CND, a global leader in professional nail, hand and foot beauty and KUPA Inc. one of the top industry manufacturers of e-file machines used by nail technicians, lead the charge in developing the I ❤️ NAILS program for those entering the nail care industry and to provide advanced educational opportunities for working nail professionals looking to enhance their skills. Both companies are deeply committed to advancing the nail care industry and devotes significant time and resources to product research and development, education, and customer support.

To ensure the scholarships were properly funded, the following brands generously supported the cause.  Eleven $2,000 Student Scholarships and Ten $2000 Advanced Education Scholarships were made possible from the generous donations from CND and KUPA, along with Nail Alliance/Morgan Taylor, Premier Nail Source, Rejuvenate, Universal Companies, Valerie Ducharme, Vivian Valenty, Wildflowers, Zurno, and additional private donations.

The I ❤️ NAILS Scholarship Program is facilitated by Beauty Changes Lives, a not-for-profit organization driven to make the beauty profession a first-choice career and empower the next generation of beauty professionals through scholarships, mentorship programs, advanced education, and grants to support emerging new businesses.

Summer 2022 Winners

Nicki Wallner


Winter Haven, FL

Nicki has been a professional nail technician for 17 years and is owner of Bliss Beauty. “I love that the beauty industry has allowed me to have a meaningful career and truly helping people feel better about themselves, when you build other people up you actually build yourself up.”  Nicki’s next chapter is to become an educator to learn to pass it on and to keep growing.  Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Titilayo Bankole


Camp Springs, MD

Originally from Nigeria, Titilayo comes from a huge family of doctors, lawyers and other entrepreneurs tasked in caring for people.  Her decision to have a career in nail technology has been her passion for 31 years. Titilayo explains that “education has been the driving force of my career…advanced training keeps me sharp, expands my knowledge, and helps give back to the  next generation.” Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Sarah Carrelli


Cresco, PA

Sarah is a professional nail technician and a licensed educator.  She spent 20 years in the retail industry, but always had a passion for creativity and most of all nails.  She finally decided to put her passion to work and enrolled in 2018 took out a loan from her 401K to enroll in a program.  She found her passion for nails evolved into becoming an educator. Sarah says that what keeps her “energized is attending trade shows, nail camps and advanced classes, it allows me to open my mind to new possibilities.” Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Shannon Rooney


Scottsdale, AZ

Shannon has been a nail tech since 1989 and feels like her biggest goal is to start taking more advanced classes so can continue to learn new techniques, sparks her creativity and motivate her to learn new skills to bring to her clients.  “I feel very grateful that you recognize that seasoned nail technicians also need continued education to keep stay on top of their craft and keep their customers happy and safe.”  Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Tise Pierce


Denair, CA

Tise begins her video submission by explaining why she fell in love with nails.  She explains that at 15 years old, was her first experience getting her nails manicured professionally.  She describes the event as “magical”.  “I finally felt normal and glamorous confident was no longer embarrassed about my nails, as I was an avid nail biter, now people finally noticed my hands for their beauty.”  “We’re forever growing, we’re forever changing, new products are coming out that are better and healthier not only for our safety as now artists but also for our clients.”  Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Nancy Okon


New Lenox, IL

Nancy has been a professional nail tech since 1995, and she has always had a passion for the nail industry.  She believes that advanced education is imperative to update yourself on the emerging trends, stay up to date on sanitation and safety regulations, and ways to support other nail techs and her clients. She loves going to competitions and events and learning tips and tricks from other nail techs who are as passionate as she is. She hopes to begin one day mentoring others to give new emerging artists the support they need to stay in the industry!  Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Nickie Spriggs


Antelope, CA

Nickie says that she found her calling by accident.  Before she was licensed, as a hobby she began posting her nail art on social and people really responded to it.  “I’ve always loved doing artwork so doing it on little, tiny canvases, but there was a business side of me that saw Instagram and Pinterest blowing up”, I had “this little aha moment when I realized I could do something that I thoroughly enjoyed and make a living at it!”.  She has been a licensed nail technician for eight years and loves she found her passion.  Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Katie Dutra


Beaverton, OR

Katie Dutra is a licensed nail technician in Oregon for ten years, but she found in the beginning she had a hard time becoming better at her craft. At the time, she did not have Instagram or Facebook and did not have the resources or continuing education classes that would help her refine her skills.  She finally gave up on nails for a year and started working a regular 9-5 job. She missed her creative work and decided to jump back into nails.  She says that continuing education is the key to success, and she hopes that if she wins the scholarship, she can find more ways to be the best she can be!  Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Jessica Welch


Danvers, MA

Jessica, originally received her degree in culinary arts and worked in restaurants for 10 years.  Unfortunately, health issues forced her to change her career and since she already enjoyed doing nails for herself, she signed up for a nail program and became licensed.  She says that she absolutely loves that this career allows a person to truly take control of their own future and success.  She loves learning new skills and says if she receives the scholarship, she will use it to attend a Masters artist class with Wildflowers in February!  Check out her winning video submission HERE.

Denise Holcomb


Lagrange, OH

Denise says her biggest goal is to continue to take classes, to learn as much as she can and continue becoming educated and be able to share her knowledge to those new nail techs that are just coming out of school.  She said that she had to overcome many obstacles to get where she is today and wants to be able to give back to the nail community.  Her biggest challenge was not being able to work for ten months during the pandemic.  Her husband was in the hospital for 101 days with Covid and during that time she says that “my nail sisters got me through that period watching all these videos.”  She was able to stay passionate during that time while being inspired by her community. She now wants to give back and inspire those around her! Check out her winning video submission HERE.