A Dedicated Leader

Get to know danielle candido, MASTER educator and lead stylist for Morgan Taylor at New York Fashion Week, as she shares her passion for nails

NailStyle: When did you join the Harmony team and how did that come about?
Danielle Candido: Prior to working with Harmony I was an educator with another major beauty industry manufacturer. As an educator, I am always seeking classes and training to increase my skills. I was at one such training during the summer of 2009. Danny Haile and Gari-Dawn Tingler introduced Harmony Acrylic to the attendees and I was hooked. I approached Gari-Dawn after the class and asked her how I could become an educator for Harmony. I was asked to join the Harmony team in January 2010 as one of the first five U.S. educators for the company, and the rest is history.

NS: What's it like working New York Fashion Week? How long have you been doing it?
DC: I joke that I have had a long-standing love/hate relationship with NYFW. Working NYFW is the hardest, most physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding, high-pressure job that you will absolutely LOVE. I was among the first technicians to work the fashion shows back in 2007. A friend of mine was a lead tech and asked me to help fill out her team. I figured it would be easy money so I agreed. Boy was I wrong! That was the hardest $75 I ever earned. But the rush of working in the frenetic environment with all the other stylists and seeing it all come together at the last second as the models rushed out onto the runway was addicting. I have watched the influence of the nail industry on fashion, and it is wonderful to see how the designers and their teams have come to regard nails as the finishing punctuation to their fashion statements. I am privileged to represent the most fashion-forward professional nail lacquer brand on the market. And I get to work with the most talented, hardest working, and the most extraordinarily dedicated nail professionals in the industry.

NS: Who is your favorite fashion designer that you've worked with?
DC: My all-time favorite designer to work with is Betsey Johnson. She's fun, fabulous, and incredibly down-to-earth! Everything she does is with such joie de vivre, it's contagious — you can't help but get caught up in her eccentric energy. The entry door to her work studio is covered in drawings done by her grandchildren, and the most prized piece of jewelry adorning her neck is the macaroni and yarn necklace made by her granddaughter. How could you not absolutely love her? And I do!

NS: What's your best advice for a nail tech who wants to become a top educator?
DC: Practice, practice, practice, and take every class, seminar, and training you can get your hands on. A large part of educating involves standing in front of people and speaking, so try a public speaking course or seminar as well.

NS: What are some other fun facts about you?
DC: I have loved roller skating since I was a teenager and still skate every Tuesday night when I'm not traveling. I used to be on a roller derby team and my derby name was Polish'er Off. I can whistle louder than just about anyone else I know, clearly a result of having four children who needed to be called home for dinner before everyone had cell phones.