative and the wonderful training that goes with it.

there are sooooooooooooooo many other top techs, i think we are all inspired by how talented they are and what they have achieved.

i have to mention the magazines as they keep us in touch with what is going on in the industry, and the close up tutorials so that these fantastic techs can show us how it should be done and we can keep looking at them and PRACTISING LOL
i am awestruck by the work of trang nguen[sp?] i came to nails after an art training and back ground and my highlight of the job is nail art. all the work i have seen by trang is so inventive and inspirational. his sense of colour is spot on. he seems to be pushing things forward in coloured acrylic work and he is never short of new ideas. i am also a great fan of antony buckley , his was the first 3-d acrylic design i had ever seen and the moment i set eyes on it i knew i had to give it a go. it has brought me loads of pleasure to practice this technique. also when i have seen a photo of him i think he looks like a really nice guy! i hope one day to meet them both and it would be a dream come true to get some tuition with them. :)
Sawasdee ka

The 1 that has inspired me is Giggi rouse she is a very strong lady who know everything about nail and i like she speak straight .

She not only teach me about nail but inspire me my life and to do and take care everything and buisness good .

From look Nail photos i inspired by Tom holcome his nails are so beautifull and i am inspired by all in this web site who do nail .

I have had many help and inspired from lady and man in this website too many to name .

Thank you mui from Thailand
Leighton Denny
I e-mailed him from his web-site and he allowed me to work in his salon for week to gain experience. It helped my work alot and he gave me his dvd: Tips and Tech's and his New book: What Every Manicurist Should Know..... now I am on the road to being a complete nail tech! just have to get my time down....takes me 2 hours to do a set, Leighton only took an hour! well with 11 years experience I should think he would be quick....any how enough babbling and thanks Leighton
Hi Kat

Well where to start?

I started my nail technician training in late February 2003 with Liza Smith at the Creative Academy in Sittingbourne, Kent - that was the best most inspirational course I could have chosen as a novice! I will be doing another course with Liza later this year too.

From there I did NVQ 19 with Denise Wright in Tonbridge, Kent, but as a seasoned novice it was great to have such another well-respected teacher such as Denise, qualifying in late June 2003. I have since done a couple of other courses to hone my nail skills with Denise.

Of course, my first visit to Olympia in March 2003 saw me go to all the seminars run by Creative Nails with Ketan Patel, Sam Sweet and Doug Schoon.

I think the whole darn lot of the above-mentioned are thoroughly inspirational and I would attend seminars/train with them again and again. I am hoping to meet more of the industry's leading nail technicians at some point.

Looking forward to Olympia this year and seeing your article in the April issue - I devour every issue the moment it hits the door mat virtually.

Will you be at Olympia?

Best wishes

Nickie Rhodes-Hill
[email protected]
Is this a UK mag? Any chance of seeing the article here? Would love to read it and see some kudos given out to some of the people that inspire us all so much!
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