No, I’m not talking about a soap opera. I’m talking about life in general and how it doesn’t matter where we start, it’s always so interesting to me where we end up.
It was 1989, 33 years ago. I was a new Salon owner of just 2 years when a rep from my local supply house “Ace Beauty Supply” reached out to me about becoming an educator.
I had no idea what that meant, but I sent in my application to a Company called Elegant Glass Nails. Shortly thereafter I was training in a small town, Traveres, Florida.
It was an exciting time for me. Learning something new and venturing into a position I knew absolutely nothing about.
Eventually, as I grew with the Company, I found myself working at Trade Shows and traveling all over the Country visiting Distributors presenting in their sales meetings. I was on the road with their Sales reps presenting to their Salons. I was doing classes at stores and visiting potential Distributors meeting with the powers to be in an effort to introduce the brand into their facilities.
Ace Beauty Supply was one of my accounts. Coming full circle as I was now in charge of the account of which the rep from that supply store introduced me to the position.
As I said in my earlier blog, curveballs in life will happen. It’s not that one comes your way, it’s how you manage it which really counts.
Curveballs are usually known for being bad. However, they aren’t always. I believe they are sent our way in order to fully complete the development process. They can be exciting, they can be scary, they can be hard. They are always a test of our perserverance.
My journey since that meeting with Onda Wade of Ace Beauty Supply, changed the trajectory of my life in the Beauty Industry.
Had I not been introduced to this position, there’s no telling where I may have ended up. I didn’t buy a Salon to be a Nail Technician, albeit that’s what happened. I thought it would be more of an investment. That it was. An investment in time and lot’s of headache and heartbreak.
Regardless of that part of the story, being introduced to Educating for the Beauty Industry was a blessing. I truly believe that is where I was supposed to be at that time, which led me to where I am supposed to be today.
Once I became an educator, I quickly rose to the National Sales Director for Elegant Glass. I managed the entire Southeast Region of the United States. Ace Beauty was one of my accounts.
I remember it as clear in my head now, as it was happening then. It was 1999. Ace Beauty Supply had not stopped, yet they slowed down many of their educational classes and meetings with their sales rep.
There was buzz in the air, they had hired a new “young” “good looking” sales Manager. We were told they were awaiting his arrival to let him make the decisions as too how to move forward in sales. Of course education and sales go hand and hand.
Here I am, standing in the back room with all their sales and management team. I believe customer service might have been there and even office help. Not 100% sure. What I am sure about, is the reputation which preceded this man.
Mind you, I was in my late 30’s. Here comes this man, younger than me and yes…very good looking who is now going to be in charge of this fast growing Company. Which BTW…is now known as Salon Centric.
His disposition was amazing. He came in with confidence, not arrogance. He spoke to the group at our level, not on a pedestal. He was just very impressive. And, he made an impact on me.
Fast forward to now, 2022. This man is Kelly Heuther, owner of Life of Riley Salon Supply.
Kelly and I didn’t really have a whole lot of personal interaction. We met, we knew each other and quite frankly, I was just one amongst many Vendor relations.
When Salon Centric took over Ace Beauty and moved their corporate offices to Alabama, Kelly and a few others I knew through the Business moved on. Kelly opened Life of Riley Salon Supply and many of his team came with him.
It was at that time, I started seeing more and more of him.
I remember running into Kelly at the same Salon I was selling Footlogix into. Kelly was selling hair care. Eventually a hug and hello turned into “hey, let’s get together and talk”.
We never did really have that talk, as we both grew busier and busier. I would frequent his new store on occasion for my own supplies. I would see him and his team of which my faded memory remembered seeing at Ace Beauty. They were all so welcoming and helpful. I remember specifically thinking, “how can I get involved with Life of Riley Salon Supply”? By this time, my Salon was sold and I was beginning to focus on my Distribution Business.
Eventually in 2015 when I became a Distributor for our LCN brand, I was able to work as a liaison between LOR and LCN. LCN took on some product that LOR wasn’t selling and LOR would take on some LCN products.
In 2016 I heard LOR was expanding into a new 19,000 sq ft facility. It was around the same time I was looking to move my Business from my home (after selling my Salon) . I too was growing and needed additional space.
I saw Kelly one day and said “hey, heard you were moving? Got any extra space? About 2 months later, he invited me to look.
- I share this story because prior to seeing Kelly on the streets again, I have been thrown 2 very traumatic curveballs. Yet, I kept persevering and kept the faith.
- I share this story because it is a true testament of never burning a bridge.
- I share this story because you never know how people you meet earlier in life may affect you later in life
- I share this story because it is possible for a curveball to have a happy ending
We became Business roommates in September 2016. There was no broker, there was no contract. It was a simple respectful deal.
Kelly had space which was ideal for my situation at the time. He gave me a price and we agreed if time came where we would have to leave or he needed space, no hard feelings. Give each other 60 days.
To me, it was the perfect scenario. We helped each other with things which many may not seem important. Yet, they were either helpful to LOR or helpful to us. I like to say we were the perfect Business-mates. LOR represents Hair Care products, CFB represents Foot Care products.
For me personally, his entire team always made me feel like part of his Family.
As they say, all good things must come to an end.
It was apparent we both were beginning to bust at the seams. I know I was feeling it when I had to share my small office with my assistant. I was feeling it when every time I walked into the warehouse and my Virgo self would freak out over the clutter. We just were running out of room.
It was apparent LOR was busting as their isles became more and more filled with pallets and space for them was getting smaller and smaller.
I knew it was time, I knew this day would come….I just didn’t want it to.
We were told on a Friday night (my choice), and my initial reaction was no surprise. As the weekend moved on I was filled with a lot of anxiety and then I got pissed. Not pissed at Kelly. Pissed at myself because just the month before when I was complaining to my husband about the clutter, I put it out there. I told him we really need more space. I was so happy with being where I was, I was just holding on for as long as possible. Yet, I put it out there…..and there ya have it.
I know Kelly reads most of my blogs so Kelley…..this is for you!
Thank you. Thank you for remembering me through all these years. Thank you for welcoming me into your Family. Thank you for the perfect space under the perfect circumstances. Thank you to you and your team for everything from including me under your show umbrella, for helping me manage pallets and all the physical assistance before my husband came on board. Thank you for including me in all your important meetings and Holiday events. Thank you for your advice when I asked for it.
Simply, thank you!
I know we will continue to work together and I know this is not the end of our journey. Heck, it could be just the beginning.
As I said in my previous blog, it was an expected curveball. Curveballs may not always come in our time….yet they do come.
So what happens to Centre For Beauty now? It’s an opportunity to get some much needed larger space in an effort to stay organized for the betterment of our clients.
It is official, effective November 14th, 2022 Centre For Beauty will be moved into a 2250 sq ft facility.
Besides office and warehouse space, we will have a 750 sq ft classroom.
We all be offering educator training classes, toenail restoration classes, Business classes, Foot Care classes, Nail care classes and more!
It’ll be a big change from where we are now. However, we will make it our own. Our lease is only for a year, so hey who knows….we may be having a similar conversation like this in 12 months from now.
This is a HUGE jump for us and believe me, I feel the stress. However, we quickly discovered space availability is not plentiful. We took more than we needed, because what we needed just wasn’t available.
Yet, I look back when I moved from my garage into LOR. THAT was a huge jump and you know what? We did it.
Growth is eminent when you work hard. Working hard is my asset AND, I love what I do.
Look for pictures, progress and our line up of education for the 1st quarter of 2023 coming soon. We’ll be knee deep in the transition over the next couple of weeks, however, taking care of you is our number # priority.
In addition, be sure to follow us on Instagram cj_centre_for_beauty We are running a couple of contest in November and December. I can’t tell you what the prizes will be, I can only tell you it will be worth your while to participate.
Look for many $$ savings and classes to make help you make more $$$ in 2023. To date we have scheduled for the 1st quarter; (details coming soon)
- E-filing with @Elitefeet386, Emily Marasco
- Resins with @Perfect10_susi, Susi Gonzalez
- Toenail restoration with @cj_centre_for_beauty, CJ Murray
- BS Brace training
- The 3 must have’s for Foot Care. Sa’SHá, LCN, Footlogix
As the world turns right? Is there someone in your life from the distant past whom you came full circle with and are affiliated today? I don’t think many have had that blessing. Just remember, people are put into our life for a reason. The good, bad and the ugly.
My Business career has not always been easy, yet it has been fulfilling.