Monday, 22 June 2009

Greetings from Greece



Last Month, I was invited to Greece, working with AME, I wanted to bring you a taste of what I got up to.....I am not sure why I have an affinity with Greece perhaps it is because I was born in Cyprus and can connection with their laid back easy nature, their friendliness and willingness to help is refreshing. Perhaps it was because I met my husband under the Greek sun or is it the food which I have fond memories of eating, spending most of my teenage years eating maze’s, and pita’s filled with Greek salads and humus. Whatever it is, I am always thrilled to be invited back to Greece, and help Anna Almbanis, one of Greece’s top nail technicians and her team at AME. This was my third visit and this time at the beginning of the summer, so I certainly experienced a little of how hot it can get in Athens.

Booked to demonstrate at Athens beauty show, I spent the first two days working on the impressive Ez Flow booth. Anna and Angelo Almbanis of AME are the distributors for Ez Flow, Jessica and a whole host of other products in Greece, along with running an extremely successful franchise of Nyxi Nyxi salons. This dynamic husband and wife team, have superb offices in the best part of town, with a shop and training rooms.

But this is not where my journey starts, early on Saturday morning, Anna and I head off to the Television studios, where we are scheduled to appear on their version of GMT. After waiting for make up and hair, and meeting a

whole host of exciting ‘names’ in the green room we finally were live on air, Anna showed off the new Minx wraps, while I did some 3D lilies on her finger tips.

The show in Athens is a one which includes nails and beauty, hair and makeup.

Packed together there is a range of different booths both large and small, zig zagging down the aisles. As the visitors make their way down the hall, rising up in front of them is the large and very shiny Ez Flow stand. With an imposing magenta wall at one end, the booth housed polishes from the Jessica range, shelves and shelves jammed packed with Ez flow colours and products, on a back drop of mat and gloss white. Large white shiny tiles lined the floor with its clean lines giving this stand a polished and professional feel.

There were three plasma screens all showing my Pure fantasy and new Pure design DVD’s, and a long one wall, a long white table for me to demonstrate. Wow!

Saturday I concentrated on design nails, showing visitors to the stand, just how far we could push the acrylic, and give them some inspiration and ideas of what they could achieve in the salon and on their clients. I even produced some pink and whites, but renowned now for my fantasy nails, was asked time and again to make something elaborate on the end of their finger tips. Sunday was a fun day, completely dedicated to fantasy. Nothing was held back producing, parrots and peacocks, lilies and roses, butterflies and bling, from the abstract to the bizarre, I spent the day producing Fantasy creations to show nail technicians just what can be achieved with acrylic and gel.

I have met some amazing people at the show, and had the opportunity to work alongside Aggelikh Sidiropoulou from Urkraine, one of Anna’s educators, she produced some sublime Russian inspired designs over the weekend, adding her own particular brand of style to long and pointed stilettos.

I didn’t attend the show on Monday as we had two exciting seminars planned. With only 20 places available on each, we ran both workshop until 9.00 at night. The idea was to show a range of idea’s using both coloured acrylic and gel which can be used within the salon. I showed 2 gel nails, incorporating the brand new celestial bodies range from Ez Flow, and another utilizing three different application techniques using a Varity of colours. These design are exclusive ‘Sam Biddle’ designs available only through ‘Be inspired’ workshops, where I have the freedom to push the bounders and show something unique to nail technicians all over the globe. Using acrylic, we covered a range of different application skills including the now very popular stiletto shape, finally finishing the day with a fantasy rose. Everyone had an opportunity to try out these new application techniques and work on some of their own nails.

Another very early start on Tuesday morning, when I took a flight up to the north part of Greece, and visited the sub distributor in Thessaloniki; Elena Tapra. She had also organized another two seminars, where I worked with both gel and acrylic, to present some new ideas and designs for their salons and customers to enjoy, and showing them how best to market these and increase business. Making a mad dash back to the airport, I was to fly back to Athens, and my hotel, with a few hours sleep and with only a few hours before I was to catch a flight home to the UK with plans to return in November, I was able to catch a well earned rest on plane.

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