December 2008

Vicki Peters

The Nail Extension | by Vicki Peters


Inspiration Comes in all Forms

Inspiration comes in all forms and mostly when you don’t expect it.

Many things inspire me, especially as I reflect back on the recent Olympics. There is a picture of the top two USA woman gymnasts; it shows them touching hands as one leaves the floor to compete and the other gets ready to compete. That silent support between the two of them competing for the same gold medal was powerful to me.

I have had many inspiring moments in my career. Three men in my business life are especially inspirational. Let me tell you about them.

Geno Stampora, the motivational speaker who has been a hairdresser, salon and school owner, distributor, platform artist and life enhancement coach; and Steven Brooks, founder and owner of DIVA Studios in Las Vegas are two of them.

I will never forget, years ago, a private lunch I had with them. It was away from any trade show and with no interruptions. I sat in between them and I don’t recall uttering a word; I was in awe just sucking in their energy. They are both wonderful, giving motivational educators.

The man who inspires me the most is Norm Freed, a business consulting and marketing guru. When I met Norm in 1986, I was just off the stage from winning a nail competition and a friend of mine said he wanted to meet me. Not having a clue who he was, we posed for a picture, which he said he had to have. It was taken with my camera, and Norm never saw that picture until I gave him a copy 10 years later. That was the moment I knew I wanted to be like him—and I am still working on being so to this day.

When Norm speaks to you, he makes you feel like you are the most important person in the world. He has a way of making you work hard and think during your conversations and when you are done, you feel like you had a therapy session. Occasionally I sneak into L.A. and we have lunch so I can get my Norm fix.

I reached out to Millie Haynam, an incredible speaker in the nail industry, who inspires me every day. She says she’s inspired by Geno Stampora. “He inspires me every time I see him. He never stops learning and growing as an educator and friend. I have learned so much from him over the years and hope to continue learning for many more. Geno reminds me to cut through the bull and get to the juice. His winning way of assuring every one of us of our value is priceless.”

I also asked Norm Freed who inspired him. He told about his inspiration, Lance Armstrong: “I’m sure everyone knows who he is. Every time I think of his story, I can’t help but seriously consider the validity of the word miracle.”

For me, I’m inspired by nail professional and educator Diana Bonn because of her incredible sense of decorum. She has weathered some amazing storms, both in business and personally; what is more, she has not been too proud to share. I truly admire her for the choices she makes to do the right thing, period. Diana is the best person in your corner if you have a moment of uncertainty.

Esthetician Janet McCormick, who has achieved a CIDESCO Diploma, an award respected world wide in the esthetic community, inspires me through her dedication to the truth without hesitation. She is one of the most beautifully authentic people I have ever met. Her knowledge is only surpassed by her willingness to share it and raise the level of those around her. Janet is obsessed with educating beauty professionals to achieve greater levels of success.

One can find inspiration in the salon as well and we should make sure that it flows generously. Most nail techs are giving souls and you may not even realize it, but we inspire our clients every hour by performing a service that makes them feel good about themselves. Don’t take this for granted, and explore its possibilities. We touch them physically with our hands during the service and exchange energy and we touch them emotionally with conversation.

Part of our service is our personality and conversation because we sit closely and face-to-face with them on a much more frequent basis than a hairstylist or skincare specialist does. We build a stronger business relationship where often our clients become fond of us, which builds the client nail tech bond.

Just being friendly and happy to see them is inspirational, especially when they have had a tough day. It gives them a breath of fresh air and can give them an hour of escape, which is often desperately needed. That’s powerful in itself.

Inspiration comes from the heart and we all know most nail techs have good hearts.

Vicki Peters is a 26 year veteran master nail tech, competition champion, judge, international educator, author and manufacturer and serves on the Nail Manufacturer Council. For more information visit or email her at