BY Taylor Daniel     PHOTO BY Ted Emmons

How did you get started in the nail industry?
When I was younger I was interested in architecture and industrial design. After studying at university for a while I decided that I was actually more interested in beauty as a career so about 10 years ago my sister and I took our first class together.

Tell us about your first competition experience.
I did my first competition in Las Vegas when I was 22. I remember entering the fantasy competition. I didn't know that most artists spend months working on their designs. I started preparing the night before and of course by the competition the next day I forgot what I had practiced. I did horrible in the competition but it was a great learning opportunity for me. The next year I went back ready to compete and I came in 3rd in the 3-D category.

Do you have a favorite Harmony product that you like to use for your designs?
When I first started with Harmony I was 100% acrylic and it took me a few years to try anything else. I remember when I first started using Gelish and I wasn't sure how it was going to work because I was so used to designing with acrylic. Now I love incorporating Gelish into my designs. One of my favorite techniques is something I call "Acrylish" which is acrylic mixed with Gelish.

What do you draw design inspiration from?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes it can be as simple as walking down the street and seeing a fabric that I like in a store window. I also think that it is good to create designs around the products that I am using. It's amazing what you can create when you really know the products.

How did you become an educator with Harmony?
I was working as a freelance artist and was ready to quit the industry because I was having a hard time finding work. Luckily on a trip to Spain I met Danny and Gari-Dawn and everything changed. We talked about starting to develop education in Mexico and from there the rest is history. For me, joining the Harmony team was almost like being born again in the nail industry.

What do you enjoy most about teaching nail techs?
My favorite part of teaching is sharing everything I know with my students. When I first started as a student I remember wanting to know everything I could, so this is something I try remember when I am teaching. I also like to develop relationships with my students by giving them as much positive feedback and advice as I can. My favorite piece of advice to give students is that they must always learn from their mistakes and keep practicing.