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Marian Newman named in 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List

By Alex Fox | 10 October 2020 | Movers & Shakers, News

Marian Newman British Empire Medal

UK nail industry pioneer and trailblazer, Marian Newman, has been named on the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list and been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Announced 10 October with around another 449 beneficiaries, Marian Newman is acknowledged for her outstanding contribution and exemplary service to the nail industry during her lifelong career and more specifically during the Covid-19 crisis.

Overwhelmed by the award, Marian confesses it rendered her speechless when an email from the Cabinet Office landed in her inbox. “I’ve never been so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even read an email and take in what it was saying – this was a first,” Marian cites. “When the dust settled, I realised I had been awarded the British Empire Medal. A medal with a royal garden party!”

On closer reflection of how the award came about, it was soon revealed that close friend, colleague and nail educator, Jennie Nippard had put in the nomination after feeling Marian was more than deserving of the accolade.

Marian Newman & Jennie Nippard

“Marian is a true matriarch of the nail industry. She’s carved out and pioneered the session nail artist career and written text books, which have become bibles to so many nail techs. For these reasons alone, I’ve felt for a long time that it would only be correct for her life’s work to be recognised at the highest level,” reveals Jennie.

“When we entered lockdown, she proved again her dedication and passion for this industry. Her ‘Madge’s Chat Show’ group on Facebook, which initially began as a group coming together three times a week for live chats alongside some light-hearted fun, became so much more and grew daily in numbers. In the early stages of the Covid crisis, Marian imagined the group would get to approximately 200 nail techs; it now sits at nearly 5000 members.”

Madge’s Chat Room Facebook group was initiated on 24 March, the day lockdown in the UK began. From that day forth, Marian kept abreast of all government directives, association initiatives and ideas. She also co-wrote the nail industry guidelines, published on 11 May, for salons to open post-lockdown.

Marian invited industry experts to discuss in detail each topic and area of concern, in order to help nail techs across the world navigate their risk assessments and find new ways to work more safely for themselves and their clients, while also caring for their mental health concerns.

The official public record reads:

“The Queen has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of the Celebration of Her Majesty’s Birthday, to approve the award of the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) to [Marian Newman] in recognition of their contribution during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For services to the beauty industry during Covid-19.”

Marian Newman has shared her time, knowledge and expertise with so many people, on so many levels and across untold platforms; often with no price tag attached, over the last 30+ years. Scratch is delighted that she is recognised with such an honour.