Archives for September 2019

Worth repeating!

I’ve always said, there are 2 types of service providers in the Pedicure arena. You have the Technicians that go through the motion of “performing the pedicure” and you have the Technician who “performs a service”.
The difference between the two is simple. The Technician who performs the pedicure, goes through the steps. They pedicure their client with no understanding of why. The Technician who performs the service provides Education to their client, they understand the meaning and the value of Recognizing, Recommending and Referring. They do what is best for the client based on their clients needs AND they do this safely.

Over the past month, I have trained over 50 Technicians. Introducing them to their new brands and Educating them on the safety of pedicuring their clients beginning with the consultation, what the products do for them and their clients and the importance of using the proper tools.

More than ever, I saw the stark difference in Technicians. Not just in one Salon to another. also, within the same Salon.

Truly eye opening

In light of this reminder, and seeing many newcomers in our Beauty World, I wanted to repurpose this article on the “Dangers of Foot Files”.  Although that may not be the title….it should be.

Now that you have read the above article (I hope), let me help you make the decision to “come to the other side”.

  1. I truly understand how difficult it is to go from a satans grater or a sandpaper file to something you are not use to using.  However, this one you just have to trust me on.  It is better for your client, and it is better for you.  It may take an adjustment, but it will be worth your while.
  2. If you think you might have challenges with that client who wants you to cut off her/his entire callus. This article is not for you. It simply takes confidence and education. Believe what you do and know what you know.
  3. Our file buy back program.  HAPPENING NOW!

Centre For Beauty is adamant about getting those crappy files (yes, I said it) off our streets, out of our Technicians hands and out of our clients hands.  Therefore,

Beginning now, our File Buy Back program is in effect

October 1st through October 31st.

Please understand….there is a deadline

Here’s how it works

  • Send in any and all of your crappy files….any brand….any make
    • Centre For Beauty Salon Supply
    • 9985 82nd Way
    • Seminole, Fl.
  • Inside the package
    • Write youR name
    • Email address
    • Contact phone #
  • Upon receipt
    • Cj will personally call you
    • You decide how many ANGELlFeet files you want
    • Payment authorized


No minimum.

 Only requirement is they reach our door no later than October 31st, 2019

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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Are you leading your Team?

Doing the amount of travel I have in these past few weeks, has afforded me the opportunity to get back into a bit of reading. I’ve missed it. I feel reading feeds the mind, feeds the soul and I know it for sure gives me ideas for future articles. I’m usually reading something motivational. Something that brings me back to center point. In the book that I’m reading, I circled, underlined and highlighted a ton load of OMG words or quotes that struck a nerve. One in particular sparked this article.
Team Leadership 
“Like a football team in a huddle lining up for the next play, the team is coming together to lay groundwork. The ball doesn’t move forward during the huddle. Forward motion toward the goal only happens when each player receives his assignment, trust the coach, understands how he fits into the big picture and then executes on behalf of the team”.

This is true in any situation where there is a team. There is a team leader and players on the team. In our Salons, it’s our salon owners, the management team (which could be the same people) and the Technicians and stylist who fill the rest of the team. We so often use the word “team” when we talk about our Staff. However, do we actually treat our team members…….as a team? 

I hope this resonates with someone. Because out there in our Salon world, I have seen and witnessed the exact opposite. I have seen Salons never make it to the goal point….and I understand why! 

You don’t have to cross the goal line everyday.  In fact, this would be virtually impossible.  However, it should be expected, as with all great teams that you practice, strategize, assess your strengths and weaknesses, retool, reinforce a foundation and/or huddle.  It’s all about laying solid groundwork for the future.  

Your team Is Your Voice!

We so often as “leaders” of a team forget that input from the team can be very valuable.  If you listen to the members that are actually in or on the field, you are getting first hand communication from the battle field.  There is nothing more valuable.  

  • Huddle often-you not only may get some great ideas, you also give a sense of value to your team.  That sense of value will bring much stronger results than leaving them out.  
  • Choose your plays-many great ideas may come from these huddles, don’t just run and play.  Strategize your moves and talk about what might be the best plan of action.  
  • Use your strengths and encourage your weaknesses-not every team member will be the same.  When you huddle and move forward with your plays you will know what teams members show strength and what team members need to be encouraged.  Use your strong team members to encourage the weak.  Find the strength from the weak….it’s always there. 

I can remember during my days at the Salon, when I interviewed potential team members I always asked them to paint their perfect scenario.  You would be surprised how much you found out about a person based on that one question.  Not only that, if I heard from them they didn’t want to work nights or weekends……I wouldn’t place them on nights or weekends.  I found someone who would fill those voids.  Placing someone in a position of weakness, or a position they won’t be happy with, will not produce the best results for your team.  

Not all plays are today plays. Laying a solid foundation for future plays is imperative.  It will give your team something to work towards and something to look forward to.  How?  Simple steps in securing your foundation can produce a winning team or it can cause the team to break apart and you WILL come in last place. 

Your team Is Your Voice!-2
  • Assign-if you call your team a team, act like it.  Team members like to feel useful. Assign projects, producing teams within a team.  Place them in charge of the next Holiday decoration.  I like the program “Last man standing”.  Mikes wife was overwhelmed one year panicking over how she is going to get all the Holiday projects completed.  She had too much on her plate and she was highly stressed over it.  So stressed, it knocked all the enjoyment out of the season.  Mike recruited the family and gave each one a job.  In the end, not only did Vanessa feel loved, but each family member learned how much she does and how hard she works to make it special for everyone.  In the end, they appreciated her so much more.  
  • Delegate-this isn’t the same as assigning. Assigning gives someone the opportunity to use their own creative juices or assigns them a project which needs to be completed.  Delegating is assigning specifics.  Do you need new inventory items put into your computer program system?  Delegate someone.  Do you have a list of office supplies you’ve been needing?  Delegate someone.  The project is concrete, you just need to delegate the chore.  

In our Tampa Bay area,  we have Rays baseball. It’s frustrating.  They are always recruiting great team members, but they don’t keep them. They groom them but for whatever reason, they don’t stay.  This might be a bad example because I’m sure they have their reasons and methods of madness, however, it makes me think of how many good stylist or Technicians have left a place to pursue other opportunities. 

Yes, even I experienced it.  I look back at it now and some changes were inevitable….some could not be controlled.  I do think however, I was lacking something for the members of my team not to feel like they wanted to stay with me, stay in the field and keep making us better and better.  We all know the grass is not greener on the other side.  But, if someone is peeking over the fence…they are missing something.  

I felt like I was a great team leader.  I had the same amazing team of players for an unheard of amount of time.  I know how blessed I was.  I also know, knowing what I know now and sharing ideas and thoughts with you, if I had to do it all over again….I would definitely make some adjustments.  Is it time for you?

Many Businesses don’t like to make change during the Holiday Season. I for one, think it’s a great time of year. Most people are in better spirits, preparing for Family affairs and actually love the hustle and bustle and the cheer in the air.

What better time to huddle with your team and come up with a game plan. Bring everyone in and let their ideas flow. I think you might be surprised where an idea can come from.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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Are you ready in case of an emergency?

It’s crazy. Inspiration can come from anywhere. When talking with my husband regarding the topic of my next blog, I was stuck. Everything that was going through my mind related back to my last article. I didn’t want to write about the same thing, but my brain wasn’t settling on anything that interest me. If I can’t interest myself, I can’t interest you.

You may have seen on my personal FB page last week, we had a very traumatic incident with our 9 year old boxer, Maddie. She choked on a bully stick. We know she died. I’m going to leave the details out about how we know, and share with you, she is fine. My husband was able to pull the bully stick out of her throat, opening her passage to breath. It was the most frightening experience, surreal and a true test of not only how the grace from God, but how the 2 of us acted or really we reacted, in the event of an emergency.

So, as I was discussing my next article with my husband, I was staring at our precious Maddie and thinking about what would have happened if we weren’t quick thinking in our actions to save our dog whom, we had no idea at first……what was wrong.

This made my mind wonder into our Salon environment. We know NOT to cut the skin of a Diabetic. We know NOT to massage someone with Fibromyalgia or circulatory problems. However, do we know what to do if…… of our services has gone bad?

It’s true isn’t it?  When I think back of all the classes I have taken, not a one of them address the “what if’s?”

Its easy to teach

  • Why we shouldn’t use implements on a diabetic
  • Why someone with neuropathy shouldn’t have their feet in hot water
  • Why we shouldn’t massage a client who has had a lymph node removed
  • Why if a client has thin skin, water and a massage can damage them
  • Why we shouldn’t service someone with fungus
  • Why why why?  We have heard it all.

However, addressing circumstances which happen in our Salon which, can be life changing, is something not many have discussed.

  • Have you ever continued with a service after your client felt discomfort from your Efile?
  • Have you ever continued a service after you nipped someone with your cuticle nippers. Enough to draw blood?
  • Have you ever hurt someone during a massage?

These and many more can happen in your Salons.  Would you know how to manage?


About 2 years ago, I was hired by an Attorney to provide State Law information for a client she was defending.  Her client had gone into a nail salon for a set of artificial nails.  The Technician, using an Efile burned her.

She pulled her hand back and he gave her a love tap.  “It will be okay he say’s, just give it a minute.”

She gave it a minute and the pain did go away, however the indent he caused in her nail which was red…..did not.

Within a couple of weeks she felt pain and had swelling.  Long story short, she attempted to get treated for it, but it wasn’t going away.  By the time they realized what was going on…..they had to amputate her whole finger because the infection had gone through to the bone.

What went wrong?

What went wrong is the lack of knowledge and professionalism from the Technician.

  • No love tap here…..geez Louise Really?
  • He should have an antiseptic product at his station.  Cleanse the nail and apply.
  • He should also have sent his client home with an at home antiseptic.
  • He should NEVER have gone over the nail with any primer nor any artificial nail enhancement product, be it acrylic or gels.
  • He should have scheduled a 1 week appointment to look at it and assess any progression.
  • He should have a referral program in place to refer his client to a Medical Professional for extra precautions.

His lack of knowledge and professionalism cost him thousands of dollars from the suit the client filed for causing the infection which caused her to lose her finger.

In addition, a conversation was started on the lack of cleaning and/or proper cleaning and disinfection within the Salon which then, caused the State to get involved.

What about the client who got nipped during the Pedicure service, happens to be diabetic and the Technician ignored it and placed his feet back in the water.

BAD things can happen!

Placing a diabetic or anyone back in the water after an accidental cut can be horrific.

  • Clients can get very bad infections from open wounds
  • I’ve seen clients who have been scarred for life because the infection was so difficult to manage.
  • I’ve seen clients who have had their foot amputated because the infection was so bad.

What should we do in this type of situation?

  • Do NOT place that foot back in the water
  • Do NOT continue the service
  • Apply an antiseptic to stop the bleeding
  • Instruct the client his/her at home care.  Continue with an antiseptic, keep the area clean.
  • Schedule a follow up appointment in a week to stay abreast of it’s “hopeful” healing.
  • Refer to a Medical professional if needed

What about a client who goes into shock or has a mini stroke in the middle of your service?  I hate to even think I have to say this….STOP THE SERVICE.

  • Call 911 immediately

That’s it!  Do NOT attempt to do anything.

What about toenail fungus or foot fungus? Do you even know how to tell?

The reality is, if we turned down every client who had discoloration on her/his toenails…..we would be broke? However, how do you know?

We can’t diagnose

We can’t treat

What we can do is recognize, recommend and refer!

Knowledge is power. The more you know how to visibly identify different toenail and foot conditions, the more comfortable you AND your client will be.

Letting your client know “this is indicative” of a fungus and knowing you should not pedicure her/him… hard. However, I’m 100% sure your client will have the utmost respect for you AND you have for sure protected yourself from a law suit waiting to happen.

Refer. Build you community of resources. Put them in your emergency manual.

Don’t be afraid to walk away.

And, the client who stops breathing for any reason.  Whether it be from something you did in your service, or natural causes?

  • Call 911 immediately
  • Do you have anyone on your staff that knows CPR? If not, maybe you should

The bottom line is, its’ time we realize there are many many things which can happen to us in a day at our Salon.  We need to be ready!

  • Do you have an emergency kit on premises?  The basics, aspirin, bandages, gauze, peroxide etc.
  • Do you have an antiseptic at your station?
  • Do you have proper cleaning and disinfection procedures in place?
  • Do you have an actual written manual on emergency procedures, phone #’s of your local hospital, emergency clinic, police etc.?
  • Is anyone on your team CPR trained?
  • Is your entire team aware of your procedures.

We were fortunate.  Our Maddie girl situation had a happy ending.

We finally realized she was choking and just knew we had to get what was lodged in her throat out of it.

If I told you however, we did all this calmly…..that would be a lie.  We both were screaming for our Maddie not to die.  We both were shaking like crazy and we both felt like our world was crashing.

The lesson I learned?

  • Never ever give your dog bully sticks
  • Have the phone # to your very posted somewhere in addition to your phone
  • Have your closest emergency clinic phone # posted somewhere in addition to your phone

We learned some hard lessons….maybe this article will help at least 1 person to produce an emergency manual.  For your benefit and the benefit of your clients.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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Are you ready to “Up your game”?

I am humbled again by a couple of referrals I received this week for potential new clients. It doesn’t seem like a job to me when I’m able to help people grow personally and professionally. To think I’m trusted as a mentor from my piers/my clients to the extent they refer my name…..I’m truly grateful.

What’s interesting about the referrals I received is, both Salon owners are looking to take the next step up in their Pedicure service. They are realizing the change in our Industry as it relates to Pedicures and they understand the value of making a change within their own service arena.

This is so exciting to me since i’ve seen this change, i’ve recognized this value as far back as 2008. It’s exciting because there is a definite turn in the way our Salon owners, our Technicians are starting to think. Realize, the Nail Technician has always been the low man on the totem pole. We are now beginning to be more recognized, we are being taking more seriously and we are definitely moving up on the totem pole. Which, for me is AWESOME. Read my mission statement…Provide the Nail Technician the Education, the Attention and the Support they need to safely and properly service their clients”.

When we talk about “upping our game”, it doesn’t take drastic changes. It simply means making a few adjustments and perfecting what you already do.
Is it time to Up your game?-2

Image:  I don’t want to offend anyone by this however, one of my biggest pet peeves is wearing flip flops or sandals in the Salon.To begin with, in the State of Florida…they are not allowed.Closed toed shoes only.I would imagine Florida is not the only State with this regulation.

This is a regulation because of the dangers, not because of appearance.  Dropping shears or clippers on your feet can be very dangerous.  My angle is more from an appearance standpoint.  Short and sweet….I do not think it’s a professional look.  

#1 step in upping your game

stop wearing play shoes in a Business environment. 

Products: Systems! I once went to a very well known Resort in our area and received a Pedicure.I was blown away by its beauty, it’s serene surroundings and what they had to offer.But (and I do mean but), all that was taken away when I sat down for my pedicure and the pedicure tray consisted of a mix match of products.Maybe it’s just me.When I go into a reputable Spa/Salon, I expect to see professional products, a system being used to perform my service.In my opinion it was lame.

Besides, there is a reason why msg’s develop a “system” of products.  The “system” produces optimum results.  Now, grant it….I’m in the Industry I would notice something like a mix match of products where maybe the average client wouldn’t.  However, I believe it makes for a sloppy appearance and appearance is very important.  

Step #2 – Stop mixing brands

Communication: Begins at the reception desk.Yes, you’ve heard me sing this tune before and I make no apologies for singing it again.If you want to up your game, your communication skills must improve.How you greet your clients (over the phone or in person), what questions do you ask, how accommodating are you and does this communication start at the reception desk and filter through every person your client comes in contact with.

My husband and I on separate occasions called Sirius XM about our contract.  We called at completely separate times.  We both got the exact same treatment.  We were thanked for our years of being with them.  We were asked what our concern was.  We were asked if we would stay with them if they could accommodate our needs.  We were both taking care of in the exact same manner.  Was it a script?  Absolutely!  However, we both hung up as a satisfied customer, appreciative of the “personal” feel of being an important customer. 

Step #3 – Change the way you speak to your clients. 

Ambience: This may be one of the easiest adjustments you can make.You can easily give the illusion of Professionalism with a few minor changes/or additions.*towel wrap *neck pads *music change  (I got this from Nellie Neal) *service trays. Slight, inexpensive changes can make a $10.00 – $50.00 difference.

Step #4 – Create simple yet effective illusions. 

Educate with Integrity

Offer new services: Sometimes this can be old services.Rotate them throughout the year.Contact your favorite Distributor and ask what is in their venue that you don’t have and ask them to help you.This doesn’t have to be expensive. Even bringing in 1 new retail item can spark not only a new revenue stream, also new conversation which might lead to a new money making service.It truly is magical.

Step #5 – Don’t be stagnant, keep evolving. 

I caution you.  Don’t throw out the old, revive it.  Whether it’s a change of products or a change of appearance, it will Bring a change of attitude….it will be a positive one.  And, if it doesn’t because of one negative nanny……well…..maybe its time for a change there also.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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Why choosing the right tools is important!

It’s always mind boggling to me when our Technicians don’t take the time to not only choose the right tools, but care for their tools properly.


After all, tools we use in our service(s) ARE our life.

When we talk about changing the image of our Industry and charging higher prices than the sub-standard Salons. EVERYTHING should be taken into consideration…..including the tools you choose to use in your service(s).

This may seem a little extreme to you, however when you consider the idea of changing the image of our industry and portraying Professionalism, I think we should portray that image and that Professionalism in every aspect of our service….including our tools.
Teal and Yellow Vector Trivia Night Poster

With so many choices available to us… do we know what to choose?

Many of you know I don’t take lightly what I bring into my Business to offer to YOU, my clients.  I try my best to do my due diligence in choosing products or brands which I know, are safe and beneficial for you to use in your service(s).

As I often do, I think back to some of the choices I’ve made in my Salon days and whewwwwww……some were pretty bad.  I was stuck in a money mode in lieu of being in a beneficial mode.  I was more concerned with what my cost would be and didn’t even think about what it did for my clients.

Of course…this changed as I matured and became more aware.  However, that learning process for me was very costly.  That is the reason I take so much time in making decisions for my Business….decisions to help you.

What have I learned?

  • Price should not always be your first consideration.  Yes, we need to be aware of what our cost are, however I don’t feel that should be your only consideration.
  • Don’t always trust.  If the tools you are choosing are making the claim to be 100% stainless, go a step further and ask for the proof.  There is also different types of steel.  Our single use implements are stainless steel.  However, it’s a low grade not designed for more than one use.  Remember, steel coming in from other Countries don’t need ISO regulation.  Many are mixed with other chemistry (like nickel) which is an allergen, meaning they may cause an allergic reaction to someone who may be allergic to nickel.
  • Be aware of plated tools.  Some tools are available in fun, beautiful colors.  Check out the source and make sure the color is oxidized and not plated.
  • There are many sizes and shapes available.  It’s important to find the one that works for you.  However, don’t block out a change.  In most cases, a different size or shape is just something getting use to.

Caring for your tools is just as responsible as choosing the right tools.

As with anything, when you make a purchase it’s an investment and you really should do all you can to protect that investment.

I realize the hustle and bustle we are in when working our clients back to back during and 8 hr period.  However, I’m going to use the cliche “slow down to the speed of life”.  Take your time to care for your tools properly and you will find they will last you a lifetime.

I kinda feel it’s very similar to having my clothes dry cleaned.  I look back at pictures of myself from 5+ years ago and I still have the clothing I’m wearing in the picture.  I’m a dry cleaning addict because I like my things to last and I love that crisp, clean look. Besides I hate to iron.

My point is, I take special care and therefore my clothing last longer.  Take special care with your tools and they will last you a lifetime.


How do we properly clean our tools?

  • This is a 3 step process;  First we clean, we disinfect and then sterilize!
  • There are 2 ways to clean:  Scrub with antibacterial soap at the sink or use an Ultrasonic cleaner
    • Scrubbing at the sink has been proven to cause nasal problems which can lead to headaches, sore throats and stuffy nose.  The warm water constantly being run through the drain, causes the collected BioFilm to cause fumes which are coming out of our drains.  If using this process, be sure to rinse thoroughly
    • Using an Ultrasonic cleaner not only becomes a safety step, it also saves time.
  • The 2nd step – disinfection, most likely a liquid.  All disinfection products are NOT created equal.
    • Look for products which have rust inhibitors.  However, even with RI….you MUST wipe your implements dry upon removal from your solution AND you must NOT place them in your disinfection solution with any tools which is NOT 100% stainless steel.  Doing this will cause rust to “deposit” on your tools.
    • I want to re-interate this.  All tools must be wiped completely dry when taking them out of the solution.  And do NOT place them in the same solution at the same time with NON stainless tools and implements.
    • Know what your disinfection contact time is.  Contact time is the amount of time you must leave your implements soaking, in order for the disinfection to kill the fungi and bacteria it claims it kills.
    • Know your replacement time.  How often do you need to replace your solution?  Many are daily….this is something you need to know and should follow per the Mfg;s directions.
  • 3rd step is Autoclave.  This is not a requirement anywhere in the US that states you HAVE to use an AC.  However, if you are trying to up your standards…using an AC is your next step.
    • There are 2 types of AC.  Dry heat or not.  Some of the autoclaves do not require sanitizing pouches to be used.  This is because it has no drying cycle and therefore the pouches would remain wet which is not good for your tools.
    • Watch for your guarantee.  I know many have purchased AC on Amazon.  This would scare me.  Where is my guarantee.  Who do I call with questions and how much of a hassle would it be to find out?  Mechanics are just that….mechanics.  Things can happen even with new equipment.  Remember though, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how it’s handled.

Look, there’s a lot of choices out there, some very good choices.  Whatever you choose, research and set your criteria;

  • Make sure are getting what you think you are getting
  • Are you going for cuteness or quality
  • Are you purchasing the right tools for your needs
    • Don’t purchase a cuticle nipper to cut nails with
  • Don’t let price scare you away
  • Keep your clients safety in mind

Finally, one thing most people Dom’t realize, and quite truthfully neither did I until recently.  Your tools should be oiled 1-2x per week.  Use proper oil for your tools and set a schedule.  Oil when you start the week, oil when you end the week.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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