Alex Fox – Editor of Scratch Magazine
You had a very unique upbringing, tell us a little about it.
My mother was obsessed with tarantulas, snakes and scorpions so my brother and I shared a house with a host of them, which was pretty freaky. On the flip side my father and stepmother created and ran a wild animal sanctuary (now classed as a zoo) outside Cambridge, UK where I spent many happy and interested weekends.
You moved to Doha but regularly return the UK. If you could wave a magic wand and take one thing from Britain to Qatar and one thing from Qatar to Britain what would these two things be?
Living in Qatar is a more relaxed lifestyle – much less stress – so I’d love that in the UK.
If I could fly out green lush landscape, flowers, trees, hills, brooks and mountains to Qatar – I would!
As editor of Scratch Magazine you have interviewed many people and now it’s your turn to sit in the hot seat. Tell us one thing about yourself that people should know about you, but probably don’t.
I am currently getting my first children’s book published. I wrote it while out in Qatar when I found that the lifestyle gave me the precious time I needed to pursue a secret passion of mine.
What made you want to be a part of the nail industry?
It was an accidental journey to be honest. I was a journalist on photographic magazines for 7 seven years prior to my first pregnancy. While on maternity leave I was invited to join a company (quite local to me) I had worked for previously. This company produced a magazine called Nails Plus, which I worked on for nearly 5 years. When I left, I started up Scratch with an ex-colleague Scott Derbyshire.
By then the nail industry was firmly embedded inside- it had become my comfort zone.
You play a key role in organising The Nailympics, this year’s 6th annual competition is in London again, much to everyone’s joy – how has this event changed since it began?
It has kept its essence the same – as it’s inherent concept is really strong – but what we’ve done is take away the airbrush category – as it wasn’t very popular. We’ve added The Team Trophy and we’re currently still working on what we can add for Nail Olympics 2010 to spice it up a little.
Where do you see this competition in 5 years?
At the forefront of the global competition circuit and working in tandem with other major nail competitions.
You also act as a judge for other competitions, ImagiNAILtion Cover Contest 2010 and The Nail Teams 2nd Photographic competition to name a few. What is your favourite aspect of judging?
I love the expression of creativity, colour and imagination – so to see original works of art is enormous fun.
It’s wonderful to be invited to consider and critique work, although I do find it quite tough as often the quality is very high.
What effect do you think the Internet is having on the industry?
A massive effect. It means everyone’s business is available in everyone’s home now.
Every salon should have it’s own website and if it doesn’t, it’s missing a marketing piece of genius.
Being an animal lover do you have any advice on how society as a whole can help stop cosmetics being tested on animals?
It’s simple, buy products from a company with a conscience.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Meditation, landscapes, children and friends.
What can you not leave home without?
A good book!
What is you favourite nail style at the moment?
I just love short, square dark gel overlays on me – but I’m about to get a set of bubble nails sculpted on in red glitter for a dramatic change.
The bubble nail style appeals to my wild side and I’m excited to give it a go. I’ll try anything once!
Have any advice for techs who want to get noticed?
Get out on the competition circuit. Call or email trade magazine editors like myself and offer your skills / expertise in features etc. Approach session techs who take teams into events such as fashion week and enquire about joining the team. Continuously practice your skills, make sure your nail theory is as uptodate as it can be at any given time.
Be the best tech you can be all round and industry figures will want to know all about you. Make sure you approach your local media and organisations in order to raise awareness of the nail industry in consumer circles.
There is so much you can do to make your salon well known – not least make sure you offer such a high end service that eveyone is talking about you and booking appointments.
Nails aside, what else gets you out of bed in the morning?
Classical music, a good book, movies, dancing, beaches, friends, Pilates, yoga (a never ending obsessive cycle of exercise), 3 crazy kids, adventure, but most of all a zest for life!
Thanks to Alex for answering our questions & sharing a little more about herself. We wish her every success with her book “Windsock Wesley and his Wild & Wonderful Weather Machine“. The first of the series “Living in Cloud 9” is out this summer & available to purchase directly from the publishers.
Stay tuned for more interesting interviews with other fun & fearless members of the nail industry.