Lauren Wireman is a nail competition winner, international judge, curriculum developer, and owner of Wildflowers Nail Academy. She is one of the most sought-after international nail educators and product developers in the industry. She’s known for her down-to-earth and quirky personality, and fun designs.
From the Beginning
Lauren Wireman is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She excelled in school, but felt that her life lacked direction, and wasn’t sure what she would be when she grew up. This began to pose a problem mid-high school when everyone starts planning for their future. Lauren was already struggling with panic attacks and depression, and it was hard for her to see past surviving the present day.
She ended up heading to East Carolina University in pursuit of becoming an Art Teacher. She quickly realized that college was not for her when she found out she would have to continue to take subjects like English, Math, and History. Continuing to feel lost and defeated, she turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort.
She returned home after one year of college and decided to try going to beauty school at the direction of her friends from college whose hair she would always fix. Once enrolled, she found that she could really excel in a more creative environment. Unfortunately, the partying and crazy life continued, now fueled by other friends with similar outlooks on life. They all felt lost, like they were somehow a disappointment to their families. They felt viewed as the kids who threw their futures away by going to beauty school. And they found freedom in that, which led to worse decisions.
Beauty from Ashes
Life became even harder for Lauren when a close friend passed away. The trauma from this event led her down a dangerous spiral, and she found herself addicted to heroin. Her addiction eventually led to homelessness, and she lost everything she had.
Lauren ended up in a homeless shelter at age 21, despite attempts to take her own life. She felt completely defeated like she had wasted years of her life and could never catch up. She had no desire to live or to go on with life at that point. Some of the workers at the homeless shelter suggested that she “give her life to Jesus” which sounded completely crazy to Lauren. She wondered how one would even go about doing such a thing.
After feeling like she had tried everything to get off drugs, she gave in and prayed for the first time. She asked Jesus to do something with her life because she felt she sucked at running her own life. After praying that prayer, for the first time in a long time, she felt hopeful and even a little adventurous. With no money, no clothes, and nothing but broken relationships and ruin all around her, she embarked on the craziest journey of her life so far.
Lauren’s life completely changed. She continued to seek God’s will for her life, she was ready for anything. She NEVER thought it would lead her to where she is today, doing something she absolutely loves and is passionate about. As she prayed about where to work, the only door that opened for her was a small salon who needed a shampoo girl. After doing hair for a few years, being reduced to a shampoo girl was a humbling experience. During her time there, she befriended a professional nail technician named Michelle. She was someone Lauren felt safe with because she seemed to have her life together – it was a very different crowd for Lauren.
From humble beginnings to reality TV celebrity
Michelle encouraged her to learn nails because she could see the artistic giftings that Lauren had. Lauren began offering nail art to Michelle’s clients and eventually attended her first official nail class. She started performing manicures herself and could remember her hands shaking from being so nervous. Around that time, Lauren saw her first copy of Nails Magazine and secretly wished to become good enough to be on the cover one day.
A few months later, Lauren met her now husband, Jamie. He was Pastoring a church, and Lauren thought that was just the funniest thing she’d ever heard. She could not image herself being a Pastor’s wife. They were married 7 months after they met, and Lauren packed up all her nail stuff into a shoebox and took it with her to Ohio.
Lauren’s nail stuff sat in that shoebox for almost 4 years. She only took it out one time to do the nails of one of the teenagers at her church for prom. Eventually, Jamie and Lauren felt led to Cape Coral Florida to start a church. They packed up everything and moved to the Sunshine State. It is here that Lauren secured one of her dream jobs – being a beauty school instructor. After teaching for a couple of years, she had the desire to open a private hair and nail studio. She named it Wildflowers after the scripture in the Bible, Matthew 6:30:
“If God cares so wonderfully for the Wildflowers…He will certainly care for you.”
While working there, she also began holding classes to teach nails and nail art to local nail techs. This prompted her to begin a product company called Wildflowers Nail Academy. She created nail art brushes, paints and glitters specifically for her classes.
One day, Lauren received an issue of Nails Magazine and saw a new contest called Nails Next Top Nail Artist. It was a virtual nail competition, and Lauren decided to enter. It was a tremendous amount of work, but week after week, she survived the competition, making it all the way to the top 3.
At that point, they flew Lauren out to California for the competition finale where the Oxygen Network was casting for a new show called “Nail’d It!”. Lauren came in second place in the Next Top Nail Artist Competition, and was also cast on the reality show. Lauren won her episode of Nail’d It, and came in second place overall.
Since competing she has worked at several New York Fashion Week with the CND “A” team creating various looks for fashion designers. Her nails have donned the cover of Nails Magazine, Nailpro Magazine, and Viet Salon Magazine. She has gone on three cross-country tours teaching nail techs her innovative art techniques. She is a member of the International Nail Judges Association where she is an International Nail Judge. She has also assisted Revlon in both research and development, as well as creating partner campaigns with CND. Her nails have been seen on TNT’s Claws, and she’s even dazzled the digits of Jennifer Lopez.
Lauren has become one of the most sought-after educators in our industry. She continues to pour her passion into Wildflowers where she currently serves as the CEO and Creative Director.
Lauren and her family relocated to Douglasville, Georgia in 2020 where she now lives with her husband and three adopted daughters.
Follow her on Instagram @wildflowersnails