Every story has a beginning and Irina Von Krosigk’s kicks off in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. As a child growing up in this former Soviet Union republic, she didn’t envision a future in nails. “I wanted to be an interpreter or translator,” says the multilingual tech. She studied English and French at Kyrgyz-Zher, a private college, but finding a job post-graduation proved tough. One day, while flipping through a newspaper in search of part-time work, Von Krosigk landed on an entry-level nail position at a home-based salon. They were willing to educate inexperienced apprentices, so the intrepid novice took a chance. “Six months later, I had a few clients and a new career,” says Von Krisigk.
While settling into her new career, Von Krosigk was also searching for love. “I wanted to get married and have kids,” she says, “But as a young woman, my few serious relationships ended in heartache.” So, she turned to the internet, joining an international dating site on a whim. In May 2002, she received a message from a nice American named Michael William Von Krosigk. Soon they were writing emails once a week, then chatting on the phone. The pair arranged to meet in Moscow that October, and at the end of one week together, Irina applied for a U.S. visa. The process took two years and in January 2004, Von Krosigk moved to Tipp City, Ohio. The couple married on March 27, and they are now parents to Emily, 12, a gymnastics lover, and Nicholas, 9, a budding tennis player.
When Von Krosigk arrived in the States, she worked for her in-laws’ company, Champion Signs, creating logos for banners, office window decals and business marquees. The job was fulfilling, yet she never forgot her love for lacquer. She went back to school in 2012, obtaining her license from Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology in nearby Dayton. Currently she works at Garbo’s Hair Designs, close to Ohio’s Dayton International Airport. It’s a small space with several hairdressers and her as the solo tech—but Von Krosigk is still dreaming big.
After learning about the Glossies, thoughts of entering the competition became all-consuming. With two kids to care for, the untimed, work-at- home format of this contest proved ideal. Still, there were obstacles to overcome. Mixed Media was the most challenging category, says Von Krosigk. “I’m diligent and neat so I can recreate an image after studying it, but original designs don’t spring to life inside my head,” she says. She first watched YouTube videos to master 3-D techniques, then researched crime scene photos to concept her sketch of bullet holes, police- car sirens and bloody weapons for the “Crime Scene” theme.
On the flip side, It’s All About the Bling was her favorite entry. “I selected stiletto nails because more space meant extra room to play with Swarovski crystals,” she enthuses. Green and blue stones complemented her pristine pink-and-white mani. “The creation took all day, since I wanted to ensure that each detail was executed exactly as I envisioned,” she says.
For Von Krosigk, the shock of winning the Glossies has yet to wear off. “Looking back, I still can’t believe some of those creations are mine!” she laughs. Yet true to form, she’s already looking to the future. “I plan on taking business classes, as I’d like to own a small studio with a few passionate nail techs and perhaps a massage therapist or cosmetologist,” she says. It seems the end of this story is only the beginning.
Von Krosigk’s Winning Scores
Hand-Painted Nail Art, Gossip:
2nd place French Twist:
Before & After:
2nd placeCompetition #3Mixed Media, Crime Scene:
Design Sculptured Nails, Red, White and Blue:
3-D Nail Art, Constellations: 1st place
– by Francesca Moisin
This article was first published in the September 2017 issue of NAILPRO.