Posts by C J

Money is in the Retail

Unknowingly a couple of weeks ago, I hit a hot spot for many of you when I brought up some pointers on retail. Seems like such a simple concept yet, a good majority of you aren’t selling retail at all. Another good majority only order as the client request. And, a good majority of you admitted your product gets dusty from being on the shelves so long.

Why is it as far back as 31 years ago, I was told my retail profits should pay my rent? Why is it I have clients who boast (as they should) they personally sold $50,000.00 in retail products last year? Why is it stores like Sally’s, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart all survive on retail alone? Yet, it seems many of you are either afraid of it or don’t know how to get started and even don’t want to be bothered by it.

It’s bewildering really. Selling products you use, selling products you love is super easy. Why? Because it isn’t selling at all!

10% urea foot cream 100ml

What exactly is selling retail?  A retail sale occurs when a business sells a product or service to an individual consumer for his or her own use.

It’s important to note.  Once you make the decision to sell retail, you also have to think of Merchandising….everything you do to promote and sell your products once the potential customer is in your store.


I personally don’t like to refer to it as “selling“.

In our Business, we are usually trying to solve a problem. We want our client’s skin on their feet to be soft and free of cracks and roughness.  We want our clients nails to be healthy. Therefore, I think of this process more as a “recommendation“.

The benefits of recommending products for use at home are both for the client, and yourself.

  • Skin and nails stay healthy and are protected from external influences
  • Your job….when they return to your Salon takes less time and less effort.

Which brings me to my above comment…..we don’t sell, we recommend.

Recommending to me has more of a soft touch to it.  You aren’t telling the client they should buy something, you are giving them all the reasons for them to make the decision on their own.  Here’s an example;

  • You have a client in your Pedicure chair.  You perform a consultation and notice they have severely dry skin, not quite cracked but almost.
  • In speaking to the client as part of your consultation,  you are asking various questions regarding lifestyle, health issues or concerns etc. etc.
  • One question everyone forgets to ask is “tell me something you don’t like about your feet?”  Almost always the client will respond with “I don’t like the roughness, the dryness, the cracking…whatever it may be”.
  • The next question is the ONE time you ask an open ended question.  “If I could recommend a product for you to use on your feet which would get rid of and then maintain smooth, healthy feet…..would you be interested?”

In my 30+ years of going to that question, I have never gotten a NO.

Let’s now go into a little math. There is a food chain of sorts when it comes to products.

  • 1st we have the Mfg. who makes the product
  • 2nd we have the Distributor ‘me” who buys the product from the Mfg.
  • 3rd we have the Retailer “you”
  • 4th we have the end user “your client”
  • It cost the Mfg. $1.00 to make the product, who then…….
  • Sells the item to the Distributor (wholesaler) for $2.00, who then…..
  • Sells the item to the Retailer for $4.00, who then…..
  • Sells the item to the end user for $8.00

In theory, this is all good.  From the bottom of the food chain up…..everyone makes money.  Unfortunately, there are times when the Mfg. skips over the Distributor and goes straight to the Retailer.  And, there are times when the end user skips over the Retailer and goes straight to the wholesaler (Amazon). Don’t EVEN get me started on this subject.

The question then becomes…..why sell at all?


This may sound a little harsh, but it’s true.  We are all in Business to make money.  However, it’s the approach you take which makes a difference. It’s the approach you take which set’s you apart from the Amazon’s of the world. Will we loose money to on line sales? Absolutely! However, that is no excuse for not taking your Business to the next level of helping your clients beyond your chair


There are so many factors involved in recommending products or “selling retail”. Don’t let this process scare you. They are steps which mostly happen naturally. You just have to follow them!

  • Use the product. We have all heard of the shoemakers kid. The one with holes in the bottom of his/her shoes or broken shoelaces. Don’t be that kid. Our clients like to know that we “walk the walk”. Using a product you recommend is the #1 easiest form of selling retail.
  • Take pictures. There really is no easier form of advertising than before and after pictures. Post them, frame them, show them off. All retailers use pictures. Pictures of products, pictures of results. You are a retailer, act like one.
  • Merchandising. You can’t just put products on your shelves and expect them to sell. There are many little “secrets” to promote eye appeal.
    • Window and in-store displaysmany products have displays. They typically come free with product purchase.
    • Grouping related products togethersuggestive selling. Group products which work well together. Something like a foot cream with a foot deodorizer spray.
    • Shelf signagethere is so much available on the internet to help with gorgeous, professional looking signage. In addition, many products come with already made signage. Ask, we have them or at least the PDF for your to print.
    • In-store ads featuring the merchandiseTALK about it. SHOW it.
    • Samples and giveawaysI think these should be used sparingly. After all, we all know those who only come for the samples or the freebies. Giveaways are great for an event. Samples are great to give along with a product purchase.
    • In-store demonstrationsUSE IT! I can’t say that loud enough or bold enough. Use the products you promote. It is the best and least expensive form of advertising.
    • Well-stocked shelves-You don’t have to over do it but you should not under do. 3 products minimum, 6 products max. However, don’t have 6 products on a 12 ft shelf. Size your space accordingly. A small shelf with 6 products, 3 of each looks very well stocked.
    • Spotlighting promotional items-take advantage of your Distributors promo’s. Clients, just like you, love a deal. If you aren’t getting any promo’s coming from your suppliers, do what I do and make your own. Sure, you reduce your profit margins, but it will always bring you in new business.

Let’s get started;

  1. The first thing I encourage you to do, is set up a separate account for retail inventory. You can do this on paper or literally open a separate bank account. For me, having a separate bank account worked better. I still run my Business and my personal life in the same manner. It works for me.
  2. Purchase $100.00 in product for retail, minimum. I usually like to recommend $300.00, but for many of you this may be an initial struggle. Starting small is better than not starting at all.
  3. Once you sell a product, move the $$$ from that product over to you separate account.
    • Example: You paid $12.00 for a foot care cream
    • You sold that foot cream cream for $24.00
    • Move $24.00 into your separate bank account

Do this daily until you get into the habit.  Do you whether you sell one item or 10.

Eventually, that account will build up and THIS is the account you purchase all your retail items from. Now, pick a #. Will it be $500.00, will it be $1000.00? This is your goal number to get into that account. Once you get to that goal, you never let it go under.  Now…it’s time to start saving for your rent.

  • You started with $200.00
  • You purchased $100.00 of product
  • You sold $200.00 of product
  • You now have $300.00 in your account
  • You bought another $100.00 in product
  • You sold $200.00 of product
  • You now have $400.00 in your account

At some point you can decide, if you want to purchase more than $100.00 in product.  And, you always want to make sure you aren’t purchasing products for more than what is in your account or below your goal amount.

At some point, you should also reward yourself.  Begin thinking about taking 10% for you.  Will this be once you hit your account minimum goal?  Or, once you’ve saved up enough rent money?  The choice is yours.Example;

  • Let’s say your account is up to $1500.00
  • You started with $200.00
  • Therefore, you purchased $650.00 of product over time
  • And, your profit is $650.00
  • DON’T TAKE IT ALL!  Give yourself 10% or $65.00

By using this system, you are only really investing $200.00.  The rest of the monies is pure profit from your retail sales.  Eventually, it will build and before you know it, you will have an account with thousands of $$$$$ in it.  An account you use strictly for “retail” purchases…..and to pay your rent…..and to put some cash into your own pocket.

I think the biggest mistake most people make, it they merge their products purchases with their retail.  Consequently they end up using retail profits towards product purchases. They never realize the $$$$ promoting retail is making them.

In addition to managing the financial aspect of getting started with retail, remember there is one thing people need to have in order to make any of this happen.  TRUST!

If your clients trust you, they will trust your recommendation

To gain that trust you must;

  • Know your products. Know how and why they work. Know what product to recommend to what client. Know your ingredients and how they will benefit.  In other words, be educated.  Don’t just purchase a product for the sake of retailing.
  • Know your clients. What do they need? What do they want? Are you listening?
  • Know competitive products. Your clients will ask…know how to answer.

I’m going to refer to a slide I use in my presentation to schools.  Promoting retail take CONFIDENCE!

C Clarify your point of difference.  What is the difference between your product and what your client can purchase elsewhere?

O Only ask once.  Don’t talk yourself out of a sale.  I’m guilty of this.  I end up saying too much and then I confuse my clients and they leave with nothing. LOL

N Never feel intimidated.  Always remember, you know more than they do.  If not, fake it till you make it.

F Find your comfort words.  This is so important.  I know there are certain words or phrases I’m comfortable with.  However, that may not be the way I learned it.  It’s imperative you find what works for you.  The more comfortable you are with your presentation, the more believable you will sound.

I Immediately present.  I’m a firm believer products must be introduced during the consultation.  That is probably the one and only time, we have their full attention.

D Do it routinely.  Practice, practice, practice.  The more you talk the talk, the easier it becomes.

E Educate yourself.  Can never talk about this enough.  There are all sorts of free webinars available.  There is all sorts of info on the internet.  The license you have gives you the opportunity to perform the service, but self education is the best education.  And, it has to be continuous.

N Never say never.  If you think for one minute you can’t sell retail.  Well, guess what…you can’t.  Never should be removed from your vocabulary. I always share a personal story here.  I only said never once in my life. That was 25-26 years ago. My daughter will be 25 this month. LOL

C Communicate clearly.  I mean this with no disrespect, but dumb it down to your clients level.  I am the perfect example of this.  When I first worked for Footlogix, they spoke in terms that spun my head.  They were bewildered by the fact they could not build the US market.  I flat out told them….you are speaking in terms we don’t understand.  I spent countless hours on the internet transferring their “medical” terms into terms I knew my fellow Technicians and myself could understand.  Communication is key.

E Engage your client.  Put the product in their hands.  The second the say “yes…I would love something to help me with my dry feet”, get up, get the product and let them hold it.

Is retail one of your goals?  I’m here to help.  

I challenge you to take the “retail challenge”.  Reach out to me, give me your goal and how you plan to attain it.  I’ll give you 30 days.  If you double your goal I’ll send you $100.00 worth of products for retail…FREE!


Think about this

If you purchase $100.00 in retail and you sell it at $200.00, on an average of say $20.00 per sale… you only have to sell to 10 clients in a month.  Attainable?  ABSOLUTELY!

Trust….it’s all about the trust!

CJ Murray, President

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What constitutes “Sub Standard”?

I was sitting here in my office, looking at the various amount of notes I have written down regarding thoughts about what I want to write about. Sometimes having too much isn’t a good thing. It’s difficult to decide what I want to conquer next.

When all of a sudden, I received a text from my Daughter telling me the Salon she goes to in Connecticut was just shut down due to violation of Connecticut wage law.


I have my reasons why I have been trying to discourage her from going to this particular Salon in the first place. However, her co-workers went there, it was close, it was convenient etc. etc.
It was a “Mom told you so” moment
This brings me to one of the topics i’ve been thinking about for a long time. What exactly is a “sub-standard” Salon? If you read wikipedia on the actual definition;  Sub-standard = below the usual or required standard. Thereforeunless a Salon was operating without a license, most would not qualify under the Sub-Standard category. After all, in all reality, most Salons do JUST what they have to do….they do what is the required standard.

How can that be you ask?

  • To begin with, let’s talk cleaning & disinfection.  Ohhhh….my favorite subject.  Most of our States suggest that Bleach is a sufficient enough “disinfectant” to use on our tools and in our Pedicure tubs.  There isn’t a cold day in hell that I personally would trust bleach to kill the bacteria and fungi AND blood spores we may be subject to.  However, many Salons use it because that’s what their State says is sufficient.  Does THAT make them sub-standard?
  • In addition, most all States do not require an Auto-clave.  However, we all know to Auto-clave is the highest level of sterilization we can offer.  Does that make them sub-standard?
  • What about the credo blade or better known as the cheese grater.  I’m appalled to know of Technicians I highly respect using these types of tools in their Salons.  When we think of Satans’ grater, don’t you think of sub-standard?  Does that make them sub-standard?

In addition, when we think of sub-standard we tend to think towards a specific ethnic group. I’m embarrassed to say, I’m guilty of that myself… the past. I’ve leaned.  Sub-standard has no ethnic boundaries.  It doesn’t discriminate against race or color.  Sub-standard salons of all ethnicity exist all over our Country.  North, South, East and West.

Unfortunately, when we do see or hear stories of Sub-standard Salons, the stories are always the same.  They relate Sub-standard to poor or no sanitary procedures.

I challenge you to take another look at what exactly Sub-standard is.  Relate it to your own Business and review areas of question. Make changes. Adapt better habits.



Here are my thoughts of what might constitutes Sub-Standard.

  • The obvious;  Improper or no cleaning and disinfection procedures
  • The not so obvious; Cleaning procedures, although approved by our States which do not protect our clients nor our Technicians from the various degrees of bacteria and fungi which we are presented with on a daily basis.
  • The obvious; The ridiculous amount of minimum hours required by our States to obtain a license.
  • The not so obvious; The lack of continuous Education many Technicians obtain. School gives us a license. Continuing Education gives us knowledge.

Just these 2 things are enough for a series of articles.  However, I believe there is much much more which should be taken into consideration when determining whether a Salon is Sub-standard or not.

I want you to seriously look at these things and think about your own situation. Changing our image to the outside world, stepping up to the next level takes a lot more than you think.

My experiences or what I have seen

  • Let’s begin with Barbicide.  The oldest form of disinfection in the history of our Business. Let’s just assume, for this article, Barbicide is a qualified cleaning/disinfection agent….although it isn’t. However, it is approved in most States.  Also, according to State regulations we must follow the procedures written on the container, or provided by the Mfg.  Barbicide has 10 minute contact time.  This means, implements/tools must be left in the solution for a minimum of 10 minutes for it to kill the spores it claims to kill.  I’ve seen hair combs thrown in and less than 5 minutes later taken out and used on a different client.  I’ve seen e-file   bits taken in and out of barbicide all day long, over and over again where I am confident, they didn’t have their required 10 minute soak time.  I’ve seen tools and implements sprayed either between clients or if dropped on the floor.  Sprayed and used almost immediately.  I WOULD CONSIDER THIS SUB-STANDARD
  • What about sanding bands? I have been in Salons watching a service being performed with the use of a sanding band and when the Technician is done with the band, he/she places it in a container of Disinfection solution.  I don’t know how good your disinfection solution is.  I don’t care if it’s 1 minute contact time or 10 minutes.  Sanding bands are not to be used on more than one client. It should immediately be thrown away.  I WOULD CONSIDER THIS SUB-STANDARD
  • Let’s talk dusty shelves. An area where many Salons don’t pay attention to is the way their Salon looks outside of their work station.  Sure, you may clean your station after each client but have you paid any attention to the rest of your Salon. Pictures, bottles, shelves, decorations……they all are subject to the same airborne debris. They need to be cleaned everyday.  I WOULD CONSIDER THIS SUB-STANDARD
  • How about reception? I often hear a commercial put out by a Company called Grasshopper. It’s advertising a Professional answering service. It’s actually kinda funny because it so has to do with forgetting the human touch of a phone call. I think about this in many places that I go when the receptionist is “too busy” “in a mood” “in a hurry”…call it what you want.  If the receptionist it human or machine is unpleasant and unprofessional,  I WOULD CONSIDER THI SUB-STANDARD
  • What about cleaning and disinfection procedures.  I can’t tell you how many Salons and Technicians who call in regards to our disinfection brand, and don’t buy it because of the price.  Really?  You are looking for a disinfection product based on price? I WOULD CONSIDER THIS SUB-STANDARD
  • What about physical appearance? Some may get mad at me for this, but I do think there needs to be a higher standard held in regards to appropriate dress code within a Salon.  Helloooooooo everyone!  We are in the BEAUTY Business. Nails should be manicure, toenails should be manicured, hair should represent your stylist. No cleavage, no shorts, no flip flops, no short skirts.  I’ve seen this.  I WOULD CONSIDER THIS SUB-STANDARD
  • Wages. I’m guessing things have changed.  I recall when I owned my Salon, we had to have everyone on the same pay program.  In other words, they ALL were either Independent Contractors (aka Booth renters) or payrolled employee.  You couldn’t have 3 of 1 and 2 of another.  It was an IRS regulation.  But now, I see diversity like this everywhere.  It’s even advertised on SM or some form of advertisement.  “10 chair Salon in need of Nail Technician.  Will booth rent, pay commission or make you an employee”.  I read this and I say, you have already put your new hire in charge.  Wages can’t be based off of the person.  Wages needs to be based off of profitability for the Salon.  Not knowing these numbers and running a Salon blind.  I WOULD CONSIDER THIS SUB-STANDARD
  • No Education.  I won’t get on my soap box, however I will say this short and sweet.  If you do NOT keep up with continuing education on a regular basis, you are in neglect. Neglect for your clients and neglect for yourself. This industry is not just about the bling.  It is far more and we are constantly in a position of jeopardy.  The rise of diabetes in both children and adults. The geriatric client. The immune compromised  client. The sue happy client. It’s endless. So, if you as a Salon owner does not take an aggressive action to keep your salon highly educated, or if you as a single entrepreneur aren’t Educating yourself on a regular basis….I WOULD CONSIDER THIS SUB-STANDARD

I apologize if you have recognized yourself in any of these scenarios and feel offended.  I don’t apologize if it makes you think twice about your own situation. The standards of this industry need to change.  We, those of us working in this industry dictate those standards.  Therefore, if we want to change the standards WE have to change.

CJ, Murray

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Why being 1/2 assed can be dangerous!

This past week I was blessed to travel with my husband and friends to Colorado for some skiing. The weather was a gorgeous 30-40 degrees, with light snow flurry’s in the evening.
I’m not an expert skier by all means, but I do make my way up and down a slope okay.  

My friends hooked up with me at one point, and the 3 of us headed up to the Lumberjack lift. As we were coming upon the drop-off point I proceeded to get up off the lift when I suddenly found myself 5 feet to the left of the lift with the skies planted nicely in about 4 ft of snow, under my legs. LOL

Here I was laying flat on my back laughing my ass off because I had just realized I got kicked in the ass by the chair when it started to come around to go back. I was thrown a good 5 feet to the left. What I had determined is, I only lifted my ass 1/2 way up, not enough to clear the way and ski down the lift hill.  
By only making it 1/2 way up, I got booted like a ping pong ball.
This may be one of those “have to be there things”, but honestly, it was kinda hysterical.
As I continued the rest of my day, I couldn’t help but think how what had just happened relates to our every day life. I only got my ass 1/2 way up. I was lazy (probably exhausted) and I suffered the consequence.

How many times have you done things 1/2 fast, only to fall flat because of it?  As difficult as it was for me in my most exhaustive state, the rest of the day, I made a conscious effort to make sure I got all the way up, as quickly as I could.

I think about things I’ve witnessed over the years.  In my own several years as a Salon owner, I think back to personnel.  I could probably go through my entire old database and tell you who were my 1/2 ass staff and who weren’t.  In fact, in my last few years of owning my Salon, I know I was 1/2 assed.  I settled.  Help was harder and harder to find, so I settled for whoever came in the door or answered an ad.

I settled because I was tired of the struggle.  I was exhausted.

Don’t be 1/2 assed and get lazy on hiring the right team.  Be patient and trust me on this one… staff is so much better than the wrong staff.

I know through talking with many of you, finding staff is a huge undertaking.  When new Technicians/Stylist are graduating, they mostly have somewhere to go….Family or friends.  This is because they are being put through school, specifically for hire.

Find someone you know who could be a potential, think about putting them through school.  Groom them.

I think about my clients and some of the things I put up with.  When I read stories on SM about questions regarding on “how a certain client should be handled”, I remember the days of not wanting to lose a client.  I took the lazy way out (I put up with it), I settled and I was miserable for it.

Don’t put up with clients who are costing you money and time.  I know 1st hand….losing one client will gain you 3 more.  When we let go of the bad….the good always happens.

It doesn’t matter what type of work you do, there will always be THAT client.  When you have THAT client, it’s important to know how to communicate in an effort to either make them realize they are costing you money and/or time, or it’s time to fire this client.  Yes, I mean fire.  This doesn’t come easy.  Knowing how to communicate is important.  

In fact, I think it’s as important to make a communications class, as it is a nail art class, if not more.  Taking classes outside of your bubble is always beneficial.

I can also tell you, an area where many Technicians are 1/2 assed is when it comes to cleaning and disinfection procedures.  Sadly, most do just what they are told or are required by their State.

Cleaning and Disinfection procedures should be universal in your Salon.  Your Stylist should be doing the same things as your Nail Technicians.  Everyone on your team should be following the same procedures.

Cleaning should be done daily, this involves wiping of exposed product bottles, desks, lamps……all hard goods on or around your service area

Disinfection should be over what the standards are of your State Boards.  Doing JUST what they require, I’m sorry is not adequate enough for our environment anymore. 

Another area where I think being 1/2 assed is prominent, is retail.  I could never understand why we would send our clients to purchase over the counter products or supplies when you could be selling them what they need and YOU make the money.

Retail is an area I think many Salons are afraid to put their money.  They don’t see it as a revenue stream, they see it as an inventory stream.  The most successful Salons pay their rent (and some) with the sales of their retail.  It CAN be done.

If you are performing your service properly and educating your client along the way, you should have products you can recommend.  Without having to break the bank.

Start slowly with 3-4 items.  Most Distributors ship rather quickly (at least I do), 3-6 of each item is all you need.  You can make 100% profit on retail.  Start selling, start banking.

If you needed a little push and maybe you felt like you were moving 1/2 assed…….here’s a little check list for you

  1. Looking for help?  Change your way of thinking.  Instead of finding that “right” person….find that person which you can make “right”.  Groom someone, mentor…share you expertise.  It make take a little longer, but good things do come to those who wait.
  2. Not the first time I’ve said this.  Get your disinfection procedures into a manual.  Train your staff….all of them.  Your team needs to know what they are using, what the instructions are and all, if any of the medical alerts needed in the event of an accident.  Knowledge is power.  The more informed your team is, the more Professional they will portray.
  3. Retail..  If you haven’t started, start now.  Open a separate account just for your retail and watch it grow.  If you paid $12.00 for a product, sell it for $24.00+.  Take the $12.00 profit and move it into a “profit” account.  Eventually, you will see the growth and realize the value of selling retail.

We’ve all been there….just don’t go where I went.  1/2 way up and booted 5 feet away.

CJ Murray, President

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Are You Motivated?

As I was scrolling through SM this past week, I’m overwhelmed with all the brands, the products, the options we have available to us as Nail Technicians.

Every day there is a new polish line a new gel line, a new glitter product, a new foot care brand. I’m reminded of how little we were aware of before the SM scene came into play. You can look at our trade magazines and see how “thin” they are. Mfg’s aren’t using print media as much….they don’t really have to.

I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. It’s good because we want to make sure we stay abreast of the newest, latest, greatest. But yet, it’s bad because does product hopping build stability? SM creates instability. What a dilemma. I certainly don’t envy sitting in your chair in today’s world. How do you decide?

I was recently at a client of mine who carries OPI nail & gel  polish, CND Shellac and Vinylux and we just added in the LCN brand of nail polish and gel polish.  Just the storage on how to display all these polishes have been a  challenge.

I was curious.  I asked my client why they feel the need to carry “it all”.  The answer was simply….it’s what our clients ask for.

The first thought in my head was “our clients are running our Business”!  Are they?

In a million years, I wouldn’t want to own a Salon these days.  God Bless all of you who do.  When I had my Salon, the options were minimal.  If we were to hear about a new product, it was via the trade shows or we read about it in a magazine.

It’s not only that though.  Staff didn’t have as many options and our clients didn’t have as many options.  Heck, I remember clients telling me I had to many polish choices one time.  I think I had maybe 25 at the time.  They said “too many choices makes it’s too confusing”.  They were right.

That’s how I feel when I look through SM.  It’s one new thing after another.  I see the same people over and over again endorsing each new product.  It’s mind boggling.  Did the one you just endorsed a month ago go bad all of a sudden?  I’m confused.

Like all of you, I receive my “memories” in my feed on a regular basis.  Memories of trainers absolutely “in love” with the line they represent, “it’s the best”, “wish I knew about this earlier” etc. etc…..only to see them totally dissing the line a year later.  It’s sad really, to see how much product hopping there really is.

Let me share what I know about product hopping;

  1. It reduces credibility – How do your clients believe what you say about a product being “the best”, if the best changes every month.  I’m not talking about adding additional products, I’m talking about complete replacement
  2. It is costly – What do you do with the product you just bought?  It sits on your back shelves.  That’s costly.  The math equation on product waste would be exasperating..
  3. It is confusing – How does your team become educated and specialized?  It’s difficult enough AND time consuming to learn everything there is to know about a single product.  Having to start all over again and over again and over again…..has to be confusing.
  4. It is unprofessional – yes, it is.  It shows lack of loyalty and it shows lack of commitment.

I can’t help but think of Salons this way.  You have the Brick & Mortar and you have the Amazons.

The Brick & Mortar Salons are specialized.  They are well adversed in their area of Business.  They specialize in a couple of things…not all things.  They are knowledgeable, they present well, they are customer service oriented and when you enter into their Business, you feel the Professionalism.

The Amazon Salons have it all.  They don’t specialize in anything in particular, they product hop, they are not educated on the products they carry, they are more industrial.  They are more about the quantity then they are the quality.

There is a vast difference and it is very noticeable.

So how do we control our Business.  What do we do about all these newest, greatest, latest products flashing in our faces all over SM.  For me, it seems rather simple.  I just follow what I have always followed.

When I chose to add another brand to my venue, it took me 9 months to find a brand.  Why?

  1. I had been teaching and preaching for 7 years how amazing the brand Footlogix was.  If I all of a sudden came in with a brand so different, what would all of you had thought about me?  About what I have been sharing for 7 years.  Would all of a sudden everything I had said mean’t nothing?  How could you trust me.
  2. I knew my clients and I knew what you were missing.  I needed to find something that was the same…..yet different..
  3. When I recently added PodoSafe to my venue, it was the same thing.  The same, yet different.  It was the Missing Piece to what we needed in the Foot Care room.  I had been looking for at least a year for a product which could make us more money in our Salons, be the same yet different and a product which, would allow me to branch out to grow my Business.

In short, there are many opportunities which come my way as a Distributor.  It’s as important for me to think about what I bring in, as is it for a Salon.  Brick & Mortar or Amazon.

So do our clients run our Business?  I guess in some ways they do.  But, we also have to be sensible enough to consciously think about what we do, how often we make changes, how it looks from the outside in and what it is doing to our bottom line.

CJ Murray, President

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The Importance of the Why?

If there is ever a moment when you realize going through the motions just isn’t enough. Contact me personally for information on our next OSS (Oncology Spa Solutions)-in the Pedicure room
More often than not, we as licensed Nail Technicians perform a process and forget we need to do more. We need to know the why’s of the process, and more importantly the why’s of our clients. We need to be “in the moment”

Centre for Beauty Salon Supply hosted its 1st of many classes on how to manage the Cancer client in our Foot Care room.

This class is not cheap.  It’s a 3 day class at a cost of $997.00.  Many have travel expense along with the expense of a 3-4 day hotel stay.

I make no apologies.  The cost of good Education is NOT cheap.  However, you can’t think of “what this is going to cost you“, you need to think about “what is this going to do for me, do for my clients“.

Come with me as I share our three day emotional journey and the impact it has already had on our attendees and their clients.

The first day some may consider the hardest.  It is a full day of really intense information.
I knew this because of my experience with taking the class back in December.  Therefore, I planned a Happy Hour for the attendees for when the class ended.
On our first day we learned a ton load about the history of Oncology.  Including; Timeline, What is, Characteristics, Pathophysiology of, Categories, Theories, Risk factors, Stages, Survival rates etc etc……….
If that wasn’t enough we also learned of the Treatments, Integrated therapies, Understanding our Immune system Skin cancer etc. etc. etc.
It’s an overload to say the least.  Our attendees at Happy Hour were overwhelmed, they were solemn, they were shocked, exhausted and even had moments of anxiety.  It was ALOT of information.

The 2nd day was just as impactful.  We learned the Psychological aspect of cancer.  How it affects our clients, how words, atmosphere, disinfection, scents etc. etc. etc……are all important to the client who has faced or is facing a life threatening disease.

We also learned a butt load about ingredients.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  What do we put on our clients bodies?  Are they products which might exasperate their condition?

By the end of the day, most of the attendees were shocked just to learn of the products they personally use at home could be carcinogenic.

No Happy Hour today, but we did have to ask our attendees to move on so we could close shop, get something to eat and rest for an eventful 3rd day.

Most of the 3rd day was spent reviewing our CAC forms.  Consultation, Analyze, Care.  The right questions to ask, a much more thorough consultation than we are use to in our Foot Care rooms…..if we even do one.
We learned the importance of accurate information and mostly ALL information in order to properly modify our service for each specific client.  We heard and did our own case studies.  We had to look up ingredients, learn terms and learn about specific organs which relate directly to Foot Care AND Nail Care services that either should or should not be performed, or at least modified based on that clients specific health issues.  INTENSE!

THEN…..came our guest.

IF…you take this class and you don’t “get it” after listening to the emotional, physical and spiritual journeys people go through when being told they have Cancer……get out of this Industry.

I mean this more emphatically than I have ever felt before.

If you can’t get beyond the process… the why……you don’t belong in this Profession


I’ve always said.  When I teach, if there is 1 person who came out of my class that I have made an impact on…..I have done my job.  Hosting this class affected so many in our group.

The tears which were brought on by the information we learned, reminded me of how so many of us internalize so much.  The experience is felt not just from a Professional level, but from a personal level as well.

I could see it on many of the attendees faces.  The shock, the fear of what they NOW do in their Foot Care rooms which they know needs to change.  I could see the blank stare of exhaustion while the wheels were still churning.

I heard from attendees who have had some unexplained physical issues.  1 attendee went straight to the hospital for evaluation and 1 attendee scheduled and physical exam.

Attendees have been reaching out to me about friends and family members who have experienced Cancer.  Discussing with them, the importance of finding someone who is “Oncology Trained” in the Pedicure room.

Attendees have been checking on friends who have had surgery due to other issues.  Finding out if they have had lymph nodes removed.  Which, will make a big difference in the process of our Pedicure room…, that they understand the why.


When I was sharing the class info and all the stories with my husband, he said to me “I guess you were pretty lucky in your Salon not to have caused some of these things that can happen”.

He’s so right.  I felt much like I felt when I first learned about proper disinfection.  The things we don’t know are the things that can ruin us.  Education is so important.


  • Did you know that scents can really affect a person going through treatment?  You want to make your room very aromatherapy like, but it’s actually insensitive not to cover this in your consultation.  Many are very sensitive to smells.  Eating lunch, cooking popcorn, broccoli or any other pungent food right before their service, can trigger a vomiting episode.
  • Did you know that performing a massage on someone who have had lymph nodes remove can cause epidema, and more?
  • Did you know not cleaning “everything” I your treatment room makes them very susceptible to infection?

The WHY’S is what you should invest in. The process can be read from a sheet of paper. The WHY’S need to be learned.

Centre for Beauty will be offering another class in October.  $100.00 deposit secures your seat (we already have 6).  The balance won’t be due until September.  I highly encourage to think about taking this class.  It will change the way you do things.  It will be one more step in the direction of changing the image of our industry.  It will be life changing, for you and your clients.

CJ Murray, President

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Are You Going Through The Process, But don’t really understand the why?

I just love you all. Always and forever giving me ideas of what might next blog can be.
In speaking with a client this week, we were talking about Education and her frustration with the lack of Education being available in her area.
I shared my frustrations with scheduling classes (because you all want them) only to have to cancel them because of low or no attendance.

In this conversation she shared with me some products she purchased several months ago, sitting in her closet….not being used. Why? Because although she understand the process, she doesn’t understand the why.


So often we go through the motions of working the process. However, when it comes to really understanding the guts of the service, the products themselves, the ingredients….we fall flat. We don’t know how to explain to our clients and we are intimidated enough by this, to leave products sitting in our closets being unused.


This is a real problem.  I often get asked for step by step procedures. However, I rarely get asked….

  • what are the ingredients
  • why do they work
  • what effect do they have
  • how is it going to benefit my clients
  • how will it benefit me

These are all very legitimate questions and these are all questions which legitimize our Profession. These are all questions which legitimize you.

Do you know about the ingredients in the products you use on your clients. Not JUST what the ingredients are, but what are the benefits. What will they do to our skin. What will be the long term effects.

30 years ago, I would never have thought about the ingredients in the brands I used.  I would never have thought about it’s benefits, it’s contra-indications or anything outside of the fact this is what I chose to use in my Foot Care room. 30 years ago, this worked. Not any more.

The feet of yesteryear are know way shape or form, the feet of today. Our lifestyle have changed so drastically. We are dealing with more geriatrics, more diabetes, more immune compromised health issue than ever before.

We are also dealing with a sue happy society.

It is a must we know more about what we are using.  It is a must we know how to talk about what we use.  It is a must, we are educated not just on the process, but also on the why of that process.


I can almost hear the voices in my ears “I can barely get my staff to follow the process, how on earth am I going to get them to know the whys?”

To begin with I say “get er done”.  Do you want to be one of those Salons with new product sitting in your closet? Product  you spent money on, wasting away behind closed doors? The idea of that is just ridiculous.

What do we do?

  • Each team member should choose a product a week to study
    • Learn what the ingredients are
    • Learn what the benefits are
    • Learn what the results can be
  • Each team member should
    • Learn how to communicate this information
  • Each team member should try the product and/or receive a service with the product

In addition, when a new product is brought it, it should be

  • Used immediately to form a comfort level with this new product. Practice makes perfect.  You have to use it to use it.
  • Share it with all your customers by offering a new product promo.  Get it into their hands/feet immediately


Is there a product your purchased that you aren’t 100% sure about?

Is there something you purchased which you haven’t used yet because you aren’t comfortable with it?

What do YOU want to know about?

Share your thoughts and I will make a blog out of it


CJ Murray, President

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Learning & Teaching are forever moments?

I had to pivot. Yup, we have to do that every once in a while during our lifetime. For me, this was one of those times. You see, I was so excited about what I wanted to blog and share with you this week…but… happened.
I was drawn to a thread on SM which gave me an “ah ha” moment. It was a question being asked in regards to feet. How could I not take the opportunity for a teaching moment. It’s just way to good to pass up.

Let me set the stage

Technician performs a pedicure on a client with severe thickness and dryness on the heel of the foot, the sides, the ball of the foot and the sole of the foot as well. There was also some severe cracking.
This isn’t discovered until after the client has soaked and the toenails have been clipped and manicured. The situation is severe. Filling doesn’t touch it.
The Technician recommends the client files her own feet a couple times a week after a shower, uses a cream and wears socks at night to moisturize.
I’m totally shortening the story, just to get to the guts.
Let’s find out what is wrong with this picture
Calloused heel

Ever hear the comment “I’m in feet heaven”?  Well, I am right now.  This scenario is sooooooo up my alley. Let’s get to it.

1st of all – adjustment #1.  Client consultation.

A client consultation is a MUST in our foot care rooms today.  The rise of diabetes, the rise of baby boomers visiting our salons, the rise of geriatrics now getting Pedicures puts us at risk for something really bad to happen in our chair.  A “proper” client consultation is our Insurance policy.

If a consultation had been done, the Technician would have seen what she was up against prior to servicing the client.  She could have made many choices of what to do at that time.  Should she service her/him?  Should she use a file on her/him?  Should she even soak her/him?  How about a scrub….should it have been used? Did she inquire about any health concerns prior to performing the service.  Obviously, something is going on.  Was it illness, medications, lack of care, wrong care?  It’s imperative to know the answers to these questions and more prior to moving onto the next step.

What should the next step be?

Well, I certainly can’t say for sure because we don’t have all the information needed.  However, I can tell you just based on this small bit of information we do have……I might have suggested this client an at home care regimen for a couple of weeks to seal the cracks.  Once the cracks are sealed is when and only when I would service the client in the Pedicure room.

Open portals of entry on the skin make this client susceptible to bacteria entering the skin and possibly getting in the blood stream causing serious if not deadly issues.

We should never ever service a client who has open skin, either on their feet or their legs.

Technicians as a whole have a difficult time turning clients away.  However, this is not what we are doing.  We have to educate the client to the reason(s) why the service can not be performed.  We have to know what products to recommend.

Once we go through this process (through the consultation), we can schedule an appointment at least 2 weeks out for them to return for the service.

This process not only shows the client your level of education, they will also trust you and respect you for what you have done.

2nd…..Do you have the right products to recommend to your clients.

I seriously can’t fit everything running through my mind right now in this one short blog.

In this particular case, the client was referred to use a cream and wear socks at night. Well….congratulations Mr. or Mrs. whoever you are… now have the most highly moisturized socks in your County. NOOOOOOOOOO!

What “creams” are you recommending or do they have for at home use?  Most (not all) creams have a thick molecular structure. These structures are not tiny enough to process through to the layers of the epidermis in order to be effective. Nor do they have the proper ingredients.  They sit on top of the skin.  Therefore, they not only wipe off on the first thing that touches them (socks), they do nothing for being able to reduce the callus nor soften the skin.


When retailing and/or recommending products to our clients

  • Look for products with a fine molecular structure like a mousse based formula or a light cream base
  • Look for products with active ingredients which act as a driver which delivers the ingredients into the layers of the epidermis so the product can work from the inside out.  How do we heal?  From the inside out.
  • Look for high level quality ingredients

There are great products on the market, but they do NOT all work as products which can attack these types of issues.  Many feel good and smell good, but they are not effective.

I represent the following 2 brands because they do work, they do have effective ingredients and they are safe for any immuo comprised client.  As much as I would love to sell you either of these products……do your research.

  • LCN Urea based
  • Footlogix Urea based

Urea is a hygroscopic.  It absorbs into 5-7 layers of the epidermis. It brings the “good” active ingredients with it to allow the skin to repair from the inside out.

We want the callus.  The callus is there to protect us.  However, we want that callus to soften so it will feel better and we also want it to look better.  In addition, the Urea will continuously work allowing the dead skin cells to push to the outer layer of the skin, allow the Stratum Corneum layer to naturally exfoliate



While on the topic of products and ingredients.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the harmful effects of using acid based products or a product like baby foot.

When using acid based products we are only “burning” the top layer of the skin.  If we keep doing this, the skin will grow back tougher and thicker.  Remember, the skin is there to protect us.  If we continue to “remove” what is protecting us, it will think it isn’t doing it job.  Hence, growing back thicker and tougher.

Baby foot, literally burns off the top layer of the skin.  It even compromises the integrity of the good skin.  Another problem with baby foot is when the skin begins to peel off, you have a layer of red, tender, exposed skin leaving an absolutely fantastic bacteria haven. In short, it’s just bad!

Disinfection Micrylium BioSurf Kinder Greener Safer



I’m very passionate about foot files because of my own personal research.  We as technicians are causing roughness and cracking on our clients feet because of inferior foot files that are on the market.  Satan’s grader, sandpaper peel n sticking others, pumice stones and more.

I the case of this story, the technician sent the client home and suggested she file her feet a couple of times a week.  We have a couple problems with this scenario.

  • Did she know what type of foot file she is actually using at home?  Is it possible the file she is using is causing the skin on her feet to crack and be rough?  Absolutely!
  • Why would you send a client home to do your job?  Don’t ever suggest a client does at home what you should be doing in the Pedicure chair.  Not only is it poor advise, but your sending $$$$ out the door.

We recommend the AngelFeet file….hands down.  Yes, its considered to be expensive……BUT……if you cut hair, would you purchase a pair of shears for .75 cents?  If so, don’t expect too many clients.  A foot file is a primary tool in our Pedicure service.  It should be of good quality, it should be safe.  We recommend the AngelFeet file for a variety of reasons.

  • Medical grade, surgical stainless steel.  It can be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized to the highest degree
  • It has the “worlds” only and patented grit technology.  Guaranteed not to shred the skin
  • It won’t rust
  • It’s made in the USA which requires ISO9000 regulation
  • One file offers over 1000+ pedicures
  • It’s available in retail size IF you retail foot files to your clients

Centre for Beauty, during the month of February is offering our FILE BUY BACK program.  Send us your old files and you can purchase the AngelFeet for only $40.00.  This is a $42.95 savings which only happens during our buy back program.  This program is not a given.  We have no idea how many times we will be able to offer this program during the year.  It’s a program you will only find through Centre for Beauty.  For more info contact me @

I wish I could get this message to every technician in this industry.  However, unless I visit every salon in existence, it can’t happen without your help.

I talk all the time about changing the image the outside world has of our Industry.  WE are the only ones that can change that. Share this article.  Tell all you friends.  Inform your clients.  This information may seem like feet 101 but it isn’t.  We weren’t taught these types of things in school (still aren’t).  And, there are many people out there offering what they think is good advise, but it’s wrong information.

I don’t fault this technician for doing or not doing what she did.  In my opinion, the fault lies in our Industry for not providing quality education in our schools to our new Technicians.  30 years ago…sure, no one knew what we know today about feet and the products we should or shouldn’t use.  But in todays world…there is no excuse.

I say it again….please share.  Let’s educate each other.  Let’s work together to make a change.

CJ Murray, President

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It’s a Stark Reality!

This week I had the pleasure of representing two of my brands at an open house of a new client of mine. A full service Salon & Spa along with a Med Spa facility in the same building. Very beautifully done.

I was there to talk with their clients about the brands they just brought in, present a peak of new products they are considering and promote them as a safe salon based on their cleaning and disinfection practices and their use of top quality brand products, sharing comparisons between them and a sub-standard salon.

What I heard, what I witnessed was not only a stark reminder, but yet another confirmation that I have got to keep doing what i’m doing and you as Technicians have got to keep learning.




There were a variety of ages attending this event.  I spoke with teenagers and I spoke with elders.  The common denominator of the evening was they all agreed, they have always paid more attention to their hair (especially the young) then they have to their feet (especially the aging). Yet, they all understood “our feet carry us around for a lifetime”

It was standing room only, people couldn’t even get through the door as I proceeded with my AntiAge demo’s and talked passionately about being aware of what they were putting on their feet, where they were getting their services done and what they should or shouldn’t do in their own showers.

I heard “I use a scraper”, “I use olive oil”, “I get a pedicure once a week”, “I don’t do anything”, “I know-I know-I know”.  They were saying all the things that make the sound of nails scratching a black board.  I was going crazy!

As usual, my mind was spinning with how I could use this experience in my Blog.  I must admit, I do have a hard time living in the moment.

Anyhow, how this event impacted my Blog today is this.  Our clients need education. They do what they do (or don’t do) because they just don’t know.  Or, they do know….they just don’t know where to go.  In fact, several of the attendees that I spoke with, didn’t even know the facility where they were at,  offered Nail/Pedicure services.

It is up to us to educate our clients.  If we are going to change the way people care for their feet, change the way our industry is viewed, change the idea that our pricing is too high…….we have to educate.



Conversation #1:  I receive pedicures 1X per week.  Why do you go every week?  My feet are so dry.  Share with me what they do.  She uses one of those “scrubbies” on my calluses.  Do you do anything daily at home?  No…I know I should, but I don’t.

First of all, there is no way in hell (sorry) anyone needs to frequent a salon for a weekly pedicure.  And, shame on you if you have weekly clients.  If they receive a pedicure on the 1st week and just come in for a relaxing message on week 2, 3 and 4.  That’s something different.  Otherwise, both you and the client are the epitome of INSANE!  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Receiving or performing a pedicure weekly, using sub standard foot files, sub standard products…does not improve their problem.  A scrubbie?  Really?  Either that’s volcanic rock or it’s a hard sponge. Ewwwwww!  Forget what it’s doing to the skin, just imagine the harbored bacteria.

We need to educate our clients on why the skin of their feet look the way they do.  Improper tools, improper techniques, improper products, lack of home care.

Conversation #2:  I get pedicures monthly.  Mind if I look at your feet?  When was your last pedicure?  Sure, (shows feet), I had one about 3 days ago.  Do you like the way they look?  They always look like this after I have a Pedicure (they were rough and dry).  It’s probably because I go to the “cheap” places.  But, do you like the way they look?  No, not really….but I like to have my feet rubbed.

Okay, so where do I go with this?  First of all, her idea of cheap was only a few $$$ less then what this beautiful salon charges. There is a mis-conception that if the Salon is big and beautiful, their prices are going to be high.

Here’s the kicker.  #1, she has had other services at this facility.  Why is the staff not cross promoting?  #2, she spends money (doesn’t matter how much) but she STILL doesn’t like the way her feet look.

Bare with me.


Are you Educating your clients?

Are you Educating your potential clients?

This Business has so much potential.  Within our Salons alone, we have so much opportunity to inform and to educate the outside world.  We see this daily through magazines, commercials, social media.  The outside public is vulnerable to anything they really don’t know anything about….IF….you are knowledgable, informed and educated.

The clients at this event were literally memorized by me.  Not because i’m anything special, but because I pointed out the obvious, I related, I cared.  And, because most people are needing other people to tell them what to do.

There are so many ways to inform.

  • Host an event like I just participated in
  • Brochures, rack cards with informative information
  • Leave your brochures, your rack cards at various places
    • Dr’s office
    • Gym clubs
    • Restaurants
  • Write a monthly newsletter/a blog
  • Inform on your website
  • Cross promote

Bring yourself back to the days before you decided to enter this industry.  The days before you went to Beauty school.  What did you know?  Surely a whole lot less than what you know now.

We have to take what we have learned and share it with the general public.  We can Educate our clients but we have to reach out further than that.  They are hungry for it and they need it.

By the time the evening was up, several people booked for Nail/Pedicure services, we sold retail, we sparked interest in new products

And for me…..I left with a renewed sense hope.  Hope in where the future of our Industry is going.  The general public are hungry for Educated, informed Technicians.  The general public really do not like the sub-standard salons but they know no better.  the general public need us.

In addition, I left with the realization that we forget to inform outside our bubble.  It’s time we pay attention to the needs beyond.

CJ Murray, President

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Are you really Listening?

I remember when I was writing a monthly article for Cosmoprof for their Nail section……years ago. The director in charge told me the first one is the easiest. The more you write, the more difficult it becomes to think about topics to write about.

I disagree.  My mind races constantly with what I want to share with you in an effort to help your business grow.  I talk with clients who give me topics they would like to see and, sometimes the vision will just come in everyday conversation which, is where this topic comes from today.  


Has our routine tuned out the feelings of our clients?  Do we really hear what our clients are saying when they talk abut their day?  Has asking “how they are doing “ turned into just routine?  Do you even wait for a reply?

I’m not really sure if it was the impact of the OSS class I took or the obvious divide and insensitivity in our world today, or maybe both. 

I feel like we have just stopped listening.  

The biggest impact the OSS class had on me, was learning all the emotional, physical and psychological impact having cancer does on a person.  I certainly don’t want to minimize the severity of cancer however, in taking that class, I began to realize we all have cancer “like” situations in our life.  

A situation to where you want to be left alone, or maybe you want someone to be with you. A situation where you want someone to just take care of you. A situation where you want someone to not just hear you, but truly listen…without judgement.  Someone to just listen and not try to solve whatever it is you may be talking about.

Maybe you want silence.  Maybe you want distraction.  Whatever it is, we have all been there.  To what extreme is individualized.  It’s all relative.

Spa oriented

Have we forgotten?

We are in a service oriented, make me feel good industry.  Most of our clients who frequent our Salons, do so because the service they receive “makes them feel good”.

Are we focused on our client?  Are we really paying attention to what they are saying?

I know I always harken back to the client consultation.  We all know how important I firmly believe that is.  However, the client consultation helps us to determine the service. The client consultation protects us, it protects our clients. Listening to our clients goes a bit further than that.


What;s the difference?

A client consultation is manual.  what I mean by that, is it’s all the same questions, the same routine, the same process.

  • Listening to the client involves empathy. “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another”  
  • Listening to the client involves compassion. “Concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others”  
  • Listening to the clients involves exactly that, listening “pay attention, be attentive, concentrate on”
listening comic

How can we take these characteristics of listening and put them into action in our Salon?

  • Client is 5 minutes late
    • Well, we have all been here.  A late client means stress. It irritates us and right away.  And, that irritation is visible.  Do you even know why that client is late?  Do you ever take the time out to really care?  Chances are, we are hurrying our client to our stations to get right down to work.  What about taking that 10 second pause to “ask if the client is okay?”  Does he/she need a moment for the rest room?  Maybe a drink?  I believe if we calm ourselves, we calm the situation.  Make it a policy, if your client is late, they pay for the service they scheduled yet receive the service you have time for.  There is always a way to adjust.  Even in the worse of situations, you can be compassionate.
  • Client is stressed
    • What do you do?  Sit her down and perform the service?  That would be the norm right?  How about offering a heated neck pad or a cold eye mask for 5 minutes.  You can perform your service while the client is experiencing a moment of rest.  Spray a mist of calming lavender in the air around them.  It takes seconds to show your client…you were listening….you heard what they have to say, and you care.
  • Client has aches
    • I think this is what I think most about when I think back to my salon and what I could have done different in particular aspects of my services.  The small gestures which can go a long way. Offering a hand massage to a client who uses their hands a lot. Offering a leg massage to someone who stands a lot.  I’m not talking about what is included in the service they are receiving.  I’m talking about the client who quietly mentions about his/her long day which might have affected her hands and/or legs.  It’s listening….it’s letting the client know you listened, and you heard.


Listening is a skill.  In fact, I was quite surprised to see how many books and educational materials there are on the “art of listening”.  Not listening divides us.  Not listening makes us miss many things.  Not listening makes us insensitive.  Not listening makes us look dis-interested.  Not listening simply makes us look like we just don’t care.

Get back to the basics of why you got into this industry in the first place.  You want to make people look and feel good.

Use your artistic talent to make them look good, use your nurturing soul to make them feel good.

CJ Murray, President

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3 Customized Services for Callus Care!

We had such a great response to our Blog of last week, with a request to be more specific about how to use any of our callus products in the Pedicure room.

The idea that anyone even reads my Blogs is super exciting. However, the hunger for Education, the desire to learn more empowers me to a level I can’t even explain.
When I owned my Salon, being creative is what made the juices flow. The nail art we offered, the decorations for the Holidays’, the constant change which made our clients look forward to the next thing……is what helped me keep going.

I miss all of it! Being able to share my creative ideas with you…..helps keep those juices flowing. Thank you to those who requested more info. I have a “page full” to share with you.





If you’ve been reading my Blogs, you know that I personally believe our consultation begins at the reception desk.

If you change this one thing in your Salon, you won’t have to offer 3, 4 or 5 different Pedicures. You offer 1 Pedicure which is customized to each clients need.  We modify our basic pedicure to include services such as scrubs, hot stones, callus work etc. etc.  Plus, we modify each pedicure based on the clients age, how much time they have and the health condition of the client.

Can you imagine going into a clinic or even a Dr’s office with a UTI and they treat you like you have the common cold?  Sounds silly doesn’t it?  In reality, this is what we are doing when we offer the same Pedicure(s) to all clients.

You also need to be well versed or well educated in order to teach your reception to ask the right questions? They won’t ask ALL the questions, but they certainly would get the consultation started.

Remember, the basic need for a consultation is to protect yourself as well as your client. You want to protect yourself from not leaving enough time for a client who requires extra work. You want to protect yourself from not servicing a client who has an infection.  You want to protect yourself from under-charging for your services.

What should a consultation sound like coming from the Reception desk?

  1. Is this your first Pedicure
  2. If no, what if anything, did you like about your last Pedicure.
  3. If no, what if anything, did you not like about your last Pedicure.
  4. Do you have any concerns with the skin on your feet?
  5. If so, would you mind texting me a picture? (This is very popular in Hair Salons)
  6. Does massage bother you?
  7. Will you require polish?
  8. If so, would you want a standard polish or a fast dry (as in a gel polish)

Notice, there are no specific Medical questions.  This should be left up to the Foot Care specialist.

However, also notice the questions being asked are directed towards knowing how much time will be needed in the chair and having a picture of the skin of their feet will help you begin the process of what service should be suggested.

At this point, the reception would simply say, our prices begin at XXX.  The Foot Care Specialist will make their suggestion and pricing will be established at that time.






Once the client sits in your chair DO NOT automatically put their feet in the water.  In fact, the water shouldn’t be waiting for them at all.

  1. You need to consult with them on Medical challenges.
    1. Are they diabetic
    2. Have they ever had or now have cancer
    3. Are they on blood pressure medicine.
    4. Do they have circulatory problems
    5. Do they have fibromyalgia
    6. Do they have neuropathy
    7. Are they pregnant
    8. Do they have any allergies
    9. Do they have any sensitivities
  2. You need to do a visual. The integrity of the skin on our feet change once they are placed in water. Not looking at the bottom of their feet, between their toes, removing their nail polish to look at their toes is neglect on your part.  It’s like going back to that Dr. who provides a prescription for a common cold when you really have a UTI.

In addition, there are more questions which should be answered prior to performing the service.

  1. How often to you get pedicures
  2. What do you do to take care of your feet between services.
  3. Tell me about you!  Are you active, do you wear shoes or sandals mostly, do you walk barefoot?

It isn’t until all these questions are answered and the visual consultation is done, should you begin the Foot Care process.  Why?  Because;

  1. Depending on their health concerns will depend on the temperature of the water
  2. Depending on their health concerns will depend on whether you use implements on them or not
  3. Depending on their health concerns will depend on what type of massage you give
    1. Water to hot can throw some with circulatory problems into a blood clot
    2. Someone pregnant receiving a massage can be put into labor
    3. Someone with Diabetes should not have their cuticles clipped
    4. Someone with Cancer has very specific needs




In my early days with Footlogix, I always recommended these products to be used in every Pedicure.  It didn’t happen and I couldn’t figure out why.  It’s a great product, it’s effective.  Yet, I noticed my clients using the product only used it for specific services.  They listed it on their menu as a “Medi Pedi” a “Heeling Pedi” a “Cure All”, just to name a few.  In addition, they were listing these Pedicures at a price of $75.00 upwards to $150.00.

Sounds great right?  Only if they sell. But they weren’t.  One big reason is because it was listed as a separate type of service on their menu… stated above. That’s a problem why? Because clients looking at that service didn’t feel like they needed that type of Pedicure.  And, the Technicians weren’t knowledgable enough in Foot Care to be able to “sell” the difference.

Problem #1 – be knowledgable

Problem #2 – don’t list it as a separate service

Recommending the Footlogix products for a Pedicure should be customized. It’s marketed as a “clinical” brand. Why? Because it’s safe for the diabetic and it as no fragrance.  In addition, it’s absorbs quickly into the skin without that greasy feeling.

These products are great products to market to your men.  It’s also a great product to use if you are in a clinical environment such as a Podiatry office.

In addition, this is an easy to use product for at home care.

Footlogix has no fluff or buff.  It’s simple to use, it’s effective, it’s very 1-2-3.


I try not to show favorites, because I truly believe in all the products I Educate on.  However, I can tell you right now.  If I still had my Salon….with PodoSafe, I would be doing things a lot different.  I would be working smarter…..not harder.

PodoSafe came to my attention last August at the Foot Forward Summit. What you don’t know, I was very angry at being a part of that Summit. I felt it was very expensive to participate. Yet, Centre for Beauty had to be there. Why? Because my main 2 Mfg’s were there……right in my back yard.

I won’t get into all that, it’s not important. What is important is the real reason I was there. PodoSafe. It was just mean’t to be.

As soon as I started talking with them and began watching their demo, I knew there was something special.  It was the same….yet different….then what I already carried.  It was a product I could introduce into the Podiatry market yet introduce to my clients as a stand alone service.  A way to work less, make more money.

I’ve recommended this service to be no less than $50.00 for 30 minutes and highly recommend you charge $75.00. Why? Because results are amazing and they are quick.

You don’t perform a full Pedicure service with the product.  It is a “Callus Solution”.  A service for those who have angry skin on their feet.  A service for those who don’t like the whole process of a Pedicure.  A service we keep in the Salon.  A service where the product works for us…..we don’t work for it.

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LCN urea foot care


By far my most favorite full service pedicure brand.  Over the past 3 years i’ve been affiliated with the brand, i’ve come to realize the European nations really have the low down on creating great, quality products.  It doesn’t matter what is introduced from the home office Wilde Cosmetics, it just simply wow’s me.

What I have grown to love about the LCN brand is the reality that all men are NOT created equal.  Some people like to stick with the same thing, some people need a variety in their life.  No matter which category you fall into, we can provide what you need all from the LCN brand.

Its Urea product line is my anchor.  Much like Footlogix but with many more beneficial ingredients. These added ingredients are visible in the results. It shows more hydration by far.

This is your full service line.  You can ambience around the world with its exfoliating scrub capable of being used as a European gommage.  The mask, as with any mask in the LCN brand isn’t typical.  It’s lightweight and is not recommended to be washed off…..simply massaged into the skin.

The LCN brand is the epitome of customization

I also love the seasonal brands with the LCN line.  Citrus and Red Wine, just to name a couple.  But….hold onto your hat.  In a couple more months, we will introduce their new Spa line.  Wilde Cosmetics has revived some of their best sellers.  It’s very exciting.

Who is your client for LCN…..simply put…..everyone!  You can make it clinical, you can make it sexy.  It does have a slight fragrance to it albeit a very clean fragrance.  therefore, if you are looking for non fragrance, Footlogix might be your answer.

With all this being said, the one thing I truly love above all my brands…..they are interchangeable. There are no contra-indications in mixing one brand with another. This is awesome when you are trying to 100% customize and or modify to your clients specific needs.


To put all this in summary.

  1.  Offer only 1 Pedicure and customize the service to your clients needs
  2. Use Footlogix as your more clinical product for those who simply don’t like the fluff and buff, the fragrance, the feel of more hydration
  3. Use PodoSafe as a stand alone.  No full service Pedicure.  Simply a callus solution.
  4. Use LCN as your full service Pedicure.  It combines the benefits of Footlogix with benefits of luxury.  Hence why we call it “Results with luxury”

You don’t have to use all 3, but I do recommend 2 of the 3.  I highly suggest PodoSafe as your “solution” service and either Footlogix or LCN as your Foot Care service.

With that being said, you can ambience any of these products and do very well with them.  However, remember, everything you add has a cost.  That cost needs to be incorporated into what you charge.

Also, as an FYI…..all 3 brands are safe for the diabetic client.


  • You scheduled for a haircut and everyone received the same cut
  • You scheduled for a hair color and everyone received the same
  • You scheduled for a nail service and you received the same as everyone else
  • You scheduled for permanent eyebrows and you received the same shape as everyone else

This may sound a bit ridiculous, but it’s the truth…the list goes on and on.  As Technicians we have got to start realizing….not all pedicures are created equal.

I believe we depend too much on our menu’s.  We use our menu’s as our salespeople instead of training ourselves and our team to ask the right questions.  

Happy Pedicuring!

CJ Murray, President

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