We sat down with Nail'd It champion Ashley Craig to find out a little bit more about her background and her time in the competition!
Oxygen: How long have you been in the nail industry?
Ashley: I've been in the industry almost 7 years.
O: Is being a nail artist your full time job? If not, what else do you do?
A: Being a nail artist is my full time job. But I also do makeup, painting wall murals and designing tattoos.
O: Why did you go on the show?
A: To show people that there is an art to what I do. I wanted to show the more creative and competitive side of nails. Not just pink and whites.
O: What did you bring to the competition? What makes you unique?
A: The one thing that makes me unique is I'm a trained visual arts major and an experienced nail competitor.
O: What was your proudest accomplishment?
A: My proudest accomplishment is my beautiful daughter Mia. She's a straight A student, in the IB program, and just an all-around loving and sweet girl. She is a gift from god.
O: Which nails (from the show) were you most proud of?
A: The nails I was most proud of was my final fantasy piece, the mother and daughter. Not only does it represent everything I went through but I think it represents all moms out there. How the moment you have a child changes your entire reason for being...and starting a new chapter life.
O: Which set of nails by a competitor was your favorite?
A: I absolutely loved Kandi's salon wearable set in the finale. The checkerboard was awesome!
O: Has your life changed at all since being on the show?
A: Life hasn't changed much [yet!], still crazy busy. I do get recognized when I go out sometimes and that's a little surreal. Oh! And my coworkers now call me "Hollywood," lol but in a playful way. :)
O: What’s your favorite nail trend right now?
A: My current favorite nail trend would have to be the over the top Swarovski embellished nails and quilted pattern anything!
O: What did you learn by being on the show?
A: I learned that keeping your head in the game and eye on the prize really does pay off! (No pun intended) lol! That there's a severely thin line between cocky and confident, and also trash talking gets you nowhere--but one liners and great facial expressions gets you to the finale! Well, that and beautiful mermaid/unicorn colored hair! ;)
O: What was the hardest challenge (from any episode)?
A: I think the hardest challenge had to be the bridal bouquet. Only because everyone watching immediately had a picture come to mind when they heard those words "bridal bouquet". You know it's supposed to be pretty, feminine, sparkly, girly, etc. So the that being said, try and make that from nothing, to something, but also life size, pretty, clean, and desirable, all in what? Hours?!! Things like that would normally take months.
O: What are you planning to do with the prize money?
A: The million dollar question. Lol or should I say "$100,000" dollar question. I'm actually looking to invest part of it into securing a nice, stable home for Mia and me and paying off her college find. Also possibly making some of my mom’s dreams come true seeing she helped make mine become a reality.
O: What’s next for you?
A: Hmmmm, what's next for me??? Not too sure. I know I'm still working in the salon 6 days a week, but I would love to travel, educate, maybe instead of competing try judging? Lol who knows. I'm keeping my feet firmly on the ground but I'm always open to new opportunities.
Check out Ashley's Nail'd It journey plus some of our favorite Ashley Craig originals: