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Why Educate?

When I wrote my article last week, I was a tad bit apprehensive. Even my husband thought I was taking too much of a risk.

However, the many responses from all channels that I received, solidified the need to bring attention to the matter of Education in our schools.

There is a common denominator in the many responses. That being….most of us learned pretty much nothing in school and those of us who have succeeded….are self taught.

THAT is just crazy. Why even go to school?

Well, the fact of the matter is, we have to go to school in order to obtain a license, to perform Nail Services.

 

The real sad part is, if sleeping in a chair instead of teaching your students, if ignoring your students and letting them be “self taught” is a thing….why put yourself in a teaching position in the first place?

I’m afraid the answer is ugly. I’m afraid most (not all) of our Nail Instructors are tired of being behind the chair, they are physically not capable on continuing to do nails and/or, they are just burn’t out.

teaching

My parents have told me that I’ve wanted to teach almost as soon as I could speak.

When playing school with my siblings….I was always the teacher. My entire professional career, I always found myself in positions of authority which always involved some type of teaching.

Whether it be teaching about a product or how to use a product…the product didn’t. matter, I was always teaching a lesson.

I’ve always been (so my parents tell me) the helpful one. I was the go getter, the one to make things happen. I was also the inquisitive one, like the time I asked a Sister(nun) friend of ours…if she had legs underneath that black skirt or even why my skin was a different color than then the lady at the check out counter of the store we were in. (Actually a great and funny story)

I just was constantly wanting to learn.

However, I was constantly wanting to take everything I did learn and share it with others.

Nun

Teaching for me was (and still is) about helping other people grow.

I thrive on passing knowledge. Helping others succeed has always been my #1 reason for teaching.

THEN

My husband and I were watching a TV program last week. I’m not even sure what it was. For all I know, it could have been a news channel. My husband flips channels continuously.

The caption read “the majority of our generation under 40, have never heard of the holocaust”

It caught my attention (from my mindless iPad games) and the story went on to a teacher of holocaust history.

This teacher went on to explain the damage this ‘lack of knowledge” can have on future generations.

He explained “we teach not just because of the knowledge, we teach so history doesn’t repeat itself” Knowing the history of the holocaust, helps us to realize what we shouldn’t do for future generations. If we don’t have this knowledge, we chance history repeating itself?

WOW

 

I thought about that statement. It struck me really hard.

I related it to nails and I think about the very first class I took which started my path to foot care. I knelt at the side of my bed after the first day, and I thanked my God my “lack of knowledge” has not brought harm to my clients in prior years.

I’ve thought about the advances we have made in our Industry and how, if we never learned…we would have never known.

  • MMA is a dangerous product
  • Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic … just to name a couple

If we didn’t learn of the dangers these two ingredients have on us, on our clients, we would never advance to the next level. Which, makes me wonder about those whom still use products containing specifically those two ingredients.

It makes me think of foot files and how we have learned the dangers of using Satan’s graters, sandpaper, and pumice on our clients feet. How we are still learning of how they not only damage the skin, how they can be the cause of infection.

It makes me think of the current class I’m teaching on Oncology care, and realizing some of the things we currently do in our foot care service is not healthy for any client never mind a client affected by Cancer.

It makes me think about the dangers associated with hot water and soaking a compromised client for too long, if at all.

All of the above and so much more is so incredibly crucial to the future of our Industry.

The mistakes we make, the damage we cause, the amputations because of infections from improperly cleaned pedi tubs and implements.

If we continue with the pattern of teaching in our schools, our new Technicians will never be able to take our Industry to the next level. We will never be able to change the image of our Industry because we will keep doing the same thing over and over again. The cycle will never end.

One of the topics which resonates with me is sanitizing practices. Our schools are so incredibly archaic when it pertains to this topic. After all, as I stated in my earlier blog…many of the schools don’t even practice proper sanitizing techniques.

Most of our schools are using sanitizing products which are carcinogenic. Most of our schools don’t even “clean” before they “disinfect”. Most of our schools choose price over quality. They choose price over teaching what is right, what is safe and what will help our students in their future career. Which, teaching the right thing, ultimately helps our Industry.

What does this all mean?

It means those of us who educate have to realize (including myself), we aren’t just teaching to help someone grow, we are teaching to help the state of our Industry for years to come.

It means our Technicians have to get out of the “I learned in school” mentality and realize just because it was taught to you in school, doesn’t mean it’s accurate. In means you have to do your own homework, check your resources and know who you are learning from. You have to self motivate, self teach in order to change the future of our Industry….or keep it alive and well.

For me, it has made me realize the importance of sharing the right message. Which is,

Learning is about knowing about products, it is about knowing proper techniques, it is about taking that knowledge into your Salons and teaching your clients.

However it is, even more important to realize, teaching (properly) is about the future of our industry.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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The Shame of our Nail Schools!

In 1987 when I bought “A Polished Look” Nail Salon in Largo, Fl, I would never ever in a million years imagined I would be where I am today.

The opportunities which are available to us in this Industry, are endless. It isn’t so much as making a ton butt load of money, it’s more about learning so much. It’s about leaving our desk, even for s short time, and being able to experience different cities, meet different people, learn new things and constantly lighting the spark that keeps us motivated.

I knew nothing about the Beauty Industry except that I religiously got my nails done. It was a luxury I could afford and I liked looking “finished”.

I owned and operated an office supply store. We had 4 locations, 30 employees, 3 trucks on the road and were doing quite well. I may not have known anything about Nails. However, I knew how to run a Business.

1987

I went to Lori for 4 years every 2 weeks for my fill. We became friends and managed a lot of Business events between our two Business together.

When she called me about helping her sell her Business, it just seemed natural for me to say “make me an offer I can’t refuse”. She did. I bought “A polished Look” Nail Salon…lock stock and barrel in June of 1987.

You’ll have to read my book to hear all the crazy things that went on from June of 87 through most of 88.

It’s about what happened to me in January of 1988 which brings me to this article. It’s about Business 101…do your homework. Regardless of how well you know someone, always….always…..do your homework.

1988

In December of 1987, 6 months after I purchased the Salon….I was made aware the Industry was beginning to require Nail Technician Licenses starting January, 1988.  If you didn’t submit paperwork to be “grandfathered” in by the end of December….you had to get a Nail Technician license. 110 hours.

We were so close to the end of the year, I didn’t have enough time.

I was doing nails. I would work 8-9 hours at my office supply business then head over to the Salon until 9pm, 10pm, sometimes 11pm at night taking care of Nail clients.

I was totally self taught. It took me 3-1/2 hrs to do my first full set of nails. Rosemary was with me for almost 20 years. In the end, I was performing the same service in 30 minutes. Acrylic nails, pink & white – completely manual.

However, I find myself in school. January of 1988 I began school at Largo Beauty Academy.

It is so strange when I think about it. Here it is 2020 and nothing has changed. 32 years later the schools are just as bad as they were 32 years ago.

Disclaimer; I know some excellent teachers throughout the USA. They know who they are and know I am not talking about them.

When I went to school, I was able to bring in my own products. They waived the student kit fee because I was a Salon owner already performing the services.

I attended school when I could. If I went for 2 hours, they marked me down for 8.

The kicker however, is I taught myself…..and other students. They didn’t even have a Nail Instructor. They depended on the Cosmo Instructor who never had time for us.

It was pathetic.

I didn’t feel sorry for myself. In fact, I loved it. 

However, I felt sorry for all the other girls who were trying to learn the art. Although, none of this even registered until I expanded my Salon and began hiring Nail Technicians.

Back in the day, some of you may recall, Nail technicians were a dime a dozen.

It was an easy, farely inexpensive class to get licensed in. And, you could make a decent living at it.

This was way before we were even introduced to the Oriental market of Salons. And yes…that’s what they were called at the time.

All I had to do was “think” I needed someone new, and 5 people would be knocking at my door within 24 hours.

I hired plenty of Nail Technicians back in the day. I hired experienced and I hired right from school.

The experienced Nail Tech’s were known for being a pain in the ass. LOL  Don’t you know? We know everything, you can’t teach us. Most of us were self taught and we just kept that brick wall us because you can’t teach us anything new.

Therefore, I stayed away from them. My hiring 99.9% of the time, came from the schools.

It was sad. These poor students didn’t even know how to hold a file, a nail brush or a pair of toenail clippers.

They didn’t learn the basics of proper table set up which helps in time management.

They didn’t learn techniques to build their speed or how to properly shape a nail.

They didn’t learn the proper sizing of tips or how to properly blend.

Sadly, they aren’t learning it now either.

I developed a specific training process of Nail Technicians. It was all based on producing beautiful nails in optimum time.

They had a goal. The perfection came first, then we would work on the speed. If they perfected the nail however, they could at least take nail repairs and start earning a little income and get used to working with clients.

It required a commitment to find 20 people as models. I always knew, the ones that found the models were keepers, the others not so much.

I loved what I dd and I taught a lot of Nail Technicians. However, my taste of the schools will always be sour.

Therefore, when time came for me to send my daughter to nail school, I followed the same advice I gave to others. Find the cheapest school possible.

To this day…..that is my advice!

After being on the advisory Board of two Technical Schools in my area, I’ve come to realize all schools teach the same thing. They have to.

They are regulated by their States to teach certain things….and they only have x amount of time to teach these things in.

In Nail School they barely touch upon Pedicures. Don’t you think that should change? After all, you can die from a Pedicure.

In Nail School they barely touch upon cleaning, disinfection and sterilization. Not a surprise, as most of the schools I visit don’t even practice what they do teach. Don’t you think that should change? Especially given the current environment?

I have seen this going on since 1988. I have tried to address our Florida State Board, with no avail. I have written letters, with no avail. It disgust me and it still makes me sad for our current students.

In fact, I speak from a personal experience, happening right now.

My niece (my goddaughter) asked me for my help in her decision to get into the Beauty Industry.

As I tell everyone who ask, go to nail school first. I feel getting your feet wet in nails, will help you decide if this industry is truly for you.

She listened and found a school near her.

I told her this type of education is self taught. I told her she has to go to school to get her license, unfortunately though, that is all she will get. She will get the bare basics.

Everything is self taught.

I sent her my DVD “Fine tuning and enhancing your nail training skills”. I’m compiling a list of influencers she needs to follow. I’m sending her products to practice and i’n telling her the same thing I told my new hires. 20 people……20 people. THAT is the magic number.

Sadly I am still right on the money.

She’s not been pleased at all with her school. The disinterest in training, the lack of commitment from the instructor. They junk they use in the schools? All of it.

In fact, take a look at this picture. This is her instructor. Sleeping on the job.

My message today is;

Our schools have never been the key to our success in regard to Nails.

If you are a Salon owner looking for a Nail Technician….know your needs. If you expect someone right from school to start working with no availability to training, you will fail. You will get fed up with trying to find a Nail Technician, and possibly shut that department down all together. Which, is a shame because that arena can gross you over 50%

If you are a new Nail Technician, get educated. Earn your license but google, utube, social media yourself to death. The world of education is literally at your fingertips.

Don’t stop. Seek out the opportunities this Industry has to offer. Keep searching for ways to keep that spark ignited.

If you are a Salon attempting to hire someone with experience, let go of the leash. 

Experienced Technicians will do well by you, if you just let them.

And, speaking to you experienced technicians, open your mind up and break down that brick wall. 

Now, before any our schools and/or instructors out there get all pissy over this article. If you are offended, maybe you need to revisit your teachings. If you aren’t offended then you know I’m not referring to you.

Not all schools fall into this category. There are some excellent instructors and some excellent schools.

However, it’s the curriculum which first needs to be changed. It can’t just be updated….it needs to be changed.

In addition, we need to qualify our instructors better. Are they teaching because they are “tired” of being behind the chair? Or, is teaching their life long passion. There is a HUGE difference.

Our profession will never go away. Our Seniors need us….everyone needs us.

We need to be educated and if we need to understand, we are on our own.

There are hundreds and thousands of mediums to learn from. Do your homework.

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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    Are you Easy?

    My education on writing a blog begins with learning how to use the right title.

    ARE YOU EASY?  lol….so many ways this conversation could go.

    Fear not. “Are you easy” is questioning the ease of customers being able to do Business with you. The ease of customers being able to make a choice of service. The ease of customers navigating either via your website, or telephone or SM in finding the answers they are looking for.

     

    CFBLogoOval

    I am constantly tweaking all avenues of communication in an effort to make ease of doing business with Centre For Beauty a pleasurable one.

    I have to say though, no matter how easy I believe I make it…..there is always someone who has difficulty.

    Sometimes I shake my head, but I always look into why whatever they were doing seemed so difficult to them. I always look at what I could have done so they did not have any issues. Whether it be ordering from our on line store, learning about the details of our brands or even just trying to communicate with me.

    I learn from you, my customers…..I also learn from my own experiences with what I need to accomplish on a daily basis.

    • When I have a question, I want an answer now
    • When I want to call someone, I want to be able to locate a phone #
    • When I order from a site, I want it to be simple
    • If I have a return, I want it to be easy
    • If I want to track my order, I want necessary information

    Another words……make my life easy and pleasurable to do Business with you.

    Words for blogv2

    Let’s look at life in your Salon.

    I often speak with Owners/Technicians about their service menu. I find many want to be real creative in their services.

    I get this, after all…we are crafty, creative souls.

    However, does this avenue make it easy for your client to follow? Or, do they just end up telling you to do what you want to do…..and you end up doing what you “like” to do.

    One lesson I learned when I owned my Salon is when giving the option to choose, most will go with the lesser amount.

    It’s human nature. Very few of us will tell our Technician “just do what you need to do”. And, very few Technicians will do actually THAT.

    Most will ask the price, and we begin with our “basic” pedicure starts at $30.00, our “spa” pedicure is $45.00 and then we offer our “customized” pedicure which STARTS at $50.00.

    Given that option, our clients more than likely will say….I’ll just take the basic. I really just want my toenails polished anyway.

    They don’t know…..and they won’t know unless we teach them. A foot care service isn’t just about pretty toenails. In fact, it has nothing to do with pretty toenails. In my opinion, pretty toenails are just the bonus.

    Our foot care service needs to be about the clients needs. It needs to be about taking care of their feet, educating them on their feet and educating them on the importance of at home care.

    So…..if I had a Salon now, what would my menu look like?

    Customized foot care service. Starting @ $60.00

    Price determined after verbal and visual personalized consultation

    Which by the way……would begin on the phone or an on line form

    I recently had an experience with lack of information.

    For severals years now, my family and I have been managing an effort to move our parents into a smaller, safer environment.  After 4 years, it happened...we found them a lovely villa in an over 55 community.

    I took care of their internet provider. Which, happened to be the same as at their home of 44 years.

    When I first did Business with them over a year ago, on behalf of my parents. I recalled not being able to find a phone #.  They did NOT want you to speak to a human being. Everything about it was computerized. Brutal….absolutely brutal.

    When I did get the number, I stored it in my phone.

    Fast forward over a year later, I’m in the same situation. I need to cancel one home and add another. Not an easy thing to do all computerized.  I looked and looked on their site for the phone #, with no avail. Then I remembered….I had it in my contacts.

    The difficulty of being able to speak to a live person has put a very bad taste in our mouth about the Company….along with a few other things.

    However, those “other things” may not actually be so bad. They seem bad because we already had a bad taste in our mouth.

    The negativity just snowballed.

    What about response time?

    This is one of my personal pet peeves. Electronics is all around us. In my opinion, there is absolutely no reason it should take more than a day to hear from someone. In fact, it should be seconds. If you can’t respond immediately, there is technology which allows for “out of office” messages.

    I’ll be the first to admit, when messages are coming in from all over social media…..FBm Insta, LND…and text messages, I messages, email. It’s insane in trying to keep up with it all. I’ve missed messages here and there. It’s an awful feeling.

    This is why I don’t understand why people don’t respond quickly. Just answer the gosh darn question I need to be able to answer my clients questions.  Ugh!

    I can’t tell you how much Business I received and maintained because I was the one to respond. And, how much business I lost because I missed a message.

    Now, back to the question. ARE YOU EASY?

    • Are you easy to locate?
    • Are you available to talk too?
    • Are you simple to do Business with?
    • Are you interested in the people?
    • Are you making it so your clients are at ease, every step of the way?

    There are so few Businesses anymore which fall under the above. When I am fortunate to find a Business which answers all the above with a YES.

    • It is such a pleasure.
    • It is rememberable.
    • It is in my head, to tell everyone and go back.

    If you are easy…..your clients will feel the same way.

    You know, contrary to what is heard on the news…I feel a difference during these COVID times.

    I don’t feel the anger and the hatred. I feel the empathy. I feel those who are in the same boat as me. The same boat we all are in.

    Our mask hide our mouths. They don’t hide our eyes. You can’t hide from emotions in your eyes. It is so obvious to me that everyone feels the same way. And, in spite of it all has empathy for anyone who crossed their paths.

    So BE easy!

    Being easy causes kindness. Kindness is contagious. Kindness needs to be the next pandemic

    CJ Murray, President

    CJ Murray
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    Cost per service!

    Many of you have reached out to me in regard to knowing your cost per service.

    I know what the industry tells us. Break down the cost of each individual service. From suds to soap. From top to bottom.

    Most of you break down the “product” cost per service. However, to get a true picture of what your overall “cost per service is”, involves more than just knowing your product cost.

    This advice was good advice 50 years ago…..but not now. It’s 2020 for crying out loud.

    We have gadgets to determine anything for us. We have Technology like never before and its only getting better.

    In other words, we have FREE access to ANYTHING educational.

    ARE YOU LEARNING?

    ALWAYS?

    I believe as a Nail Technician in the Beauty Industry, most of us….not all….most of us only search out education which is pertinent to our Profession.

    • Nail art
    • Nail Glitter
    • E-file
    • Acrylic classes
    • Pedicure classes
    • The list goes on and on

     

    How many of you go outside your bubble to experience other types of education?

    I have. When I was in search of the best disinfection product available to us, I researched the dental industry. Which, is how I found our disinfection product and why I solely endorse Micrylium.

    That’s what I do my entire life. THAT is who I am.

    I like to learn so I can  grow so I can share and watch others grow

    I learn all over the internet from highly well know Professionals, to someone you would never expect to learn from. It’s amazing.

    This is how I was taught, it’s not about cost per service.

    It’s about square footage!

    How much money do you need to bring in to cover your square footage $$$.

    Every bit of money you spend on that Salon must be accounted for.

    • rent
    • electric
    • water
    • taxes
    • payroll
    • insurance
    • license/fees
    • toiletries/misc
    • automobile

    Anything and everything that is purchased and ran through your Business.

    When we calculate our square footage cost, you can determine so many other areas.

    • If you chair rent, how much should you charge?
    • When you hire, what $$$ production do you need from them?
    • What is your service cost going to be?
    • When you offer a special, how much can you really afford to discount?

    These and many more questions come to light when you know your square footage cost.

    Let me help you with the calculation. We need to begin with some very important questions

    • What is the total square footage of your facility
    • What is your monthly rent
    • What is;
      • Utility
      • Purchases
      • Education
      • Insurance
      • Payroll
      • etc….ALL your expenses

    Once you have these concrete numbers, you can begin to determine your sq footage $$$$.

    Let’s use the example of a 2000 sq ft facility, rent amount $3,000.00 per month. And, let’s just use $3000.00 as additional monthly expenses.

    Divide your sq footage amount by your monthly rent ($1.50 per sq foot)

    Divide your sq footage amount by your monthly expense ($1.50 per sq foot)

    Total the 2 numbers together ($3.00 per sq foot)

    NEXT SET OF QUESTIONS;

    • How many services will you be offering?
    • What sq footage will these services take up?

    In other words, if you have 2000 sq feet (as the example above), the breakdown looks like this;

    • 120 sq feet Skin Care
    • 120 sq feet Massage
    • 120 sq feet Tanning
    • 150 sq feet Pedicures
    • 200 sq feet Manicures
    • 200 sq feet reception
    • 520 sq feet Hair
    • 400 sq feet warehouse/break room
    • 80 sq feet kitchen
    • 90 sq feet bathroom

    Now you start the breakdown

    • Skin care = $3.00 x 120 = $360.00
    • Massage = same
    • Tanning = same
    • Pedicures = $3.00 x 150 = $450.00
    • Manicures = $3.00 x 200 = $600.00
    • Reception = same
    • Hair = $3.00 x 520 = $1560.00
    • Warehouse/break room = $3.00 x 400 = $1,200.00
    • Kitchen = $3.00 x 80 = $240.00
    • Bathroom = $3.00 x 90 = $270.00

    However, remember….the last 3 produce no income (Warehouse/kitchen/bathroom), so you have to incorporate those $$$ into your other pricing.

    • All 3 = $1,710.00
    • Divided by # of services (7) = $242.85

    Therefore, you actual total sq footage cost per service =

    • Skin care = $3.00 x 120 = $360.00 $602.85
    • Massage = same
    • Tanning = same
    • Pedicures = $3.00 x 150 = $450.00 $692.85
    • Manicures = $3.00 x 200 = $600.00 $842.85
    • Reception = same
    • Hair = $3.00 x 520 = $1560.00 $1,842.85

    Knowing these numbers is how you determine how your services are performing. You can determine how your team is doing. You can determine how much to charge for rent, if you booth rent. And, if you are in a suite, you can determine how much you have to bring in just to cover the overhead. In addition, and most important….you determine what to charge for your services…..and so much more!

    The last, but not the least of what you need to determine is….

    What is your worth?

    When I was hiring, I would always ask potential team members, how much do they want to make? I never ever got a satisfactory answer. Either they couldn’t give an answer or the answer was so low, it didn’t make me want to hire them.

    This is a very important and necessary question to answer.

    As you can see, determining your cost per service is well beyond knowing your product cost.

    If you really want to know your cost per service, the exercise just listed will give you the most accurate.

    Don’t know the numbers? Bad on you. Every Business owner large or small MUST know their numbers. Having this information and surviving during critical times is the difference between success and failure.

    Once you have all the numbers, you now need to break it up into hours.

    Will all your services being working 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day? Of course not. Therefore, you have to break it down even further.

    Let’s keep it simple and figure that all services will be available 40 hrs per week.

    • Skin care = $3.00 x 120 = $360.00 $602.85 ÷ 40 = $15.07/hr
    • Massage = same
    • Tanning = same
    • Pedicures = $3.00 x 150 = $450.00 $692.85 ÷ 40 = $17.32/hr
    • Manicures = $3.00 x 200 = $600.00 $842.85 ÷ 40 = $21.07hr
    • Reception = same
    • Hair = $3.00 x 520 = $1560.00 $1,842.85 ÷ 40 = $46.07/hr

    Realization – we aren’t done yet, however based on the above. If you charge $30.00 for a pedicure, you have just rated your worth at $12.68 per hour 

      This exercise is not easy and it is an exercise which you should take your time on.

      I also recommend adding another 10% to your numbers….for incidentials that you may have forgotten. AND…don’t forget to add at least 10% for “owner drawer”, an expense we should always take first. (the most valuable lesson I ever learned)

      Once you have determined your sq footage cost. You now know what amount of $$$ you MUST bring in JUST to pay the rent and expenses.

      Once you know your worth….how much do YOU want to be worth per hour.

      Combine the two(2) together and THAT is your bottom line service cost.

      I’m sure heads are spinning and many may look at this like it’s too much work. Well, if you are one of that many…..close shop right now. You don’t belong in Business.

      Knowing your bottom line cost is your key to survival. Otherwise, you are just winging it!

      Ya know……I was self taught after my years in College. I taught myself how to do nails, I taught myself the Business aspect. There was no internet, no utube and not even a spec of Mfg. education that there is now.

      Resources are our greatest assets. I’m happy to be your resource if you would like some help. Reach out to cj@centreforbeauty.com

      CJ Murray, President

      CJ Murray
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      What is Professional?

      I don’t know why I write about the topics I do. It’s whatever hit’s me at the moment I’m ready to write. Sometimes an idea might come the week before, mainly because of what I’ve seen on Social Media(SM).

      Lordy be!

      I have come to the conclusion that I am not supposed to be on this earth.

      I don’t mean that from a “I’m suicidal” type thing…..I mean it from the standpoint as I see and hear things all day long, I just can’t wrap my brain around the unprofessionalism of it all.

      Professionalismthe competence or skill expected of a professional

      Professionala person engaged or qualified in a profession.

      If we go by the above definitions, all of us are Professionals. We engage or are qualified in the Beauty Industry, licensed.

      Therefore, we are expected to be competent or skilled.

      However, what does Professionalism have to do with the way we present ourselves. The way we talk to others, our appearance, our attitude? After all, if we are a true Professional aren’t we not just a credit to ourselves, but to others as well?

       

       

      10 qualities of a true Professional

      10 qualities of a true Professional:

      1. Appearance
      2. Demeanour
      3. Reliability
      4. Competence
      5. Ethics
      6. Maintaining Your Poise
      7. Phone Etiquette
      8. Written Correspondence
      9. Organizational Skills
      10. Accountability

      Now, I’m not going to through all 10, however, I do feel there is a couple specifically to mention.

      • Appearance – external show : outward indication
      • Demeanor – outward manner
      • Phone Etiquette (SM) – the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life
      • Ethics – the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
      Top r qualities of a true Professional

      Appearance;

      What do we look like on the outside. What do you see, what do other people see.

      • Wrinkled clothes
      • beat up shoes
      • unravelled hair
      • stains on your clothes

      It is what the eye sees and is a BIG part of Professionalism. You not only have to know the part, you should absolutely look the part.

      Unfortunately, appearance is what we are most commonly judged on.

      Demeanor;

      What do we look like on the inside. What attitude, action or non-action are we portraying.

      • weak
      • Aggressive
      • Passive
      • Over confident

      It is what the eye sees and is a BIG part of Professionalism. You not only have to know the part, you should absolutely act the part.

      Unfortunately, demeanor is what we are most commonly made fun about.

      Etiquette;

      Authority to be observed in social or official life
      • Know it all
      • abusive
      • defiant
      • story teller

      SM(social media) is the new phone etiquette. There are manners to be learned when on social media. You are a Professional, through and through. Many people sabotage their Professionalism on SM.

      SM is the COVID19 of the internet.

      Ethics;

      Always doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Always observe both sides and don’t lean one way or another.  
      You empathize with people, you bring yourself to them and connect.
      They trust you because of your ethics.

       

       

      These in a nutshell is the ground zero of Professionalism.

      If you know you are faltered in any one of these areas, that is where your Educational focus should be.

      Professionalism must be your whole way of living….of being.

      It saddens me to see the lack of Professionalism being portrayed of our industry Social Media. Just in the last week I have witnessed;

      • Presentations with stained clothing
      • Unprofessional communications
      • Mis-information
      • Immature behavior
      • Aggressive, abusive, defiant behavior

      It’s crazy. It’s crazy because the lack of Professionalism on our SM sites, over shadows the enormous amount of talent we have in our Industry.

      It’s sad because this type of attitude is what is being “put out there”. Once there…..it always swings back.

      Whats my point?

      I’ve advocated for years and still do, the need in the industry to “change our image”.

      Yes, we have to let the world know we are knowledgable and talented enough to handle the challenges of Nail care and Foot care which is around in our Industry today.

      However, as I believe “knowledge is power”, I also believe presentation is a part of that power.

      We not only have to be knowledgeable about what we need to know, we have to be knowledgeable and aware of our presentation. Our presentation including, Appearance, demeanor, etiquette, ethics and more!

      SHOULD THIS BE YOUR NEXT FORM OF EDUCATION?

      CJ Murray, President

      CJ Murray
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      THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS

      One of the things I like about being my own boss, is being the final decision maker in the products which I bring into my venue.
      As a former Salon owner and still a licensed Nail Technician, I understand the challenges we face within our Industry. One challenge being the grueling task of choosing which products are right for you, your team and your clients.

      I like my story. I believe it enhances why I brought in the products I have. What my decisions were based upon and why I continue to share with my clients why it’s so important to know what you are using.

      The Best of All Worlds…..

      FOOTLOGIX - LCN - PODOSAFE

      footlogix

      My story with Distribution truly begins way before 2008. However, 2008 was a huge turning point for me, so let’s begin there.

      Working one Friday evening, late as usual…2 people walked into my facility. 2000 SQ feet of Spa Services. Hair, nails, pedicures, facials, waxing, massage and tanning.

      Although I thought the gentleman looked familiar, I didn’t know either one of them. As it turns out, it was Katharin VonGavel and Murray Smith of KVG Group (Footlogix).

      They made a last minute u-turn into my facility in an effort of looking for a Salon to host an event which involved the Home Shopping Network. Which, ironically, was not only just 5 minutes from us….my Salon was the Premiere Salon approved by the Home Shopping network .  For 14 years we serviced 150 team members from show host, hand co-ordinators, models, management etc.

      Any hoot, Katharin and Murray representing Footlogix had been invited to produce a private label product (rough skin formula) for the network. Katharin, the visionary, wanted to host an event in which she and her team could explain to everyone from HSN who worked on the product what Footlogix was all about. She felt if they all knew how great the brand was, it would be an easy sell.

      Nail care

      On March 31st, 2008 my team and I worked along side the team of Footlogix introducing the brand to approx. 35 HSN team members. Show host, models, marketing, producers…..anyone affiliated with the project.

      By the end of this 8 hour very busy day, I learned a lot about a product I knew nothing about. In fact…I had never heard about it. I also knew that I somehow wanted to be affiliated with the brand. And, much to my surprise, I found out Katharin and Murray were also thinking they would like me to be affiliated with them as well.

      The day was a huge success for all involved. I saw many faces I had not seen in a while, exchanged a lot of hugs and reminisced about some very good times.

      Footlogix also was successful from that point on with HSN as they worked for years introducing the brand to our end users which in turn sent them to our Salons.

      By end of day and evening arrived, we celebrated over dinner and talked about future opportunities.

      It was April of 2008 when my first shipment of Footlogix arrived at my Centre For Beauty warehouse. I’ve been sharing the brand ever since.

      And….on a side note. In July of 2008 through December of 2013 I was asked to be the National Sales Director for Footlogix. Heading the charge to introduce Footlogix into the USA. Needless to say, to this day…I am very familiar with the brand.

      Why Footlogix?

      As my Business has progressed over the years, I’ve come to realize there are only a few ingredients which truly work to repair the skin. Urea is one of them.

      Urea is a hygroscopic. It penetrates into the layers of the epidermis which allows repair from the inside out.

      As I take on new products, Footlogix still has it’s place. It is non-scented which makes it great for any clinical atmosphere. It is non-greasy which appeals to men. It’s effective in the repair of dry, cracked, peeling skin.

      THEN CAME LCN

      Why LCN?

      LCN was a product of survival.

      In 2015 I was made aware that Footlogix was heading into the big box stores. It didn’t settle well with me for many reasons. However, the biggest reason was because this big box store had 200 locations right out my back door. To say I was a bit angry is an understatement. However, I was more afraid of losing my Business than anything.

      It almost happened. My Business decreased by 62%.

      I searched for new products over a 9 month period. It wasn’t easy. I believed (still do) in Footlogix and it would go against everything I believed and I taught over a 5 year period IF I chose another brand which didn’t offer what Footlogix had to offer. It was NOT easy.

      Then….one day…..

      My dear friend and Business cohort posted a picture on facebook of a client he performed a service on using LCN products. I remember specifically calling him and asking if he was cheating on me. After all, he was a Footlogix client of mine.

      It was Nellie Neal who introduced me too LCN.

      You can imagine how thrilled I was to learn that LCN was also urea based. The same, yet different.

      LCN is able to offer what Footlogix can’t. Results with luxury!

      I’ll admit, at first I saw this brand taking over my entire inventory. However, as time rolled on and I learned more….I realized and got very excited at how compatible the brands are together.

      I was excited because it was at that time, I would be able to offer the best of both worlds.

      When I brought LCN on at the end of 2015, it was less than a chore than I originally expected. Whether clients were looking for a change or whether they were thinking like I was with Footlogix. It’s a great product, yet something (didn’t know what), something was missing.

      The missing piece, I soon discovered was Luxury!

      LCN has many of the same products which Footlogix has, but it isn’t a mousse product and it isn’t scent free. However, it does produce the same amazing results.

      Since taking on the LCN line my clients have introduced me to many various ways the products can be used together. We have discovered over time, items in each brand which is best for certain conditions, and some maybe not so much.

      We have discovered over time, the benefit of having both products on our shelves for retail. In short, we have discovered over time, the need for both.

       

      The need to get out of the box

      PODOSAFE was a result of a couple of things.

      1. I thought maybe I wanted to venture into the Medical market. I thought I could find a product which was conducive to being Medical grade but not necessarily used in the Salon Foot Care arena. I was trying to tap into another market.
      2. I was purposely trying to step out of the box. Full transparency here…..when your clients can skip over you and go direct to the Mfg…..it doesn’t settle well. After all, how would you feel if you found a Centre For Beauty amazon store selling to “your” clients?

      This box I was in, not only included you, my clients….it’s includes my Mfg. Footlogix and LCN. the fight sometimes gets exhausting. It’s truly not fair, however…it is what it is.

      So I thought, if I could find a product not available to our Industry, yet opens a world for the Medical foot care industry….it’s a win win situation.

      I met Podosafe in Atlanta at the Foot Forward Summit, August of 2018. Our booths were right next to each other.

      I watched, I listened, I learned. And…I thought this product would be perfect for what I wanted to accomplish. Except…..1 thing. I couldn’t keep it a secret.

      Turns out, my mind started whirling with possibilities and I soon realized, I need to introduce this product into our Salons as a “solution” based product.

      PodoSafe is also Urea based, so it has all what I believe in. It also has just one tiny spec of another active ingredient which gives it the crazy results it produces. We could use this product as an added service into our venue. Charge more – take less time.

       

      The Best of ALL Worlds

      For me, this was super exciting. How lucky could I be to have found three(3) brands which have the same base ingredient I so truly believe in yet……offer 3 different services. The same…yet different?

      Let’s now go into the Salon……how do we use them and how do we market them?

      I am certainly not the guru of feet. However, being a former Salon owner and a licensed Nail Technician of over 30 years, I would have to say….I know a little 🙂

      What I know is;

      • You can’t have 50 different product lines you use in your Salon. If you do, Ibet most of them just sit in your stock room.
      • You have to use products you believe in. Products you can talk about. Products/services you can be excited about.
      • You have to work smarter….not harder
      • You have to care first about your Customer, 2nd about the money.

       

      I believe all 3 of the worlds have a purpose.

      • Footlogix – Clinical
        • Perfect for the more clinical service in a clinical like atmosphere with amazing results
      • LCN – Luxurious
        • Perfect for offering pampering yet with amazing results
      • PodoSafe – Solution
        • Perfect for a stand alone callus solution service

      The great thing about all 3 brands, they are compatible. I have many clients who choose to mix and match because they can.

      Personally, I would keep the systems separate in the service arena because I feel we have limited amount of ways to increase our income in our service arena s Pedicurist. We need to highlight what we offer in stand alone services. Believe in them, promote them, use them as a tool to improve your clients feet and teaching them how to manage the skin on their feet between visits.

      However, when it comes to retail…let your clients choose what best suites them

      Would they prefer a mousse formula application?

      Do they like the luxury feel of a cream?

      Or maybe the easy application of a roll on?

      With Footlogix and LCN….you can offer all 3

      What I have learned also over the years regarding the products we use in our Pedicure room.

      It first was all about the fluff. Clients visited our Salons to feel good and to make sure their toenails looked pretty.

      Although that hasn’t changed, it has progressed into a need to improve. Our clients WANT to see results and they want the results to last.

      In addition, because our boomers are getting older and our parents are aging, we are seeing more of this market in our Salons. Consequently, it isn’t just about looking or feeling good anymore….it’s is literally about “taking care of our clients feet”…..for them.

      With this being said, it is imperative we know our “sh–“. We can’t fake it until we make it. We have more at risk, and we have more people depending on us.

      Knowing what you use, why you use it and how to use it is a must. In addition, knowing how to express that point to your clients so they maintain the health of their feet between visits, is also a must.

      So many $$$$ are being lost in our Salons because our Tech’s do not not how to retail. (hmmm….could that be my next article?)

      The point is, if you are going to use products you believe in, make that standard across the board.

      Follow through with your services and you’re retail. And remember……..it is possible……….

      To have the BEST OF ALL WORLDS

      Want more detailed information?

      • Visit our Tube channel
      • Read more blogs
      • or just call…I’m always happy to help!

      CJ Murray, President

      CJ Murray
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      The “Way of Life”!

      For the past few weeks I’ve attempted to sway away from writing about COVID19.

      However, at the request of clients and the difficulty to ignore the affects it is having on our industry…it’s hard not to.

      I’m finding in all my conversations with my clients, everyone has a story as to the effect COVID has on them.

      Our Industry will never be the same. It goes way beyond what the new norm is. What we are dealing with  is anew “way of life”.

      In my opinion, the new norm is social distancing, wearing mask and hand washing more than we ever have.

      The difference between this and “a way of life” is when we begin to accept what is dictated about our Business based on the people who are uneducated about our Business dictating what we have to do.

      As crazy as that sounds, it is THAT crazy.

      I can’t honestly say that I believe everything I hear about this pandemic.  I can’t honestly say that I don’t believe everything I hear about this pandemic.

      What I do know, is something Is happening. And, if wearing a mask and washing my hands a hundred times a day means there’s any chance at all this “thing” can go away…then I do it.

      I’m all for working together for a safe world.

      What I have a difficult time standing behind is closing our Businesses, restricting our Businesses and expecting a Business like ours to work “outside”.  Yes, you heard me. The State of California has mandated our Salons to work outside, under a tent. Shielded from the sun, with a fan to keep ourselves and our clients cool.  Whaaaat?????

      I’ve been thinking a lot about these Businesses in California and how?  Not just how but why?  Not just how and why but who on earth came up with this idea?

      I just can’t even wrap my brain around the logic to this.  We are going to mandate our Salons to work outside a strictly sanitized environment to work in an environment of heat, possibly no air circulation, or maybe a fan blowing dust from the earth onto our work surfaces, ourselves and our clients. Let’s not forget the joy of wearing a mask while performing services in the heat of summer (it is July, almost August) AND our clothes and apron or smock etc etc. In addition, I’m sure there are weather variations from day to day.

      Again, I just can’t wrap my brain around it.

      As I’m thinking about this and planning how to put it down on paper, I’m at my parents house preparing them for a move after 44 years of being in the same place.

      I’m taking pictures, clearing closets and attempting to discard anything not of value. I’m noticing so many things that just make me shake my head. I see a clothes hanger made into a hook. I see a painted piece of board attached to a screen door which broke, I see wastebaskets made out of old wood…the list goes on and on. My Dad was ingenious. He repaired everything himself. In fact, we talked about how many times they actually had someone they paid to come into the house and repair anything……”twice”.  This is twice in their 69 years of marriage.

      When I talk with my Dad about this, he is so matter of factly. They didn’t have the money. This was a “way of life” for them. In fact, it has been like pulling teeth to convince them to hire someone to manage their pool or mow their yard. NEVER in a million years could they ever think about it. Cmon….my Dad is 91 and my Mom is 88.

      It was their generation that did not waste. It was their generation that saved everything they got, because it was hard work to earn the money they got. It was their generation that fixed everything themselves. Mom sewed our clothes, curtains, blankets…..everything. They didn’t just go out and buy on a whim. It was their “way of life”

      In fact, Dad left school in 6th grade to go to work to help support his family and Mom never graduated so she could get a job that became available.

      This brings me back to 2020, COVID 19 and our California Salons working outside.

      We have to do what we need to do to survive. I’m not saying any of this is right, but this is it. This is our “way of life”. We either do, or we don’t. If we don’t, we don’t survive.

      Let’s look at this though and try to break down how working outside is really the answer. We may be talking about California now….what if this law extends to other States?

      The California rules state;

      • Electrology, tattooing, and piercing services must not be provided in the outdoor setting because they are invasive procedures that require a controlled hygienic environment to be performed safely.
        • Excuse me. Don’t we as Nail Tech’s and Hair Stylist have rules by the Department of Regulation that states our environment has to be hygienic and properly sanitized?
      • This guidance is intended to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.
        • Exactly, what is safe and clean about working in an outdoor environment?
        • Salons should not perform a service that would require a customer to have to enter the establishment.
          • For real? Does this mean no hand washing and no restroom availability?

        Here’s my absolute favorite…

        • Establish an effective heat illness prevention plan with written procedures. See the Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention page for resources, including FAQs, a webinar, and a sample written plan. Elements of a heat illness prevent plan include:o Access to water
          o Access to shade
          o Cool down breaks
          o Emergency procedures for heat illness cases
          o Monitoring of employees who are acclimatizing during a heat waveo Training on heat illness prevention and symptoms

        WOW – WOW – WOW

        In addition…

        • Rewiring and the use of electrical extension cords can increase the likelihood of electrical hazards, including fire and electrocution. Ensure that outdoor operations comply with Cal/OSHA and all code requirements. SeeCal/OSHA’s Guide to Electrical Safety for more information.
        • Ensure there are no tripping hazards from cords or other equipment in outdoor work areas.
        • Use shade or other skin protection when not under shade.

        AND

        • If fans, such as pedestal fans or hard-mounted fans, are used in the outside salon, take steps to minimize air from fans blowing directly from one person toward another. If fans are disabled or removed, employers should remain aware of possible heat hazards and take steps to mitigate them

        Our California Salons are basically required to set up a whole new shop. What happens next? Another State Department inspector comes to our Businesses and inspects for cords which are hazards, fans which blow in our face etc. etc.

        Again…WOW WOW WOW

        What would I do?

        • First thing I would do is write a letter to the idiot who thought working outside was a good idea.
        • 2nd thing I would do, is put my anger and dis-belief behind me
        • 3rd thing I would do, is adjust fire.

        We are in a wait and see, day by day lifestyle. We are sitting on the edge of our seats awaiting the next doom and gloom news and waiting for our Government to tell us what we need to do. The reality is….they don’t even know.

        What I do know is we as an Industry have to make this work. Our clients depend on us. Our families depend on us and we need our income to survive.

        How do we make this work?

        I guess if we will have to adjust fire and survive, we need to figure out a way to make this work.

        Besides all the obvious things like having a covering and a portable pedicure bowl, maybe we can make it a little fun?

        • Fill a cooler with ice. Offer mini bottles of anything from water to mini bottles of wine.
        • Provide a water mister….better than a fan blowing dust all over the place and feels so much better
        • Play some outdoor theme music. Jimmy Buffet or reggae
        • Offer cleansing wipes like our Footlogix wipes. Keep them in the heat, they actually feel wonderful

        Don’t forget though;

        • Allow more time for set up
        • Allow more time for cleaning between clients
        • Notify your clients, especially your geriatric clientele
        • Consider altering your services. Working in the heat is going to take its toll. You may have to adjust what you do or don’t do
        • You will need to charge accordingly, should you add or have to purchase additional items to accommodate the rules. However, instead of a price increase, make it a “temporary” COVID fee. When you are allowed to get back indoors, you can take the additional fee away

        I am so sorry this is happening to our friends in California. We can only hope and pray this all passes soon and we can back some normal “way of life” in doing what we all love to do.

        Keep in mind though, this may be California. However, if this pandemic continues as they say it is, more changes are on the way for all of us.

        As I said in my very first COVID blog. WE as an industry must prove that we can work and be safe at the same time. Follow the rules;

        • Ask your clients the questions and make them complete the required COVID 19 entry into your Salon forms
        • Sanitize better than you ever have. Centre For Beauty has everything you need to keep you and your client and your entire environment safe from top to bottom.
        • Wear a mask. Whether it helps or not….wearing a mask is NOT the end of the world.
        • Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands….and make sure your clients do as well. They should wash when they arrive and wash when they leave.
        • Don’t forget…polish bottles, retail, reception, kitchen….it all has to be sanitized.
        • Be Safe!

        CJ Murray, President Centre For Beauty

        CJ Murray
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          Pedicuring the Diabetic client!

          I don’t know, call me skeptical. I highly respect those in our field who have gone the extra mile in getting educated on how to care for the feet of the geriatric diabetic client.

          However, I’m not sure anymore, if this is an actual niche or not.

          Yes, diabetes is on the rise. Yet….is it on the rise the way you think it is?

          2020 statistics from the National Diabetes association states;

          • 34.2 million Americans (1 in 10) have diabetes
          • 88 million American adults (1 in 3) have “prediabetes”
          • New diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and people of Hispanic origin

          However

          • In adults, new cases significantly decreased from 2008 through 2018
          • New diagnosed cases of type 1 and 2 diabetes have significantly increased among US youths

          If we pay attention to these stats, shouldn’t we be also paying attention to our diabetic youth?

          After all, prevention is the best medicine.

          woman-taking-selfie-2050979

          I’ve taken all the courses imaginable on how to care for the diabetic client. All of these courses however, target the “geriatric client” as our diabetic client.

          I’ve learned a lot.

          • Don’t soak the feet of the diabetic client
          • Don’t cut the skin of the diabetic client
          • Don’t use products which suffocate the skin
          • Don’t don’t don’t…..are there ever any do’s?

          After all, don’t you think your diabetic client needs to be pampered and glamorized as your everyday client? And, don’t you think not “all” diabetic clients are created equal?

          Of course their not and that’s my problem. When we learn about the diabetic client, it is always generalized.

          Before I can get to my point…..let’s look at the facts!

          photo-of-beautiful-women-3400764

          What is diabetes?

          Diabetes is a chronic or long lasting health condition which affects how our bodies turn food into energy.

          There are 3 types of diabetes!

          • Type 1 – is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that stops our body from making insulin. At this time, there is no known cure to prevent type 1 diabetes. type 1 is an every day maintenance concern.
          • Type 2 – Our body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. A healthy life style can prevent type 2 diabetes and regular checks of your blood sugar can help you catch it early.
          • Gestational – Pregnant women who have never had diabetes.
          • Prediabetes – In the United States, 1 in 3—have prediabetes. What’s more, more than 84% of them don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

          With any of the above, shouldn’t we be focusing on more than just the geriatric client and what we learn in regard to diabetes with that age group?

          Shouldn’t we know;

          • How to manage the up and coming younger generation with a higher risk for diabetes….already higher than the geriatric client.
          • How to make our recommendations for at home care, what to do and NOT?
          • How to perform the perfect consultation, making sure you ask the right questions and mark your charts like a Dr. would?
          • There is so much more!

          We also have to remember…just because we became certified in “master pedicuring” and we had 1-4 hr class on Diabetes. It doesn’t make you the expert.  It barely touches the surface.

          Flaunt your credentials.  Absolutely. You should be proud. You took a great class, had to cancel your clients, take days off of work, probably travel…not to mention the $$$$..You should be proud.

          Just don’t be fooled. You may think 1, maybe 5, or even 10 classes makes you the expert. It doesn’t. Education is a lifelong commitment.

          Think about it and think about how you have shut off a whole market of diabetics.

          Yet, think of how you can recover, make the changes and expand into the new abyss.

          Do you still want to pursue the geriatric client? No biggie. Stay mainly focused on that market, or attack them all. Whichever you feel most comfortable.

          So when it comes to Pedicuring the Diabetic Client…..

          • PERFORM THE CORRECT AND THOUROUGH CONSULTATION. VERBAL AND VISUAL
          • Modify

          Also, don’t forget all those soon to be Moms…..Gestational Diabetes is real!

          The sad part about focusing on only 1 age generation is the missed opportunity you have to change someones life.

          With your education, you can help a young person begin proper care for his or her health to prevent diabetes from getting worse. You can share your knowledge, make your recommendations for at home care and end up with a client for a very long life.

          How can diabetes affect our feet?

          • Nerve damage can lower your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold.
          • If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister, or sore, or that water is too hot. Small problems can become serious if they aren’t treated early.
          • Poor circulation (another diabetes complication) along with nerve damage puts you at risk for developing a foot ulcer (a sore or wound) that could get infected and not heal well.
          • If an infection doesn’t get better with treatment, your toe, foot, or part of your leg may need to be amputated (removed by surgery) to prevent the infection from spreading.

          What do you need to know?

          • Check feet every day for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, corns, calluses, or blisters.
          • Wash  feet in warm—not hot—water, and dry them well.
          • Trim  toenails straight across and file the edges.
          • Wear shoes that fit well. Break in new shoes slowly by wearing them 1 to 2 hours each day until they’re comfortable.
          • Never go barefoot. Always wear shoes or slippers, even inside, to protect your feet.
          • Put your feet up when you’re sitting and wiggle your toes for a few minutes.
          • Get your feet checked at every health care visit, and see your foot doctor every year (more often if you have nerve damage).

          CJ Murray

          CJ Murray
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            Switching gears!

            I started on a totally different path for my article this week.  I planned on covering the topic of total sanitation.  However after showcasing at the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies this weekend, I found it necessary to change topics.

            A very dear friend of mine, retired colonel with the Air Force had a saying….”you just have to adjust fire”.

            I totally understood what he meant way back when, however…after this weekend at the Gatlinburg show, I appreciate it even more.

            After several very unsettling days of deciding whether to participate in the show which I already committed too, my final decision was 100% based on loyalty to the those who committed to attending the show.

            I felt if they were brave enough to support us as vendors, we should be brave enough showcase.

            So, after careful consideration we decided to support our initial decision.

             

            We adjusted many things.  We cancelled all our help, reduced the amount of products we typically would take, wore our mask, cleansed our hands often and opted not to do demos.

            Understand, demo’s are our key to  success. We know and have proven showing our products and how effective they are is our success at our trade shows.

            We “adjusted fire”.

            The show was a success.  We estimated 1/2 the attendees than last year.  And, because there were many less Vendors, the attendees went through the venue in record time. This left many void moments and many technicians leaving early because they completed what they came for.

            In the end though, we were not disappointed.

            This whole surreal experience of wearing mask was very uncomfortable.  As humorous as it sounds, wearing a mask I couldn’t see straight, breath properly nor hear as sharp as usual. My glasses fogged up constantly and I felt I was in tunnel vision the whole time I was there.

            We did survive the torture, however, it truly wasn’t easy….

            This experience made me think of the future and what would future trade shows be like? What can we do, as a Distributor and representative of the brands we carry to offer the full benefit our trade show attendees are used to.

            I told my husband….we just need to “adjust fire”

            In Business many things happen. We have to learn to adapt to the changes and continue to keep our Businesses successful and our clients happy.

            In our case, giving the attendees the value they hope for, is of utmost important.

            How we do this…..we need to be creative.

            This brings me back to a a previous blog.  Creativity is our survival mode. Being creative and offering the same quality service that our clients are accustomed to, is a huge part of success.

            Stepping out of the box and “adjusting fire” to our new environment is exactly what will keep us alive.

             

            For me, not being able to offer demo’s is huge. It’s important for me to show my clients how effective our products are and how they can benefit them in the salon.

            My creative answer is virtual demonstrations.

            Being able to offer that visual via a television is my answer.

            It will cost more money, More equipment and more time in set-up, however…it will offer our attendees a full view of what they are considering. For me this is huge.

            This new reality is testing us all.  It’s testing our patience, our perseverance and our ability to “adjust fire”

            Are you capable?

            Where does this “adjusting fire” fit in with your Salon?

            In speaking with many Technicians on a daily basis, the story is all the same. Finding a way to accommodate the need for Business yet the need to keep themselves, their team and their clients safe.

            I’ve heard stories of anger over clients having to wear a mask. I’ve heard stories of concern from Technicians who work for Salons which they don’t feel are taking enough necessary precautions. I’ve heard stories of clients, Technicians AND Owners who are truly clueless.

            I believe this will get better. I don’t necessarily believe things will ever get back to the way they were.

            I believe we will be living in constant fear for a long time. Whether it be fear from our Media, other peoples opinions or our own personal fear.

            I believe we have to learn to live with this new reality and EVERYONE has to participate.

            My conclusion with all that is happening around us is there is a message for all of us to receive. The message may be global, it for sure is always personal.

            When it comes to our Salon environment we have to realize the days of yesteryear are over, and I believe the message for us is clear;

            • Be safe.…if you thought you practiced proper sanitary procedure….review them.
              • Know your brands, what they do, how they work.
            • Slow down….we so often don’t know how to say no. We work back to back clients, 5-6 days a week and we let our clients take advantage of our generosity.
              • Leave time between clients, stop working more hours than you spend with your family.
            • Appreciate….look around you. Be thankful for what you have and be thankful for the opportunity to get better at what you do.
            • Be kind….everyone is under stress. Understand someone elses stress is NOT the same as yours. It is all relative. Learn how to manage, how to communicate with those who aren’t following the rules to YOUR liking in YOUR business.
            • ADJUST FIRE!…this is not a one time thing. This is reality and we have to learn how to adjust to everything that comes our way.

            CJ Murray

            CJ Murray
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              Biofilm

              Several months back, as far back as a couple of years my family and I began the process of helping my parents clean out and move out of their house.
              My family is amazing and I love and trust all of them. However, as with anyone we work with it takes a bit getting used to their ways.
              A friend of ours who was handling the real estate part of it, would send me a text now and then….hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
              This was his way of saying breath deep, close your eyes, visualize the spa
              and stay calm.
              It seems I’m practicing this a lot during these most trying, physically and mentally draining times with COVID19. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
              So in order to stay focused on something besides COVID, here I am approaching another topic of interest which came from my CDS series. A topic which many had never heard of and if they did, they didn’t know much about.
              Biofilm IS the enemy. It has been around for years.
              In order to know what to do about it, you have to know what it is.
              Biofilm

              Biofilms are a collective of one or more types of microorganisms that can grow on many different surfaces.

              Microorganisms that form biofilms include bacteria, fungi and collection of organisms. One common example of a biofilm is dental plaque, a slimy buildup of bacteria that forms on the surfaces of teeth or the slimy ring around the end of a faucet, or the ooze that comes up when clearing a hairball from your shower drain.

              Biofilm usually begins to form when a free-swimming bacterium attaches to a surface.

              Swimming microorganisms can be classified into three groups:

              (1) bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella

              (2) archaea such as Halobacterium and Methanocaldococcus

              (3) eukaryotes such as Euglena and Paramecium

              Cleaning then disinfection is the only way to rid of Biofilm in your drains.  Due to their protective matrix…bleach, shower cleaners, or any antimicrobial chemicals poured down the drain cannot penetrate the Biofilm to kill all the bacteria.

              Shower hoses, sink spickets and faucets can potentially harbor biofilm.  Because of this, there is a wide range of superficial fungal infections which are caused by Biofilm including, but not limited to keratitis, onychomycosis, allergy and sinusitis along with more serious illnesses such as pneumonia. Especially in immunocompromised persons.

              Sinks are an ideal reservoir for bacterial contamination. The basic designs of the drain flow contributes to unwanted microbial growth. this makes them prime suspect for producing infections.

              Plumbing fixtures contain standing water. The small reservoir of water acts as a physical barrier to prevent off gassing sewage odor from entering the room where the sink is located. Unfortunately, this same reservoir creates the perfect humid breeding conditions needed for bacterial colonies to grow.

               

              How does this affect you in your Salon environment?  Think about it…..

              We go to the sink to clean and scrub the debris off our foot files/tools many times a day.

              The particles are being washed down the drain multiple times per day.

              These particles then become part of the Biofilm which is sitting in the drain pipe.

              In addition, warm water is ran down the drain causing the biofilm to loosen. Upon loosening, it produces vapors coming up through the drain which….you are breathing in!

              In 2008 when I was first introduced to Biofilm, it was through the NASP level 1 course. (I like to give credit where credit is due).

              I don’t know if they continue to teach on this topic, however, the information although very basic has helped me in the following years.

              When I took on the Micrylium products, it was through my rep, where I learned more specific details. It was where I learned the importance of ultrasonic cleaners.

              The story shared with me through my rep, really resonated.

              They were called into a Company which works with Medical Devices. Many of their employees they noticed, suffered with scratchy throat, dry cough, dry eyes, runny nose along with additional minor symptoms.

              They took action to investigate and brought in air conditioning experts to see if maybe bad air was being aired through their ventilation. They brought in drywall experts to investigate the problems associated with infected drywall. And, in the end they brought in the chemist and leaders of Micrylium who are the experts in infectious control.

              Micrylium realized the workers were doing the same thing we as Nail Specialist do.  Always going to the sink and scrubbing their tools and implements.

              The warm water they use with soap to scrub was activating the biofilm in the drain. It would loosen the biofilm causing vapors to come up through the drain. Vapors which the workers were breathing in. The same type of vapors, our Technicians breath in.

              HOW DO WE MANAGE THIS?

              THE FIRST STEP IN MANAGING IT, IT RECOGNIZING THIS IS A PROBLEM

              I’ve spoken with many Technicians who simply want to I ignore Biofilm is in existence. Hey…no problem, it’s your life. However, it’s important to realize, this problem doesn’t not discriminate. It exists everywhere. Our homes, our work, hotels, restrooms … all over the world.

              I personally have an allergy to mold and mildew. I can tell instantly if I walk in a place loaded with bacteria. My head immediately feels like I have a head cold and I get a headache.

              THE 2nd THING TO REMEMBER…THERE ARE OPTIONS.

              Ultrasonic cleaners do the cleaning for you. No scrubbing, no standing at the sink scrubbing, washing, rinsing your tools.

              Ultrasonic cleaner

              There are many different ultrasonic machines available. The best advice I could probably offer is not purchasing one which is specifically designed for jewelry. Which, is what is used to clean jewelry.

              I can only speak for the one we carry…it is large enough to support many tools including the length of our AngelFeet file. It has up to 10 minute active time and it has a heater. Although, heat is not required for our implements.

              In addition, it’s important to know from your Mfg., what solution is acceptable. If you use the wrong kind of solution it could very possibly blowup your machine.

              The harsh reality is, whatever procedures you have for sanitizing…you MUST clean first. Cleaning our tools as we know it, is putting us at risk for ailments stated earlier in this blog.

              A couple of questions I would be asking at this time is;

              • How is COVID in relation to washing as we do and inhaling biofilm vapors
              • Is there something better or safer I can be doing
              • Does the initial added expense far out way the long term hazards

              I hope I was able to offer more insight and even answer some of your questions regarding biofilm.

              It exist yet we can control our exposure…for a better quality of life.

              CJ Murray, President

              CJ Murray
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