Thursday, September 13, 2012

You want me to do what? (by: Juan)

As some of you may know Juan had to deliver some polishes to NYC at the last minute for a Fashion Week emergency. I made him sit down and do a post to tell you all about it! I hope you enjoy!

Juan's Post:

Good morning/afternoon/evening all,

This is John (aka Juan) and I'll be writing today's blog post!  This is going to be a long post because I want to share this experience with you as close to possible as I lived it.  This post will be written with a couple of assumptions... since you are reading this on a nail/fashion related blog, you are likely a female (sorry guys, but it's kind of assumed); and two, you get as excited about fashion as I get about getting a new guitar!  

Let's move on to the goods, because I've got lots to share! 

In case you missed the post on the Cult Nails Facebook page, here's what happened:  Our polish (Nevermore in particular) was selected to be used for a show in New York Fashion Week on Tuesday, Sept 11.  We got the call on Friday from Ajah, celebrity manicurist of "Her Nails Rock!" that she finalized details with the designer on Friday night, and so we got everything ready and shipped it overnight on Saturday to arrive on Monday by 3pm.  Plenty of time for the show, right!?  Not really!

Maria and I were out at dinner Monday night, when Ajah (whom I now call Aj) called to let her know the package had not arrived.  The package contained enough Nevermore to coat a small bedroom, and enough Wicked Fast Top Coat to protect a 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit from continuing to rust.  So, what do we do?  Aj had risked quite a bit when she highly recommended our product to the designer, the designer took a risk using a brand she'd never heard of, and we told them our product would be there.  There's really only one option... get on a plane and get it there!  This was decided before we left dinner, it was just a matter of who would be going.

Long story short, in the end it was decided that I would be the one waking up at 4:15 to get myself on a 7:00 AM flight to NYC to arrive at the Metropolitan Pavilion before the call time of noon!  (NOTE:  For those that don't know, like me, the call time is when you need to arrive (models, makeup, hair, and nails teams) to begin prep for the show... and it's no joke, they end up using every ounce of that time!)
This is how the clock looked when I rolled out of bed... way too early! 
Now, if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@JMoRockstar on both) you may have seen some of these images already.  If you haven't seen them yet, or don't follow me *shame on you*, then this post will bring you through my day at a NY fashion week runway show.  Actually, typing that, it makes me realize how many of you would love to attend a show, how many of you would love to be back stage, and how many of you may never have the opportunity to do so... so my goal is to bring you as close as possible (with a focus on Cult Nails of course) to the experience that I had.

Okay, so we've already established how early I was up.  I'm not a terrible morning person, but 4:22 is very early.  However, as I drove from the east coast of Florida by Cocoa Beach, to Orlando International Airport and the sun began to rise in my rearview mirror, my spirits brightened up a bit.  "Today's gonna be a great day!" I thought to myself.  So, I check in to my flight, get my baggage squared away and make it to the gate after the majority of the passengers have boarded.  You see, security had long lines due to others soon to be flyers not being able to follow instructions, so I was delayed getting to the gate.  No big deal.  So, finally seated in the rear of the aircraft (seat 23A if I remember correctly) and getting comfortable and ready to do what I usually do on a flight; Sleep!  (Time: 6:43 AM)

I am just about asleep, and I notice a woman getting ready to occupy the seat across the aisle from me.  What caught my eye was the USA embroidered suit case she had carried on.  It looked very, how do I out this, professional and something that may have been mass produced for a team... so I take a look at this woman who is tall, thin, and RIPPED!!  Oh yeah, she's GOT to be an athlete.  I usually get on people (my Mom) for being presumptuous in these situations, but of course I text Maria and share my suspicions.  She calls me crazy!  So, I politely, probably somewhat awkwardly, ask this young lady if she is an Olympic Athlete.  Imagine my surprise when she smiles very politely back at me and introduces herself as Dee Dee Trotter.  Now, I'll admit I didn't follow the Olympics too much this year and have a horrible memory of years passed so I was embarrassed to say I wasn't very familiar with her though I did recognize her name.  She shared with me that she had won a gold and bronze medal in the summer games for events in track and field, as well as having been a participant it two other Olympic Games, and a gold medal winner in one of them as well!  WOW!  We talked for a few about the games, and we also talked about the reasons for our early morning trip to NYC... when I told her about  Cult Nails, we were like besties!  Just kidding, but she was interested in it and talked with me about it for a few.  I offered her a polish, which I ended up giving her Nevermore, a Get It On Base Coat, and a Wicked Fast Top Coat, and she offered me a few things..... PICTURES!  Who would believe me otherwise, right?
Me, Dee Dee and the MEDALS!!! 
Dee Dee showing her "Convert Kit"!  Get It On,
Nevermore, and Wicked Fast.  

After that, I just knew that today was going to be a great day!  Once I took the photo on the right, we wished each other well and parted ways.  I went outside to catch the car service that Maria had arranged for me while I flew, and got to headed to the show.  (Time: 10:13 AM)

My view from the back seat as we approach the city.  
Shortly after 11:14 AM, the driver (who I've come to know as Yusef) pulls up to the Metropolitan Pavilion on 125 W 18th St, New York, NY!  No matter how many times I visit, I still get excited.  I love this city.  It's now that I start getting a little excited for this fashion week mystery.  I'm going to see what happens behind the scenes at this event, then watch the show and see Cult Nails on the runway.  All I can think at this point is; "I am so proud of my wife!  This is a dream come true!  First, having a line of her own; now on the runways of New York Fashion Week!  Way to go, babe!!!"  I digress.  

It is here, at the Metropolitan Pavilion (now referred to as the Met for the rest of the post) that I am supposed to meet Aj and the Her Nails Rock team to deliver the goods!  ;)  "The eagle has landed!"  I'm a little before noon, so I walk around the block a couple of times to get the sights and sounds of this city as I know this trip is brief.  As I come back, I'm greeted at the Met by a warm smile, and a big hug from Aj and Pia.  We grab a quick bite to eat, introduced ourselves to one another and headed back to the Met for the noon call time.  
Above:  The Her Nails Rock team (L to R: Ajah, Priscilla, and Pia)  Thanks for rockin' the Cult Nails tees ladies!
Below Left:  Lulu, I didn't catch her last name, poses with her Nevermore.
Below Right:  Erika Packard has some fun "chuckin' the deuces" and giving me a little duck face action.
Once there, we are shown to the "back stage" area where there are teams of make up artists from Inglot, and hair stylists from Style Grafix, and the three of us.  Oh yeah, and a bunch of models... 14 for this show!  There was a little hustle and bustle, but nothing like I was expecting, but we were 3 hours from show time.  Once we got settled in, it was game time.  Aj grabbed Get It On, Nevermore, Wicked Fast, a nail file, some of our gold flakes, cotton balls, and remover a started getting to it!  Pia and Priscilla, who were working with Aj, did the same.  While these models are getting their hair and make up done, these three girls were working on manicures.  Of course, Aj put me to work as well.  I got to take any existing polish off models and make small talk while I did so.  "No.  Please don't make me hold hands and chat with models.  You're killing me!!!"  
Aj, of Her Nails Rock, doing a Nevermove/Gold Flake manicure on Carolyna Ramos
This process continues for a while, and since there were no more models with existing polish, and I can't paint someone's nails with a black polish without making a HUGE mess, I'm useless.  So I get to taking pictures!  I'll only share some in the post, but there were TONS taken, I can assure you!  One thing I haven't mentioned yet, is that one of the models (or should I say "the model") for this show was Tamar Braxton.  I met her briefly while she got her hair, nails, and make up done; but she had a film crew with her (I assume for the Braxton Family Values tv show) so I was pretty much in the way!  
Tamar Braxton, in Frontrow, rocking her Cult Nails mani on the runway!  And yes, I took this pic!
As DJ Pauly D would say; "Yeah buddy!"
Following the hair, nail, and make up phase, is when the designer shows up... and the crazy begins!  She's putting together models with looks, getting them lined up and dressed, and finalizing everything before the show.  That's when I really took advantage of the camera.  As girls were dressed and given the OK from the designer (Shateria), I asked if I could get pics.  They happily obliged!  Here's what I got!

Pictures above are:

Top:  Lenka Dayrit                          Middle:  Erika Packard                       Bottom:  Carolyna Ramos

Now.. seems like everyone is dressed.  Shateria is excited and thanking the girls.  And it's about 2:48 PM.  Time for me to try to get a seat for the show where I can take pictures.  I try the press area, but I'm a little late for a good spot.  I made my way onto the "riser" they have for press so I can get some pics.  People are looking at me like "Who are you?!"  and I'm looking at them like "You don't know?  See this camera?  Move over!"  No words ever spoken, but I got up on the riser!  :)  I got it like that!  Here's some of the better shots I was able to get.

Tamar Braxton (L) walks with Frontrow Designer Shateria (R) to close the show.
WOW!  The show is over in less than 30 minutes!  All that work for a 30 minute show.. but the onlooking crowd LOVED the collection as they erupted in applause!  I took this as my cue to excuse myself (now just about 3:45 PM) as I have no idea how I am getting back to the airport for my flight at 7PM.  I know, you're thinking why do you need 3 hours to get there.  You ever been in NYC traffic?  I wasn't about to take the chance!  So, I hail a cab and get going to the Airport.  Once there, I was able to catch an earlier flight and get home one hour earlier than expected.  WAHOO!  And, as an added bonus, I was treated to this beautiful sunset as I approached Orlando.

Anyways.. I hope you enjoyed my perspective of, what I have dubbed, "the trip that saved fashion week!"  Until my next guest post...



  1. LOVE LOVE THIS POST! It's awesome to hear Juan perspective on things! And I am so so proud of Cult Nails! Way to go! <3

    1. Radha, I enjoyed writing it! Heck, I may do this a little more often! What do you think?

  2. All that and Dee Dee Trotter???? Amazing!

    1. I know, Tina, right! I think your profile pic says it all! ;)

  3. Haha I love it! Looks like you had quite the learning experience and met a lot of interesting people! *thumbs up for Juan*

    1. Quite the learning experience indeed! I'll never look at something like that the same. Glamour and fashion come at the cost of lots of hard work and, most definitely, exhaustion! Thanks for taking the time to read such a long post.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kendra. It certainly was an adventure. I could have slept right through the following day!

  5. Awesome story! You're like a Cult Nails Soldier on a mission :)

    1. "Ma'am; Mission Accomplished!" ;) Thanks for reading it!

  6. Great post and awesome experience John! The manicures rocked but wtf are they going to do with that (now extra) box of polish when it does arrive haha

    1. Pryanka, I'm not too sure... My hope is that Aj throws Nevermore on every celebrity she meets! YOU HEAR ME "HER NAILS ROCK!"? EVERY CELEBRITY!!! ;)

  7. I loved reading about your polish mission!! I felt like I was there...thanks for sharing it with us! I was cracking up thinking about John taking polish off the models :) So cool about meeting Dee Dee too! C

    ult Nails at NYFW? Rock on!

    1. Glad I could amuse you with images of me taking polish off of model's hands. I, for one, thought it anything but funny. LOL!!! All kidding aside, it was a very cool day! All of it. Thanks for reading the post.

  8. Lurve this post. Rocking Iconic on my nails now and getting tons of compliments!