Nail camp was born in 2014, the dream child of Tess Hellier-Robertson and Reet Francese. The idea was to create a safe place where techs from all over Australia could gather, network, learn and let off some steam. A brand neutral, non profit, politics free haven for techs of all levels; beginners to veterans.
After a conversation about the enduring friendships made during their time in the nail industry, Tess and Reet, who were already very active on social media, hosting sites like 'Nail Tech Network' and
'Nail Tech Q & A' envisioned a coming together of like minded souls in the form of....A Nail Camp. Think camping, minus the kids and hubby, with a group of nail techs hell bent for fun and adventure. Oh, and team building, education, enlightenment, competitions, tips, tricks probably some marshmallow roasting, and most definitely some wine sipping.
What they had inadvertently realised was that no amount of on-line kinship and social media could take the place of real time, face to face meetings and hand on applications.
The two decide early on that this would be a not for profit venture, a giving back to the community they both love.
And so 'Nail Camp Australia' was born. The very first camp was held over two nights, in a school camp site in McLaren Vale SA. It hosted a total of forty five attendees. The limited tickets sold out in twenty minutes on face book, indicating the need for such events. The organisers agree, it was tough going to begin with, so much to organise, sponsors to win over, educators to book, rallying support from the industry and......the menu.
The menu. Imagine trying to co-ordinate a menu to suit various members of the nail industry. It's only a myth that we survive by way of an intravenous drip supplying a carefully measured dose of caffeine throughout the day and the occasional mars bar. In actual fact, after prolonged nail-table chit-chat about every diet, healthy eating scheme, alternative eating plan and kale juice fad, it turns out nail techs are a decidedly fussy bunch of eaters. This menu planning nearly broke them, (slight exaggeration-Ed) but the girls endured and both agree, that even though the first year was the hardest, it's the camp that holds a special place in their hearts. The bonding and memories made that year forged a union, and the inspiration to keep planning.
The second Nail Camp boasted approximately sixty six happy campers, and was located in the Blue Mountains, NSW. After many months of planning, and taking on board feedback from attendees and educators the growth reflected the efforts of everyone involved. The emphasis was centred around team work from day one, and without that teamwork an event of this kind would fall flat. The small groups that help out with bedding and equipment, sharing information, and rounding up teams of car poolers to do covert airport pick-ups are the back bone of Nail Camp, along with the tireless educators and incredible sponsors.
Some major sponsors every year have included; The Nail Shop, Colour Me Pretty, Elliona, Mancine and Beauty World. Every year, one lucky attendee has the chance to win a major prize of a 12 month contract with Emendee Nail Tables.
The third Nail Camp, in Joyner QLD, looked after eighty four guests, momentum reaching new levels as the reputation grew. It's not easy for many to get a weekend free, to do something for yourself. It takes commitment on the part of the camp goer. Planning, and a small monetary commitment, but by the third nail camp in 2016, many techs were realising that the benefits were worth planning for. The networking and friendships made along with the education and shared information outweigh a weekend off...oh and did I mention the wine sipping?
How fast they grow....
This years Nail Camp is being held in the picturesque Mornington Peninsula VIC. Over a hundred nail techs will be meeting up from all over Australia to mingle and learn, but mostly to have fun.
Tickets include a full program of events, accommodation and meals, gift bags. Also expect prizes and goodies throughout camp by way of mini competitions, all in good fun. And of course friendship. Being able to talk to other techs about issues and troubleshoot among your peers is a rarity that brings enlightenment. Your not the only one that accidentally spat on a client or played footsie with Mrs Davies thinking she was the chair leg. Your not the only one that finds it really hard sometimes, or thinks the chrome fad is a nightmare. Your certainly not the only one to muck up your tax returns. We are all human, and it's great to get the chance to laugh about it with others who understand.... The struggle is real!
Tickets for Nail Camp Australia 2018 will become available from September/ October this year, so get in quick if you don't want to miss out.
Check for tickets, details and sponsors on the official Facebook page:
Story by Rachel Stevens