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International Educator & inspirational speaker
I joined the EzFlow Nail Systems team in October 2003 as a Master Artist Educator under the tutelage of Antony Buckley and I soon developed my passion for teaching.
My salon sold in January of 2006, and I pursued my love of teaching by starting a Nail Academy; at the same time I attended college to undertake my teaching certificate. But then due to another illness I was forced to take some serious time off and I left EzFlow to concentrate on recuperation.
It was at this time that I developed my new business Be Inspired. I wanted to provide learning and education for design nails that looked ‘outside the box’ but that could be incorporated into the brand that each individual nail technician knows and loves.
In July 2007, with a fresh outlook and renewed enthusiasm, I accepted an invitation to Kansas City to resit my Educator’s status and join the American International Industries (AII) Global Team. I returned to work with EzFlow and became an International Educator in 2011.
I also retrained and became an IBD Elite Educator in 2010; I feel this has given me a wider knowledge and experience of other brands that I can pass on to my students. I enjoy both product lines very much and regularly use them in my own work.
During my time as a member of the AII Global Team I was invited to speak at seminars and master classes at all the shows. I travelld nationally and internationally for AII Global, demonstrating, judging and holding seminars.
I began my journey in 2000 as a mobile technician and soon realised that in order to progress I would need a base, so I rented salon space for two years before taking the giant step of opening my own salon in Gillingham, Dorset with my husband John in 2002.
At ‘Outside In Nail & Body Shop’ we offered a wide range of treatments and had an immediate success on our hands.
But just 4 months later my world crashed in when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. We had invested so much into our future we couldn't let it fail so I trained John in the art of nails before I went for treatment.
Looking back now I realise it took me a long time to recover; I came out of hospital and went back to work sooner that I should have. For me at the time the cancer and other complications I had were physical issues, and I ignored the emotional and mental toll on my health. I continued to run the salon for another 4 years until 2006, when I sold it and took some time out.
Independent International Educator
International Educator EzFlow Nail systems
Elite Master Educator IBD
Global Educator American International Industries
Contributions & front covers for the nail industry
I have always enjoyed putting pen to paper and often write features for trade publications such as Health and Beauty Salon, Beauty Salon News, The Salon, Scratch and Gloss magazine in the UK. I have also contributed articles to publishers around the world, such as Vivera in Greece, Nagalar in Sweden, and Nails and Nailspro magazine in the USA.
With a regular column in Beauty Salon News, I also provide comments for Guild News, The Nail File, Professional Beauty and Nails magazine.
In 2008 I acheived another goal on my wish list - a front cover for Scratch magazine, and have continued to provide cover images for Scratch and NailPro ever since.
2011 was an exciting year. The Be Inspired product line was growing and I was receiving a lot of interest from overseas. But my first love has always been for education. I needed some help and Rebecca Orme, who I had known and been working with for years, came to my rescue. Over a nightcap one night we began formulating a plan and three months later launched Jealous Cow Ltd - a parent company for a range of brands and activities that we would develop globally, the first of which was Be Creative.
Working with Rebecca has allowed me to continue to develop new and exciting products and educate worldwide. Rebecca looks after all our worldwide distributors and so much more.
In 2012 we see Be Creative has grown up. We now have a large team of educators in Asia, 15 Be Creative educators in the UK, and we’re working on new teams for Ireland, USA and Australia. With amazing products such as the Nail Art Pen, Gel Paints and Pigments, Be Creative has become a recognised trade brand, developing a reputation for innovation with the nail professional in mind.
In October 2011 Jealous Cow launched its second brand, Original Sugar - a consumer ‘at home’ nail art brand developed to support the industry’s growth as design nails fast became a must-have and much in demand fashion accessory. Late in 2012 we took Original Sugar products to the professional nail tech with Original Sugar Pro.
In 2009 my journey took a new direction. Be Inspired was growing into an international succes story, I developed four classes which would help technicians to find inspiration and express their creativity, helping them develop their career and utilise new skills. I was one of the first Independent Educators in the UK and now, although we see a fair few around, I feel I still offer the industry something different through my education activities.
I held my own inspirational overseas workshop in Greece, and this side of this business has now taken me into America, Australia, Asia and Europe, enriching the education of nail technicians worldwide.
In 2010, as Be Inspired took up more and more of my time, I had to say farewell to the AII Global Team.
In 2012 I continue to work with the UK EzFlow Team and Graftons International; I now run an Enrichment Programme for the Educators, with each session run as an inspirational day, focused on business and marketing rather than nails. I continue to work
In 2012 I was invited to join the International Education Team for Orly - a natural nail brand - and I jumped at the chance. I love Orly and use it myself. Training at the Orly HQ in LA and meeting Jeff Pink was a real treat! So international travel is now a large part of my life as I take Orly and Be Inspired, Jealous Cow and Be Creative to a worldwide audience.
The future of Be Inspired is ever evolving. With the launch of this new website in October, and our new Be Inspired TV channel, I am hoping to bring a little learning to every nail tech’s laptop, PC or iPad. Whilst you can’t beat hands-on experience and education in a class will still be the preferred method of learning or most nail professionals, it’s not always possible to take the time out, or to afford the expense of travel and course fees. So we have to be creative and adaptable.
I am passionate about education, and want to give every nail tech the same opportunities I had to grow and learn. This is where Be Inspired TV comes in; through the power of live video streaming we can provide educational support and offer some great online learning seminars and step-by-steps. Be Inspired TV will also be bringing some behind the scenes footage, interviews and spotlight features. It’s all very new still and we are super excited about its launch, so watch this space!
It was in March 2004 that I entered my first competition in the pink and white category, not realising then just how much it would affect my career and help me develop my creative side.
As I sat next to another competitor I spent more time watching her develop fantasy nails on her model, and completely forgot the reason why I was there, I knew then and there that I had to give this a try!
Motivated and inspired, I designed two nails and entered them into the Professional Nails competition in London the following September, winning 1st in the Photograhic entry with 'Water' and 2nd in the Fantasy entry with 'Fire'. Thrilled with the results I took them to Manchester, again coming 1st and 2nd.
In 2005 I was invited to judge competitions and started to receive press attention - The Independent on Sunday ran a feature on the competitions. I was also asked to provide 15 fantasy looks for the Daily Mail, the BBC came to interview me and ITV filmed at my salon for a feature about my fantasy nails.
I was selected as a finalist in the 2008 & 2009 Nail Professional of the Year awards, and nominated for two Scratch awards (which I had to turn down due to judging conflicts). I am now a judge for the Nail Professional of the Year awards.
Competition nails & media attention
My first DVD 'Pure Fantasy' was produced in January 2008.
It still sells well, and has since been joined by 'Pure Gel' and 'Pure Acrylic' (my Pure Collection) and other titles developed to inspire and educate.
I have also brought out a book full of pictures designed to inspire.
The internet is vital to my business - as a showcase for my training and product innovations, and to keep me in touch with what's going on in the industry. In 2007 I developed a successful blog, achieving 5000 subscribers in just six months. The site remains popular and relevant and is regularly updated with articles, step by steps and special features on other technicians, event details and competitions.
Books & DVDs
I have been fortunate to have worked with some amazing titles, from Cosmopolitan magazine and Woman to attending photo shoots and working with super models. There have been some pretty interesting experiences:
Learning from my past and having had to confront my own mortality four times, I can look towards to a serene and harmonious future. The importance of family and well being are paramount. I feel deeply that this belief gives me the freedom to express myself.
I intend to continue developing my brand and will always be searching for new and innovative ways to move this industry forward.
Looking forward to the future
Sam & other judges, Professional Beauty 2012 at Excel London
Nail Talk Radio interview nail talk radio with Naja Rickettes and Millie Haynam during my trip to the USA IN 2012
Creating a Velvet manicure for Sky Living - Harrods Urban Retreat, Original Sugar Pro press launch 2012
NAILgasmTV: Sam tells us why she loves nail art