Archives for January 2020


How you can use Urea to safely and properly service your clients!

In an effort to provide you with different content, I began to think about the many questions I receive regarding why?  “Why should I purchase and use the products you recommend for my pedicure arena?”

It’s a legitimate question, I think.  After all, how many products are available to you, and how the heck do you choose the best one for you and your clients?

In 2008 when I first realized my passion for feet, was when I was first introduced to the reasons why products work.  I learned that not all products are created equal, and I learned there is a definite difference between offering a Pedicure and offering a Foot Care service.

In the years that followed, until now, I have also learned the many various reasons why being a Nail Technician becomes someones choice.  It saddens me to say this however, there are many Technicians in our Industry who get into this Industry because “they like playing with nails and the bling and the blang”.

It may be sad, but I’m not saying it’s wrong.  It’s just a different avenue.  This is the first thing to decide….which avenue do you want to pursue?

Choosing which avenue you wish to take, will help you decide which products you could be using.  If you choose the fluff and buff avenue, you can use a variety of different products.

However, if you choose a more serious avenue, choosing the right products to perform the proper service should be your #1 priority.

To understand a bit more of what I am attempting to explain….let’s learn a little about ingredients.


There are two(2) basic kinds of ingredients;

  • Those that work to repair the skin
  • Those that don’t repair the skin

It really is that simple.

When we talk about products which work to repair the skin, we are needing products which offer ingredients which will penetrate into the layers of the epidermis. Why? Because we heal from the inside out.  Otherwise…..

When we talk about products we love because of their fragrance, their color or any other fluff-n-buff reason you can think of, these products stay on the top of the skin. They feel good, they smell good, they “appear” to give you instant results. However, they are wiped off immediately when socks are put on, shoes are slipped on, feet are washed in the shower, walked on the floor etc. etc.

These fluff-n-buff products are nice. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not here to criticize any brand, any product. I just want to educate you on what it is you should be looking for based on which avenue you wish to take.

  • If you wish to go fluff-n-buff your good old standby’s are just fine. OPI, Creative, Cuccio just to name some familiar ones.
  • If you wish to go more repair oriented. LCN, PodoSafe, Footlogix are all great brands. Yes…I do represent them all because I “chose” that direction.
fluff n buff

The reason I choose to represent these brands boil down to one(1) basic thing.  They are all Urea based.  THEY WORK. Let’s talk about Urea.

It actually took me a while to understand what this ingredient is.  When I was first introduced to the ingredient, it was introduced to me from more of a medical standpoint than a Beauty Industry standpoint.  I had no clue.

It took my own research to understand the ingredient in such a way that I could help YOU understand it.

Urea is a natural end product, made up of protein metabolism.  It is lab based.

  • Protein metabolism: Protein metabolism denotes the various biochemical processes responsible for the synthesis of proteins and amino acids (anabolism), and the breakdown of proteins by catabolism. (wikipedia)
  • Lab based: labs are a service business that thrives on the need to perform quality testing services.  Researched, tested and made in a lab.

Urea is also a hygroscopic.

What lab based and hygroscopic simply means.  There are not urine farms all over the country which protein metabolism is derived from AND because it is a hygroscopic, when the product is applied to the skin it absorbs into the layers of the skin and forms a natural moisture barrier.

This information is still a bit more then what I normally share, so let me put it to you simply.

  • If you want to offer Foot Care then offer products which actually care for the feet.
  • If you want to offer Pedicures, then do just that.  Manicure the feet which means you concentrate more of what happens at “that” moment without the follow through education.

Here’s a question for you….can you do both at the same time?  ABSOLUTELY!

This question is exactly why I’ve introduced this year, our class “3 Mythologies in Pedicuring”.

  • Urea does not have to be medical related…although it can be
  • Urea can be combined with luxury
  • Urea comes in different grades….how do you know what to recommend?

As I begin to embark on a year long journey of introducing Oncology care into the pedicure room, I am dwelling more and more into ingredients. What are the benefits, are they safe, do they work.

I’ve realized through my most recent educational experiences we can’t solve every problem when It comes to foot care.  However, we can be the adviser and the educator and we can share our knowledge with anyone who wants to listen.

In addition, if we learn these basics about ingredients and we advise properly, we constantly educate and we continue to share….we WILL change the image of our Industry.  We WILL be more respected.  We WILL rise to that high ground on the totem pole….where we should be and goes what?  We WILL change lives.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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3 ways to market yourself

3 Ways to Market Yourself

As you know, I don’t often look back at Salon ownership and say, “I miss it”. In fact, I’m sorry to say it would be an act of God for me to go down that road again.

What I do miss however, are the services. For 24 years, I had hair stylist, nail technicians, massage therapist and skin care specialist at my fingertips.

I always paid my team for performing those services I wished to receive, but it’s nothing like having to pay what I pay now.

I do get my nails manicured, I do get pedicures, and I do get regular massages and facials. To me, it’s important in so many ways to maintain how you look and feel. For no other reason….I am in the Beauty Industry. Shouldn’t I look and play the part?

marketing savvy-3

I bring this up because without a doubt, I am super picky about who I choose for these services.  So picky in fact, my pedicures are only performed by the infamous Nellie Neal.  Not just because he’s a friend, not just because he is damn good at what he does.  It’s because I know he is using quality products and I know his cleaning and disinfection techniques live up to my expectations.

Nellie has spent a lot of time (and money) to market himself.  He didn’t sit in his Salon and say “build it and they will come”.  He put his face out there, he put his body out there (at trade shows) and he still continually markets most every little step of his journey.

It’s not brain surgery…’s smart!

The idea of this blog came to me after receiving by facial on Friday night.  I have been using the same esthetician for probably eight(8) years now.  Unless she disappears into thin air, I will continue to use her.  I have followed her now to 2-3 different locations.  Not all have been the most convenient, but let me tell you……she is freaking amazing.  She is one of those people who “I feel” is doing exactly what she should be doing.  She’s THAT good.

However, her marketing skills are -0-.  Not because she isn’t capable, it’s because she doesn’t want to.  Some people are made to market and some people are not.  Some people are a natural (like Nellie Neal) and some people have more of a struggle. Doesn’t make them bad people, however… this Business….self marketing is crucial.

marketing savvy-2

So, the question becomes how does a person market themselves when they aren’t THAT kind of person. It’s a real struggle, and I recognize this.

#1 – Know your why!  Why are you doing what you do?  Purpose? Money? Just because?  Whatever your why is, if you don’t market it correctly, you will never get where you want to be.

Using myself as an example.  My why is to help others succeed.  I do this through Education Base Marketing (EBM).  I like to help others succeed because in the end, it does make me feel good.  I feel good because I feel like I have been able to give to others, what others have taught me….to succeed.  My bottom line why is “pay it forward”.

Because I am constantly marketing and producing education….it put’s me where I want to be.



#2 – Be present!  Where are you?  Who sees you? How do you let people know what you do?

Being present in today’s world can cost you nothing.  With the amount of SM available to us at no cost.  If you aren’t marketing on SM…I guess I’m left speechless.

I see so many Technicians on sites which are Industry related.  That’s awesome.  These Industry related forums have a wealth of information coming in from all directions.  However, are these the sites you need to be on to market YOUR Business.  To market YOU!

I very rarely see Technicians addressing their clients.  The ones I do see, it is so darn obvious how successful they are or have become.  It’s awesome.

Let your clients and/or potential clients know who you are.  Recruit your current clients to write reviews about you on SM.  Share…share…share.

You have to be visible.  You have to be present.


#3 – Be involved!  Network groups, Community events! 

It doesn’t take much to put yourself out there.  In my hay day at my Salon, I belong to 1 network group and I participated in local events.  These events could have been getting together with a group of friends to walk the American Heart Association walk or it could be directly related to offering lunch time services at local Business health fairs.

Either way, I began to make a name for myself and my Business grew.  In fact I still go to the same Dentist I met through a network group.  I have some very close friends still now of whom I met through a network group AND there are many who stay in touch via SM.

Many of these same people reach out to me with “Beauty” questions and have even introduced the Salons they frequent to my Business now.

There are many, many numerous way for you to market yourselves.  There are many books, podcast, SM sites etc to help you.

However, the above 3 are the most important (in my opinion) and they are simple.

Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It took the Wright Brothers 6 yrs to make an airplane that could fly and now, we have Vatican City, Millions of airplanes and Abraham Lincoln had 44 years of failures before becoming President in 1860.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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3 steps to choosing a trade show!

Orlando, Chicago, Massachusettes, Gatlinburg, Pennsylvania, Birmingham, Las Vegas, Oregon. This list goes on and on.

Our industry has been inundated with a trade show for this, a trade show for that and they are all vying for your attendance.

It’s a difficult choice in deciding which one will be the most beneficial. It’s difficult to know, should you attend 1-2-3? Should you attend them all?

What to do, what to do?

I’m going to share with you my perspective from both angles. Attendance as a Distributor and what WE hope for, as well as my perspective as an attendee and what YOU should look for.

One thing for sure…..attending at least one trade show a year… a must!


I don’t want to spend too much time talking about what a trade show means to a Distributor.  I’ve shared with you (you can find in our archive of blogs), the work, the time, the monies involved for us Distributors to present.

What I do want to share is what is it we are looking for?  I don’t want to speak for all Distributors, however for myself it’s pretty cut and dry.

  • Meet clients I’ve never personally met.  It’s always such a great thing to put a name to a face.
  • Obtain new clients.
  • Share specials which we may not be able to offer throughout the year.
  • Introduce the amazing brands we offer through demo’s and/or classes.
  • Network with other vendors

As a Distributor, deciding which trade show to present at, can be just as difficult, if not more as YOU deciding which trade show you want to attend.  We have to;

  • Determine logistics.
  • What expense is involved in getting there.  Travel, team, products, shipping, hotel etc.
  • Will the ROI be worth it?
  • What competitive Mfg’s will be there.
  • What will attendance be?

It’s truly grueling.  Not only from the standpoint of the work involved.  Just the process of deciding can add a few grey hairs.

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I know there are a different set of factors which need to be determined as a Salon owner and/or Nail Technician.

When I grew up in this industry, we had one(1) yes, one trade show.  It was held in Orlando Florida, it was nails only and it was short of amazing.  I’m not really sure what happened with it or why it closed down, it was shocking.  I’m sure many of you veterans, know which show I’m referring to.

It was replaced eventually by the Premiere Group beauty show.  An all inclusive show presenting Hair, Skin and very little for Nails.

Eventually, the Nail section grew and with that, so did the Premiere Group which now, offers show’s in Orlando, Birmingham and Pennsylvania


Getting to the guts of what I would consider and what I think is important when deciding which show to attend.

  • Budget – First and foremost.  SAVE SAVE SAVE.  In your Salon budget, it is a must to have an educational expense.  This expense should be carefully thought out and designed for one reason only.  Education in an effort to learn, grow and be successful because of it.
  • Objective – This is important because if your only objective is to meet up with your industry friends…..there are much less expensive ways to do this.
    • Are you looking for new products
    • Are you looking to learn more about the product you know carry
    • Are you looking for Business education
  • Location – location is important from a budget and time standpoint, but it’s also important because many times, a family vacation can be managed around the same time and location.

Once you have decided which show(s) might be beneficial to you, it’s also important to do some homework before you attend.  Attending a show “willy nilly” is the absolute worst thing you can do.  Not only is it a waste of time, it’s not cost productive at all.

  • Plan your agenda – check out ahead of time which classes you wish to attend….and why?  Yes, why?  What is your objective in attending this class?
  • Plan your visits – which booth do you want to visit and yes, why?  Demo, information, specials, meet etc.
  • Know your pricing – I caution this all the time.  If you don’t know your pricing, how do you know if you are getting a good “show” deal.  Not all presenters offer show deals.  This is very important to note.  If wanting a show deal is all you are attending for, you may very well be disappointed.

Lastly, decide who of your team you would like to take with you.  Sorry to say, sometimes our husbands are more valuable and helpful than a team member.

Don’t use this time to bond.  This is Business.  It is a costly one.  If you think someone on your team can offer valuable insight, is there for the same reason….bring them.  Otherwise, leave them home.

It can be costly both financially and mentally to be around the wrong people at a trade show.

Trade shows are a lot of work.  They are loud, crowded and everyone is mostly out for themselves.  I personally experienced this the “1” year I attended a show as an attendee.  I vowed I would never do it again.  LOL


As a Distributor in our world today, we find ourselves competing with the very same people who’s Business we are spending countless hours and monies growing.

If you use a product and wish to purchase that product at a show….please know who you are buying from.  If you support a Distributor and that Distributor is at the show….go to THAT booth and NOT the booth of the Mfg.

Do your homework and know who is presenting and where you should go.


Attending a trade show or an educational event is a signal to your clients about who you are and what you want to do for them.

I know again, from personal experience, if you don’t stay educated you WILL be left behind. Since my team at my Salon were independent.  I could suggest they go to a trade show, but I couldn’t make them.  Those that attended have grown leaps and bounds.  Those that did not, are no longer in this Industry.

I can relate too many challenges we have in getting there, and the expense involved.  All I would say is prioritize and save accordingly.  It WILL benefit you in the long run.





“possibly” Rhode Island

Puerto Rico

CJ, Murray

CJ Murray
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goals 2020

If you were to set “one” goal?

Those who know me, know I am a pretty positive person. I don’t believe and even want to be around negativity and I somehow find a way to always look at the positive side of every situation.

This disposition and my faith has brought me through many difficult periods of my life.

What I also learned during those times of my life is the art of goal setting.

Sure, the beginning of a new year is always a great time to set new goals. However, I never really understood why people would stop there. After all, there are 12 months in every year.

What I learned is not just about setting goals, it’s about reaching goals and always having something to strive for.

In fact, it’s rewarding and motivating all at the same time.

Do the math

There is a commercial I hear all the time about an accounting program.  “If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know your Business”

This is not only true, it’s also very much related to goal setting.  If you don’t know your numbers, how do you even begin to set a goal?  And, if you only set a goal once a year, does that mean you only check your numbers one time per year?  Or, do you just check your numbers and do nothing with them?

Goal setting from your numbers is imperative in Business growth.

Of course, it’s important to know what our numbers need to be, however it is equally important to set a goal against those numbers.  They don’t have to be hefty, unrealistic goals.  In fact, they should be small goals.  Goals which are attainable.

My husband, soon to be Business partner and I were involved in a conversation about setting a goal for 2020.  Every year I change my password on my computer to something that reflects what I hope happens in the coming year.  I “put it out there” if you will, and I repeat it several times during the day.  A mantra which keeps me focused.

When choosing a new one for 2020, we came up with a couple of ideas.  Mine was on the hefty side and he reminded me “it has to be realistic”.


Realistic goals is one key to success.  If you set a goal which is way to high to reach, you are surely setting yourself up for failure and you will feel defeated.

This is one reason why setting many small goals is so much better then setting one big goal.  A goal can be changed as you go along.  By setting a smaller goal, you can reach your goal and then set another goal.  Baby steps.

Remember, success is a big elephant.  You can only get there one little piece at a time.

Motivation is another key to success in goal setting.

We should always have something to look forward to and get excited about.  It’s important, when looking at your numbers “always” to refer back to the same dates as your prior years.  What did you do then, what are you doing now?

If you are way under what you were the previous year, you need to figure out why.  If you are way over the previous year, you need to continue what you are doing and do more of it.

Remember, as a small Business owner, we are our only motivators.

Speaking it out loud is another key element to goal setting.

I don’t believe you have to shout out your numbers and/or what your specific goal is.  However, if you are having a bad month, constantly saying the month is bad is NOT going to help you.

It’s taking me almost 16 years, I’ve finally have convinced my husband not “to put it out there”.  If you say “it won’t happen”… probably won’t.  If you say “it”….”it” will happen.

I’m a firm believer.  What you put out is what will come back.  Therefore when setting a goal, saying “I know or I feel it is going to be an amazing year” is much better than saying “I hope for a good year”.  Speaking as if it has already happened, is the key.

If you want to reach $2000.00 a day in sales.  It’s much better to say “It’s going to be a $2000.00 day” in lieu of “we could never reach $2000.00 per day”

Trust me when I tell you, from experience, I’ve seen positivity work in the strangest most unbelievable circumstances ever.  It changes everything.

Goal setting isn’t just great for Business, it’s great for us personally as well.  Set a goal for all aspects of your life.  Personally, Professionally, Spiritually and Physically.

As it relates to specifics in your Salon/Spa.  The one thing I missed the boat on when I owned my Salon is the introduction to new products.  Now, I realize how trying new things, being a little different can bring huge benefits.

If I were still a Salon owner, I would goal set in my retail (first and foremost) because retail brings in the highest profit margins.  I would goal set with my already existing clients.  Why? Because it’s always easier to increase our already existing sales.  And, I would goal set for new Business.

Don’t forget to bring your entire team in on your goal setting.  Bring them in on your mantra and you all will benefit.  In fact, do I have a goal I can help you with?  Contact me and lets work on it together.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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