Archives for May 2019

5 Helpful Trade show Hints

Trade show season is upon us and many of you will be attending one or another or
maybe even multiple.
We have Premiere Orlando, Nail Tech Event of the Smokies, Foot Forward Summit and Premiere Birmingham….all before the fall season.
As a Vendor of each of these shows, I can tell you the time involved and the monetary investment is reviewed on a regular basis. I have a checklist for everything from products to displays to educator cost, travel cost, food etc. etc. Its a detailed spreadsheet to calculate every penny. Is it worth it?
As an Attendee it is my opinion, a spreadsheet should be calculated as well. There is time away from work involved, travel expense, food expense etc. etc. And, if you do your homework correctly, you will probably spend monies on products.

How do you make your show trips profitable?

You may be thinking What?????  I go for the fun, the deals or the parties and to see all my ole friends. Well, all that is fine and dandy except for when you return and you realize how much money you spent and then how much money you gave up by being off work for a day or two.

The #1 most important item you must be aware of are the deals. Are they really?

It’s not a law that says as a Vendor you HAVE to offer deals. Personally, I do because it’s my way of saying “thank you” to my existing clients and hopefully entice new clients. However, not all Vendors do.

And, in order for you to know if it’s a deal……

You must know your cost

I can remember in my Salon days, I got so wrapped up in the excitement, I never “initially” paid attention or even knew if it was a deal. It all sounded good.

When I began to really know what I pay on a regular basis, I brought the list with me. I was stunned. Not everything needs to be a deal. However, if your Trade show shopping, why buy something that you really don’t need right away, that you have to carry all day which, you can buy tomorrow at the same price?

Possibly it may save you on shipping cost? Well, you have to factor all that into your spreadsheet and really, really know your cost.

Don’t get wrapped up in the excitement of the show and end up with buyers regret when you get back to your Salon.

Do your homework.

The 2nd thing to plan for IS your plan.

Are you looking to offer a new service, replace a brand you currently have or possibly expand? These questions are really important and in my opinion, the most important reason to attend a trade show in the first place.

Trade shows give you the opportunity to see what may be new. Vendors introduce new products. It’s a great way to get ideas.

Maybe you are looking for a new nail polish line. Know your cost, know your waste, know how many colors your are interested in. Do you know how you want to present them to your clients? Are you looking for Vegan or does it even matter?

Look through the line up of who will be at the show presenting nail polish. Eliminate the ones you aren’t interested in and spend time on the ones you are. Or, go to every booth and ask all the same questions so you can compare the differences.

In something like polish… colors available your only concern? What about settling of the products, does it get thick, how much is wasted, what is shelf life etc. etc.

The idea is to plan what you are looking for. This includes knowing the right questions to ask.

#3 is Financial security

Short and sweet. Stick to a budget.

Many $$$ change hands at our Trade shows. It’s easy to spend. Everything looks so great, so easy to use, it’s the next best thing to sliced bread…..until you get back to work.

The realization of what was spent and what you spent it on hits home. Panic sets in and we wonder WT?

To make attending trade shows a success from start to finish, first know how much you CAN spend. And, plan accordingly.

#4 Call your Credit Card Company

More often than not, we spend time with clients at the booth. They receive demo’s, choose products..get all excited. Then, it comes time to pay and the credit card is declined.

This happens a lot at our shows because the card is used over and over again at a variety of different vendors.

Call your credit card Company to let them know there will be a change in activity. This will save you embarrassment and all of us valuable time.

#5 Don’t “come back”

I don’t want to minimize the affect these trade shows have on you, as an attendee. However, the impact it has on us Vendors is no where near in comparison. In short….they are extremely exhausting.

We love spending time with you. We love showing off all the great products we choose to represent. We love seeing ole faces and meeting new. Truly, it’s the ONLY thing that keeps me coming back.LOL

However, be respectful of the time you do spend with your Vendors. If you are interested, pull the trigger. To tell us “your gonna come back” after spending the time we do with you, is really discouraging. Not just for us, but for you as well.

More often than not, Technicians have come back to sold out products. It bums them and us out.

Again, if you know your plan, you should be able to make a decision.

I know I only said 5, but here are some other helpful hints-

  • Wear comfortable shoes-Thousands of sq feet of walking. You will definitely get in your 10,000 steps per day requirement for healthy living
  • Bring a sweater-its always freezing. Unless you are setting up or tearing down, then they shut the AC off.
  • Roller bags are not allowed. There are bag drop off areas throughout the event. However, the best thing is to just bring them back to your car. Yes…it’s far.  Yes….it’s hot. It’s also worth it.
  • Be courteous of the people around you. I can’t even count how many times I’m in the middle of a conversation when someone just walks up and starts asking questions. Hello????? You aren’t the only one in the room.
  • If there is something special you want from us….call the week before. We can bring it with us, just don’t forget to come pick it up. Booth #3853
  • Remember….I’ll say it again.  You are NOT the only one in the room.

There are thousands of people who attend these shows.  My first experience in over 25 years in being at the Premiere show in Orlando as an attendee was brutal.

People would walk in the middle of the aisle and suddenly stop to take a call or fix their bags or look at something.  MOVE out of the way.

At the booths, people were pushing people aside to get to the tables.  C’mon… COURTEOUS.

Last but not least.  Enjoy yourselves.

These shows are full of Education.  Not just in the classrooms but the amount of knowledge behind our tables is short of amazing.

Trade shows are educational events. Use them accordingly.

Enjoy your piers, enjoy your Vendors, enjoy your classes (hope you take some)…in short. Just enjoy.

And…don’t forget to come to the Life of Riley Salon Supply pavilion. That’s where you will find exceptional Education and Centre For Beauty Salon Supply @ Booth #3853. We look forward to seeing you.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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The Importance of being YOU?

Can you imagine? We all eat the same food, dress the same way, buy the same cars? We do this because we see and/or hear this is what the majority of people do and we are followers. Inheriently, we follow what others do. 
Is it safe? Is it the easy way out? 

We see this in the movies all the time. Mind control. It seemed so futuristic at one time, but in reality…it’s here. Whether it be fake news or subliminal messages via commercials we watch or ads we read. We are all subjected to mind control, following in lieu of leading.

I bring this up because I often see on SM the question……”what do you use” or “what is the best xxxx?”. SM has become the search engine for many of our Technicians.
I respect people are asking and seeking opinions. However, what I worry is that our Technicians are making choices by what everyone else is using. It reminds me of what my parents use to say. “If someone is going to jump off the bridge….are you going to follow?
The importance of being YOU in your Pedicure room is what your Business is. YOU are what your clients come for. Your knowledge, your personality…..YOU!

Why is it important to remember this when choosing products?  

I am not a brand recognition person.  I choose the brands I represent based on their efficiency, their safety and what I know they can ultimately do for you, as Nail Technicians and your clients.

I’ve had plenty of opportunity to carry the brands that most people know of.  I’ve pondered, I’ve investigated and in the end, when I made a list of what it is “I” look for in a brand, these brands were not the right fit for my Business.

The brands I choose are an extension of me!

In this same context, I’ve researched brands which could be considered a “replacement” for the brands I carry….however, why would I want to trade $$$ for $$$$?   It just doesn’t make sense.

I love you-2

When searching for a brand to use in your Foot Care room, there are many factors to consider.  Before you do though, it’s important to realize…

  • The skin on our feet is very different than the rest of our bodies
  • We are exposed to much more in our Foot Care room then we were 50 years ago
  • Our access to education is far more vast
  • Our client’s access to information is far more vast
  • There are many more options available

When choosing brands, there is much to consider

  • Do you want fluff n buff or do you want results?  Or maybe you want both
  • Do you want scents
  • Do you have easy access to what you need
  • Is Education available
  • Is it cost effective
  • Does it have retail opportunity

Other things to consider when choosing your brands

  • Does the brand allow you the opportunity to expand?
  • Is there an easy return or replacement policy?
  • Do you have easy access to MSDS information?
  • Do you have easy access to Marketing materials?
  • Is the ordering process easy?
I love you-3

With so much talk about brands and who uses what….people are forgetting so many factors in making decisions as to what brands to carry.

Some of this may sound familiar because I know I’ve shared it in previous blogs. However, what has come to mind in scrolling through SM and seeing some of the questions is no one is asking about the ease of dealing with the Companies that carry whatever brand it is.

I once again go back to my days in the Salon. I remember the process of choosing a new hair color brand. My choices were narrowed down to 3.  At the time AlphaParf was our first choice.

I remember contacting the Company (somewhere in Miami) and NEVER receiving a call back. The brand we ended up ordering in was more expensive than the other 2. However, I got an immediate response from the Company and they offered extensive Education.

I let my Stylist have a say however, in the end what I chose was an extension of who I was. I wanted a quality product with easy access to products which offered continuous Education to make sure my Stylist were always on top of their game.  Price was a consideration, but not a game breaker.

Myself and the stylist knew what we wanted out of the brand

If I were still in my Salon, I would follow the same tactics. In fact,I follow the exact same tactics in choosing the brands I do for my Distribution. I’ve been burned a couple of times….we learn. However, I learn what I should ask which I didn’t before.

If I were in the Salon choosing a brand, these would be my questions…

  • Is it effective (because working smarter not harder is my MO)
  • Is it easily available
  • What is the price point
  • What type of education do you offer – when, where, cost?
  • Can it be bought in the big box stores
  • Is it available on line, to my clients, below my cost (do your own research)
  • Do they sell to the end user
  • How can my orders be placed
  • What is your shipping time
  • What is your return or replacement policy
  • How do you handle backorders
  • Do you have retail items for follow through

Or, how about something as easy as being able to have human contact.

My email address was purchased through a Company called Wix. I used this Company to build my first website when I owned my Salon. I haven’t had my Salon since 2009 but continued to pay a yearly fee to keep my same email address.

I recently realized the cost and how I can transfer my email account to my primary domain company.

3 weeks I’ve been trying to do this. The Company Wix has absolutely no way of speaking with a human. When I fondly found a phone # I was relieved. This took several days. When I called the number, it routed me to the web address for “trouble shooting”.

I’m flabbergasted. I’m pissed and frustrated. I’m paying $150.00 per year for something I can get for free. I have absolutely no way of cancelling it.

How can a Business run that way?

My own personal lesson is “research”.  Everything and anything you’re doing including the product brands you decide to take on.

Know your questions going in and think way ahead to the future. The what if’s. Because, it doesn’t matter what you do, the future will always come, things will always change and we never ever know what that change may be.

Centre For Beauty takes pride in the research we do before we take on a brand. We do this for you. However, I suggest you don’t even take my word for it. You have a question???? ask! You skeptical????? ask! You unsure????? ask!  Don’t ever settle

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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The Pedicure Re-Invented

My 2019 goal which, I am in the process of developing is an on-line infection control class.  I have a nephew who is a Nurse Practitioner who studied Infection Control and actually got published in the Medical Journal for one of his research papers.

I recruited him because I not only wanted to make sure I had accurate information, but I wanted information not just related to our Salons, but related to our lives.

We talk so much about products we use in the Pedicure room.  We watch, we listen, we research.  We look for products we feel our clients would like and we look for products we think we might like.

Whats surprising to me however, is how little time we spend on looking for products which keep our clients safe and ourselves self.  My own research show, most use disinfection products because they are highly advertised or used by our piers.  

There’s alot of confusion because rules change State by State.  When it comes to disinfection what should you be looking for?  What should your procedures be?  

Disinfection should be your #1 priority over everything else in your Salon.  There are just too many risk.  There are too many exposures.  

The days of banging out clients one right after another is gone.  We have to be smarter and more proficient with our cleaning techniques.  We have to make cleaning our first and foremost to all that exist in our Salons.

We have to re-invent our Pedicures, re-invention which begins with proper cleaning and disinfection.

Let’s itemize this one by one, in detail.  Before we do this though, always be sure to check with your State Board requirements.  Although, I’m confident what I am going to recommend will far exceed what your State Board does requires.

Ultrasonic Disinfection


Cleaning has many different facets.  We have cleaning of our Pedicure stations including bowls, floors and chairs.  And, we have cleaning of our surroundings and then we have cleaning of our implements.

#1 cleaning of our bowls.

If you have an older version Pedicure bowl which is connected to pipes which filter the water in and out of the same pipe……you MUST purge your Pedicure tub between clients.  Purging one time per day, at the end of the day is NOT sufficient.

Purging requires a solution effective enough to not only clean but kill high levels of bacteria which is ran through your pipes for a minimum of 5 minutes….depending on your solution.

At the end of each day, a 15 minute purge should be practiced.

Once purged, the surface area of your tub needs to be cleaned and disinfected.  This means it is wiped and sprayed with a solution intended for surface use.

If you have the newer pipeless chairs/bowls…although there is nothing to purge, you should still check to see what your State regulations are.  However, whichever way your tubs need to be cleaned, the propellors should be taken out and cleaned and then disinfected.

#2 cleaning of your chairs and surrounding areas

It doesn’t matter why type of set up you have, your chairs and tables AND any containers should be wiped with a solution which cleans and kills bacteria…..daily. In this case, a disinfection product with surfactants which cleans and disinfects at the same time, is perfect.  It is also important to note, there are cleaners/disinfectants  which will eventually dry out your vinyl or your leather chairs.  Be careful when choosing your products. Do your research.

#3 Implements

I think the biggest mistake and lack of education we are experiencing in our Salons, is realizing the dangers of cleaning or scrubbing your implements at the sink.  To begin with, I’ve watched.  Barely soap is being used.  A scrub brush and water…scrub scrub scrub…….it’s terrible.

2nd, research has shown that debris from the scrubbing or airborne particles is known to cause headaches, sinus problems, dry throat and more.  Therefore it suggested we eliminate this step.  WHAT?????  NOOOOO!!!!!  Well, we actually don’t eliminate the cleaning process, but we do eliminate how we clean.  The use of an ultrasonic cleaner not only is safe, but it is more efficient, time saving and 100% more effective then cleaning our implements at the sink.

#4 Wet disinfection

Most State require some form of wet disinfection.  The amount of time required varies State by State.  Unfortunately most of them are still in the dark ages and approve the lowest form of disinfection…..Barbicide which, requires. 10 minute soak time.  Therefore, regardless of what you use, you must soak for 10 minutes.

Hospital grade is the key word here…..entirely a joke!  Hospital grade only means the products which make the claim to be hospital grade are approved for cleaning hospital floors.  Now, that’s not so totally bad, but in my mind…it is deceiving.  My question is: are you happy with a product that makes the claim to be hospital grade?  Because, many of those products are low level, carcinogenic and can NOT kill many strands of bacteria we are currently subjected too.  Arrgh!

There are many things you should be asking when you choose your disinfection product

1). What exactly DOES it kill

2)  What exactly is the active ingredient

3). What exactly is contact time

4). Is it carcinogenic

5). Where do I dump it

6). How long is the solution effective for

#5 Sterilization

When I grew up in the Salon, using an autoclave was never even an issue.  That was a Medical thing…not. Beauty Salon thing.  Well, times have changed.  It is a Beauty Salon thing because we are subjected to so much more than we used to be.  And, we are often the first responders.  Therefore, we are seeing things sometimes even before the Dr. does.

In my growing up days, autoclaves were no less than $3-5000 dollar.  Today, you can get an autoclave for way less $800-$1200.  What a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Using an autoclave, is not required.  However, it should be.  I’m not sure if it ever will be, but what I am sure of, is somewhere down the road our Salons will be getting calls asking of services and the next question will be “do you autoclave”?  Client – Public awareness is immense.;


Proper sanitation takes loyalty. It takes patience and it take time. If you don’t think you have the time, make it. We talk about changing lives? Not properly cleaning and not following proper disinfection procedures will for sue change your life…..and not in a good way.

Is it worth the risk?

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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