I am ashamed to say in all my years as a beauty professional, I have never been to the NAHA'S (North American Hairstyling Awards). I have looked in on them, read about them, pulled up their photos online for inspriration, but never once attended the event.That all changed for me and I'm not sure I can ever miss another. I had the pleasure of attending with one of my mentors, Vicki Peters. The draw for me this year was to support another mentor of mine Geno Stampora, who was being inducted into the NAHA hall of leaders. The event was a who's who of industry legends, icons, visionaries and up and comers. There were also about 200 students in attendance this year which was so inspiring to see. Many of you that know me through the nails venue do not know that I am a full on cosmetologist, beauty dork. I study and perform services in hair, make-up, skin care, nails and even waxing. I love it ALL> It was almost surreal to see my hair heroes up close and personal, be able to snap photos, shake their hands and offer my thanks for the years of inspiration, motivation and dedication to this great business that we share that is beauty.I had the chance to tell Nicholas French that I was amazed by his work, just loved it and he thanked me sincerely and said, "You don't know how much that means to me, you know we are never completely satisfied with what we do ourselves." These artists and legends are just like us..Working with passion and commitment, often for little or no pay, labor of love with total devotion to their art and their audience. They have incredible teams around them and are so appreciative of every contribution. The Fashion Forward winner, Faatemah Ampey was so humbled and charming with her down to earth words of gratitude for the wonderful team that helped her fulfill her vision "on a 3 dollar budget". It must be an honor to share the journey with one of these amazingly talented individuals. I couldn't help but wonder as I sat there why are NAILS no longer a category in this amazing event? They used to be. The past winners were not even listed in the NAHA tribute journal. The past winners of what was the "Permanent Wave" category were listed, not offense Eric, you know I love you! How did we let this happen? We can no longer sit back on our perch of the red headed step child of the beauty industry.With so much amazing talent, passion and creativity in the wonderfully dedicated nail artists of the world, we need to band together and get back in the spotlight. Bonnie Bonadeo has done such an amazing job growing this event. The NAHA'S are going to be pushed further with more exposure to the fashion community at large and nails must get back on the platform. I am going to make it a mission of mine to get this category back in the NAHA'S... Who's with me???