Happy Fathers Day!

To My Best Dad!

All of us have those special memories and stories about their Dads. I am so grateful to say that I have been blessed to have a smart, funny, charismatic, and loving Father with an extremely kind heart. Through the years my Father taught me to be strong, to take chances, to be dedicated, and to be the best you can be. He never judged me and always encouraged me when others didn’t. In fact, when my son and I decided to take the biggest chance in our lives and open Nailed and Lashed, my Dad was the ONLY person who supported me and didn’t tell me I was nuts!

One of my Father’s gifts to me is my love of dance and theatre. He taught me to be a good choreographer by eliminating movement for the sake of movement, he taught me how to stage a number, and create a story through the art of dance. My Dad taught me what to look for in a dancer; technique, versatility, and stage presence. As we moved through the years, with our business a I realised these qualities are much the same in any Artist whether they do Nails or Lashes, they have to excel at their craft, be able to handle all kinds of situations, and sell the customer. Always remember “They Buy You”!

Much of the wisdom I learned from my Dad I attribute to my artistic capabilities and business successes beyond the theatrical Genre, but my Dad’s biggest contribution to who I am today is his kind heart! My Dad showed how to put others before yourself and love unconditionally.

The Memory I Will Never Forget That Changed Me Forever.

It was a summer day in Milwaukee WI. My little Brother and I were at a choreography rehearsal with our Dad. There were lots of people around the directors, performers, their families, and a kitchen crew that prepared meals for everyone. One of the ladies in the kitchen brought her Grandson with her. He was a quirky, but sweet kid of 10 years old that no one paid much attention to since they were all busy working. My little Brother, though much younger, was the only person close to this little boy’s age. My Brother and the boy were outside playing, I was on stage helping my Dad when suddenly my little Brother came running in from the back of the building. Something was wrong, the little boy fell, my Brother couldn’t wake him up, and he wasn’t moving. Everyone just sat there except for my Dad. He jumped down from the stage, ran through the kitchen, and through back door out into the yard. I followed him along with the little boy’s Grandmother. I will never forget what I saw. The little boy had hung himself in a tree. Everyone else started to gather. They stood and watched in horror while my Father desperately tried to free the little boy from the tree. He laid him on the ground weeping as he knew his efforts to save the boy were to late, he was gone.

As horrible as that day was for so many, almost 40 years later I will never forget. It reminds me that doing everything in your power to act, to help, to try, makes you special even if fate decides you can’t win. As I remember that day I am so proud to be the Daughter of the only person who acted without hesitation. Thank you Dad for teaching me to be a good person, to love, and for showing me what it means to have a kind heart. I Love You!

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Chadwick Leonard