Posts by C J

Nike says “Just do It” I say “Do it Now”!

I was talking with a girlfriend the other day. She was sharing with me the loss of a client, whom she calls a friend. At the young age of 62 she went out of town on a Business trip. She had a brain aneurism and passed away.

In our conversation we talked about how young that is. 62 is the new 42. Life expectancy is a lot older than it use to be. We expect to live well into our 80’s and even 90’s. 62 is just so young.

We talked about how hard we work and how we fail to realize how important it is to do the things we want to do and follow that old cliche.
Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.
I’m so sorry for the loss of her friend and my heart is saddened. Losing someone close to us is the hardest thing ever. However, we both agree, we should all treat our own lives like it is our last day on earth.

Do You?

I’m reminded of how we all felt during 911.  There wasn’t a time I can remember that our Country came together more than that day and many days and months to follow. The trivial things didn’t bother us as much, we loved more, we did more….we lived. I can remember saying and still do, we should live everyday like it was September 11, 2001.

Strut Don't Stress

There is always that fine line between what we want to do and what we can or what we can afford to do. I think people have a mis-conception that just because we should do it, doesn’t mean we should be reckless.

Living life isn’t about being willy nilly. It’s about doing the right thing “all the time” not just some the time. It’s about patience and kindness. It’s about taking responsibility for our own actions. It’s about having fun but not being stupid. It’s about planning. Planning to reach our goals so we can be happy in what we want to do to live life to the fullest.

Enjoying life is about de-stressing. It’s about thinking about the process to get to where we want to be. Whether being is with someone, having something or doing something is our goal.

Living our life to the fullest is about every little aspect. Our God, our Family, our Friends, our Work. And, having a plan for each one of those categories is what gives us the strength and the encouragement to meet all our goals.

Living life to the fullest is about realizing AND accepting that we will fail. It’s about accepting those failures gracefully and setting new goals to help us stay focused, help us keep the strength and help us stay encouraged.

Strut Don't Stress-2
  • Hula Hoop – YES! Make a small investment in a good hula hoop and go at it.
  • Dance to music – Turn on your favorite music and dance like no one is watching.
  • Skip – Not only is skipping refreshing, it also burns energy.
  • Sing – We’ve all seen the u-tube videos. Turn up the music and sing to your hearts content

I know all these things sound pretty silly. Being silly is stress relief and these things are harmless. You can do them by yourself or do them with your friends. Either way, I guarantee you an energy burst and an attitude adjustment if you do.

In case you are wondering. Yup….I do. Sometimes I even hula hoop and sing at the same time. LOL

What about living life to the fullest in our jobs. When my girlfriend was sharing her story, I couldn’t help but think about 2 different people I spoke to on that very same day who “wants to take a class….but”. Who “wants to buy xxx….but”. Who, “wants to have a price increase….but” etc etc.


Every time you put “but at the end of a sentence, it means everything you just said isn’t true

  • If you want to take a class. Do it! Plan the time, plan how to save for it and make it happen. No one can make it happen for you. You are completely in control.
  • If you want to purchase something. Do it! Set a time frame goal and figure out how much you need to save to buy it. I bet if you added up how much money you spend on trivial things, you would have enough money to purchase what you really want.
  • If you want to go somewhere. Do it! Again, pick a time frame and save. Saving doesn’t mean you have all the funds in one shot. Saving is like eating a big elephant. You do it in little pieces at a time.
  • If you need to readjust within your Business.  Do it!  There is absolutely no reason to be miserable in a place you spend most of your time at.

Through it all, be thankful for what you do have and keep positive thoughts that you WILL obtain your goal.

I think the thing I hear the most is this

I know I need to, but I just don’t have the time

Believe you me…..if you really know you need to, then make the time. I can remember my days in the Salon. I was amazed at how many trips a friend of mine use to take. Who, BTW, owned her own business as well.

I remember asking her how she can find the time? Isn’t she worried about leaving her Business? Simply put she said “time is what you make of it. And, the Business will still be here when I return. We may have to do some cleaning up and fixing of problems, however, it will still be here?

That lesson resonates with me still today. It’s hard to leave and there are always consequences. Nothing however, has ever been so bad when I’ve returned that has ever made me say “never again”.

There’s a song that came out as my daughter was growing up. Her and I use to sing it as loudly as possible in the car when it came over the radio. I still sing it in my head today as a reminder……life is short.


Lee Ann Womack

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder

May you never take one single breath for granted

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens

Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance

And when you have the choice to sit or dance


I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance

I hope you never settle for the path of lease resistance

Living might mean taking chances, but they’re worth taking

When you come close to selling out reconsider

And when you have the choice to sit or dance



I HOPE YOU DANCE.  I hope you take a moment think about your goals, write them down and plan to make them happen.


CJ Murray, President

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dry pedicure

3 Ways to perform a Waterless Pedicure?

There was a time in my Salon career when I wanted to build a “Foot Care Only” Salon. I had 2000 Sq Ft filled with Nails, Hair, Skin Care, Massage, Tanning and Retail. However, as with all of you, the challenge of keeping each of our services busy was sometimes too great to bear. It always seemed when one service was busy, another was way down. This is the cycle…..nothing is ever status quo.

For that reason and realizing my passion to dive into Foot Care only, I envisioned and dreamed of turning my 2000 Sq ft. into a first of its kind. Offering a variety of different Foot Care services. I envisioned a Foot Bar, I envisioned dry pedicures, wet pedicures, steam pedicures, clinical pedicures, luxurious pedicures…..on and on and on.

What I didn’t envision at the time, is how the tides would turn so greatly in our Foot Care Industry. How we would be subjected to the backlash we get in our Industry from non-Educated Technicians, Technicians working out of the limits of their license and on the back flip, Technicians who are so overly Educated they almost put themselves in a category all on their own.

In addition, I didn’t envision how the health of our society would play such an impact on our Business. We no longer need to just know how to polish toes, we need information to help us as the first responders we are. We can’t diagnose, yet we need to know what we are dealing with so we know whether we can service them or not. Talk about a catch 22 right?

What I do know, is our Industry is forever changing. When I opened my “Foot Care” only Distribution, no one was talking about feet.  They were talking about foot care products, but there was no where near the amount of articles, education and information available….as there is now.

So, in this day and age that we live in within our Industry, there are many challenges we face with safety, with proper disinfection and with proper applications. There are more challenges with health concerns, disease and health insurance. All of which, has  moved us to be more pro-active and more safe in the way we handle our foot care clients.


Exactly what does this all mean?

Ultrasonic Disinfection

What it means when it comes to safety its multifold. What processes can we perform on our clients? Do we soak, do we not? Do we use implements, do we not? Can we massage, or should we not? Do we proceed, or do we refer?

WE need to be asking these questions on a daily basis.

As I sit here in my office and look at all the certifications i’ve received from classes i’ve taken, i’m reminded of every little “new” thing I learned from each and every one of them. I’m reminded of how devastated I was in many cases, to learn I may have done something which could have turned out really bad…..because I didn’t know. I’m reminded, if I had opened my “Foot Care” only facility, it would be a whole lot different today than what I envisioned over 15 years ago.

It’s all the above things I think about when a client calls me to inquire about waterless pedicures. Their reasons for wanting to offer waterless are valid. But, my reasons sometimes differ. For me it’s about providing a service to someone who shouldn’t be in water. Providing a service to an immune compromised client. Providing a service to a home bound client. Providing a service to a wheelchair client. Providing a service which is waterless yet still falls into the category of performing that client consultation. Needing to know about the client and what their needs are, not just what me as a Technician wants to offer. Needing to know how to explain the why’s of a waterless pedicure and needing to know I am providing the absolute best for that client sitting at my station.

customer service-1253483__340

What exactly is a “waterless pedicure”? Does it mean no pedicure bowl? Does it mean we soak the feet minimal? Does it mean we use absolutely no water at all? I guess, in reality….it can mean whatever you want. 

The beauty of this Beauty Industry….this type of thing can mean anything you want it to.

What I understand and explain to clients, a waterless Pedicure means we are not soaking the feet.  It doesn’t necessarily mean we are doing a “dry” pedicure.

It is my Professional opinion, even though we may be offering waterless Pedicures, procedures need to be the same, if not better. After all, the biggest reason we want to offer this type of service is for safety and/or sanitary issues. Therefore….

  1. Complete and thorough client consultation. Both verbal and visual
  2. Complete and thorough cleansing/sanitizing of the skin on the feet
  3. Quality products to produce results

I can’t help but think about myself in a consultation situation. Let’s say a routine exam.

The Dr’s assistant and/or Dr. come in and begin with a series of questions for me to answer. Somewhere in there they ask if “I” have any concerns. I do, but they may seem a little trivial so I typical don’t bring them up. However, the Dr. continues with his series of questions, and as time moves forward i’m feeling more comfortable. Eventually, I ask the question(s) which were going through my mind.

This mindset is important in the Pedicure chair. Most people do not like to talk about their feet and/or the problems they may be experiencing with them. A quick yes or no consultation will NOT give you the information you need to move forward with a thorough and safe pedicure. Take your time, ask the right questions and keep asking until you are sure you have all the information to begin the service in a proficient, professional manner.

How do you cleanse the feet if you are not soaking?

I’m sorry, but if I was receiving a pedicure and my Technician went straight into callus work, i’d be like icky icky.  I can’t EVEN imagine not prepping the feet.  Not just for my clients safety, but for the safety of you, the Technician. After all, if you are performing a “proper” consultation, you HAVE to touch the feet. Gloves or not, lack of sanitizing and cleaning is just inappropriate.

  1. Feet should be sanitized prior to consultation, prior to removing nail polish. Appropriate products would be low alcohol, skin specific products. Our two favorites are the LCN Kodan Spray and the FLX Foot Deodorant Spray. Both of these products are designed for and safe for skin contact.
  2. When you don’t soak the feet, you still have to cleanse them. I suggest using a spray bottle with water and mixing with your favorite brand of foot soak. Our two favorites are LCN Urea 15% Foot Bath and the FLX 10% Urea Foot Soak. Both of these products work very well in a spray bottle.
    1. You can keep your spray bottle in a baby bottle warmer to keep the water warm
    2. You can use heated towels (if appropriate for the client), to wrap the feet in after you spray

The great thing about both these brands of cleanser is the Urea. Urea is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-pyritic ingredient. It will cleanse, sanitize and eliminate cross-contamination.

At some point you will do the manicure work on the toenails. There is no wrong or right time to do this. However, I always always suggest you keep the foot wrapped with a towel while manicuring.

Using a facial steamer at this point is really nice and full of ambience. If you are using warm wet towels to begin with during your cleansing process, this will help keep the towels warm and cozy. If you don’t use towels, the heat from the steam will keep the client comfortable. Be sure however, you have checked with your client for any concerns which would eliminate being able to use a steamer.

Many Technicians feel like they have to skip an exfoliating scrub when they offer waterless pedicures. Why? Because it’s messy. I disagree. 

I love and always suggest the LCN exfoliating scrub. This scrub is great because you can use it wet, as we traditionally do here in the States. Or, use it as a Gommage as they do in the European Countries. The LCN exfoliating scrub is more of an exfoliating “cream”. It sloughs the skin as it hydrates. When used as a Gommage, it’s used until you can’t “slough” anymore. When done, you simply wipe away any excess “crumbs”….for lack of being able to think of a better word.

Callus work would be your next step. We all have our favorites and i’m sure, but not 100%, that most callus reducing products can be used in a dry circumstance.

Our LCN Soak Spray with 17% urea plus lactic acid and our FLX callus softening with 20% Urea are amazing. Both can be used for this type of service and both are very effective. In my opinion, our LCN Soak Spray offers a bit more hydration.

We also have the PodoSafe callus solution product which we specifically target for use with a dry pedicure. It’s a little different process than just spraying and filing. However, our Salons are charging $75.00 for a 30 minute service.

Finally, we finish off with your favorite massage product.

Of course, we have our favorites. LCN Urea 10% Foot Cream and FLX Massage Formula. Both are great products. LCN Urea 10% Foot Cream offers a bit more ambience as far as hydration and scent. FLX Massage Formula is a bit more clinical, but effective and nice.

The subject for waterless pedicures have been frequent lately due to the introduction of our OSS class on servicing clients with cancer in the Pedicure room. It’s important check the brands you are using, if working with cancer clients is the way you are taking your Business.

We recently partnered with with a skin care Company called ‘dermaviduals’. The products are endorsed by the OSS and we offer 3 products designed specifically for the waterless Pedicure for cancer clients. We are planning an informational webinar this month and will have a date posted soon.

These products are custom for our Pedicure needs in servicing the oncology client.

I think in offering a waterless pedicure, it’s important to make sure your client doesn’t feel slighted in their service. In order to realize this, you need to use good quality products. Your everyday fluff-n-buff products, in my opinion, don’t fit the bill.

There are great effective products on the market. Find what works for you and your client.

Are waterless Pedicures on your service menu?

  • Great for immune compromised clients
  • Great for an add on in the massage room
  • Great for an add on in the facial room
  • Great for outbound clients
  • Great for wedding parties
  • Great for clients processing at the hair station

It’s a money maker…..if you don’t offer them, you certainly should consider it.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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It may be time to reboot?

Spring forward Fall back

Such a simple reminder of what to do with our clocks during the Spring and Fall seasons. It works for me. I have to repeat it in my head as time comes around, for me to remember which way the clock hands needs to be turned. Or, in these days….the digital numbers.

For me however, when I owned my Salon, it was also a refresher. Spring seemed to be the perfect time to “Spring clean”. I found it cleansing, refreshing, motivating and an excuse to make a new start. There always seemed to be a lull between the end of the year Holiday’s and Summer. March and April was that sweet time between the two, and I took complete advantage of it. In fact, I still do.


When I wrote my article last week on selling retail, I was hoping more than 2 people would take advantage of my “retail challenge”.  I’m offering to give away $100. in product for you to set your own goal and follow through. Seems crazy to me not to take advantage of that, but what it showed me is the fear our Technicians really do have in promoting retail.

It solidified that many of you have to reboot, get in the right frame of mind and make a new start

I assure you, the excitement, the refreshment, the motivation you get from a reboot extends to your team and your clients.  In fact, I suggest you have your entire team reboot.  It can be fun and without a doubt, it can help increase your $$$$.

When your entire team reboots, it’s magical


To begin with, rebooting involves your typical Spring cleaning

  1. Deep clean your Salon.  Floors, shelves, stations, storage area.  Get rid of products in your cabinets you don’t use.  Clean out your draws and re-organize.  Make it a fun day with your team.  Open the doors and windows.  Crank up the music.  Bring in lunch….get er done.
  2. Refresh your cleaning and disinfection procedures.  Once you have everything clean, you really do need to do the best to maintain it.  Cleaning and disinfection isn’t just about your tools and implements.  It’s about your work area as well as your retail shelves. Review your procedures and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  3. Have a meeting of the minds.  Work with your team and let them share ideas for future promotions.  Ideas on how to increase sales.  Ideas on how to cross promote your in-salon services.  I can’t tell you how many Technicians I talk to that don’t have the opportunity to share their ideas with their bosses.  Sad really, as some of them are awesome ideas.
  4. Talk with your Vendors.  I don’t understand ordering products without support.  I’ve discontinued Business with my own Vendors during my career at my Salon and even now with my Distribution.  If I can’t get the support I need to satisfy my client, I look elsewhere.  You should be the same way.
  5. Evaluate your cost vs sell price.  Rebooting is the perfect time to evaluate all your cost and determine if you should have a price increase or not.
  6. Eliminate waste.  In my opinion, this is the best part of rebooting.  You have got to get rid of the things which are costing you money, not making you money.  This would include services listed on your menu.  This would include products purchased, not being used. Redo your service menu if you have to.

If you work on your own in an independent situation, rebooting is very important. When we work by ourselves we have no motivators. We are everything. Doing a reboot helps you to keep going with a positive attitude.

Here are some more ideas on how you can reboot without spending a fortune.  Simple things really!

  • Move your pictures.  Change locations of where they are.  Maybe add a new one.
  • Buy new pens.  Yup.  Seems crazy how anew pen can change your whole day.
  • Add or change your air freshener.  It’s Spring, a nice clean linen or citrus (my favorite) works wonders.
  • Buy new towels.  Chances are the towels you have been using have been worn and maybe even have nail polish on them. They aren’t that expensive.
  • Place a new hand soap at your scrub sink and/or in your bathroom.
  • Hang a wreath on your door.  Holiday signs are the bestest.  Change them out always….it’s fun.
  • Buy new tools.  I always bought new tools on a yearly basis.  My clippers, my nippers, cuticle tools, foot files, bits.  Nothing better than a new set of tools.  The great thing about this, is you can still use your old tools (in most cases), but now you have alternate sets. It’s awesome.
  • Set goals.  New Years isn’t the only time to set new goals. A new goal is refreshing and we should be setting them frequently.

Rebooting is refreshing. Spring forward into the season revived and refreshed. 

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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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

CJ Murray
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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

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

CJ Murray
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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

CJ Murray
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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

CJ Murray
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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

CJ Murray
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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

CJ Murray
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