Ashley Craig started as your everyday nail tech from Fort Myers, FL, worked her way up, refined her skills, and when she went on Oxygen’s premier season of the nail competition show Nail’d It!, she won first place. Her prize? $100,000 and the chance to come to Los Angeles to do the nails for March/April 2015 cover of Nail It! magazine.
Craig wowed us with the geode and gemstone-inspired nail art she did for our cover, and she’s since been climbing the ranks of the nail industry. She recently moved on to participate in an opportunity of a lifetime as an Artist in Residence for CND’s Design Lab team during New York Fashion Week.
“The program is something most nail techs could only dream of, and I’m just grateful I got to be part of it, ” Craig said of her experience. “CND and their dream team are every bit of amazing that you would imagine. If I was asked to spend a year with them, that still wouldn’t have been enough. From tips, tricks, and techniques to an overall sense of unity, they create an environment that can only produce the most unique and fashion-forward works of art.”
It’s not always easy to transition from the salon world to the runway world. Some techs get lost in the chaos, some haven’t worked on an artistic team before, and some have difficulty adjusting to the quick pace of the events. Now that Craig has been on both sides, she shares her words of wisdom on adapting to the new environment:
“My first experience at New York Fashion Week was absolutely amazing. My best suggestion to succeed for your first time there is go in with a totally open mind. It’s fashion week, no idea is too small or too big, all things go. Remain open to constructive criticism and suggestions. Also pay attention, ask questions and speak up. Don’t be afraid to ask opinions or how to do something. Let’s face it, we don’t know everything, so try and learn something new that you can take with you when you leave.”
Images: CND, Ashley Craig