Nailympia (formerly know as Nailympics) was started 12 years ago as the brainchild of a very good friend of mine, Alex Fox, Editor in Chief of Scratch Magazine, part of Olympia Beauty. Her organising partner of Nailympia London is Janine Derbyshire, a Director of the mother company, Seed Publishing and Quadex Exhibitions.
Alex had a vision of creating an international nail competition that drew the best of the global nail artists while giving the novice the opportunity to up their game and compete with the best of the best. The categories in the completion are varied and diverse and frequently change in order to challenge the nail pro and keep in line with the global professional nail industry and its trends and interests.
From sheer hard work and a deeply held passion, Alex’s dream has definitely been realised. Nailympia London 2015 had almost 30 countries competing and 700+ competition seats. It is now one of the most respected competitions in the world and grows year on year.
The competition floor at Nailympia London 2014. (you can hardly see the end!)
I have been connected with Nailympia from year 1 in a variety of ways. My main problem is that is usually clashes with Paris Fashion Week so my support has been limited. There were a few years when this clash didn’t exist and I was the Head Floor Judge alongside Elaine Watson as Head Booth Judge. I believe we made inroads into the fairness and providing a ‘level playing field’ for all competitors. Now, the fashion shows clash again so I am unable to take an active part in the London comp. But I have been very active in introducing new and unique categories and create the design brief for ‘Runway Nails’ each year.
Alex’s vision is being realised more. 3 years ago, Nailympia Australia launched at the Sydney Beauty Expo. In 2017, Nailympia US will launch in April in Houston, Texas. It is now truly global.
Once again, I am unable to attend Nailympia London ’16 due to Paris Fashion Week and a lot of shows. BUT…..I was very honoured to be asked to attend Nailympia Australia!!
Reed Exhibitions (the organiser of the Beauty Expo in Sydney) and Tracey Boyle (organiser of Nailympia Aus) invited me to be Head Floor Judge for the August competition in Sydney alongside my buddy, Elaine Watson as Head Booth Judge. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity!
This is the 3rd year of this comp and, as it is now truly global (with winners being part of a global ‘winners program’) it was time to up the game and make the rules tougher and stricter and more in line with the very serious London comp. I’m considered to be a bit of a ‘wicked witch’ as I WILL disqualify or penalise those that break the rules so I was drafted in to oversee the ‘rule keeping’.
I’m not sure what I expected but I was blown away by the skill level of the competitors and the passion and friendliness of all connected with it!
Elaine instructed the booth (anonymous judging) judges that the scores must now be in line with London. So, where last year there could be an 8 out of 10, it;s now tougher and could well be a 4!! No messing! Global standards.
I told my floor judges the many ways competitors try to save time but with ways that are against the rules! AKA ‘cheating’!
The Competition floor at Nailympia Australia (not as massive as London but it’s getting there)
We stuck to our guns and I’m very happy to report that the standard of the top scorers could compete on a global stage any time! I so hope many of them will and travel to London or Houston and show all the other countries what Australia is capable of!
The Awards at Nailympia London 2014 The Awards ay Nailympia Australia 2016
So many passionate people!
I sincerely hope I get invited back next year as I made so many new friends of lovely, passionate and skilful nail professionals and global judges. I also hope to get invited to the first US Nailympia next April.