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How do you measure Success?

My husband and I recently had dinner with some friends we haven't seen in a while. Mrs.(to keep the name private) is a school teacher. Mr. (to keep the name private) is a retired police officer.
For 30 years he protected his city, provided for his wife and kids providing a good pay, health insurance etc. etc. through his department. However, once retired, this stopped and his kids are grown, living their life with boyfriends, homes and work.
We had a very interesting conversation regarding Mr's lack of ability to adjust to this major change in his life. He always thought "retirement" was being able to enjoy life on his own time frame.....with his wife.

However, she still works.

The conversation went in many humorous directions. The bottom line though, retirement isn't what he thought it would be. Because his wife still works, he can but doesn't want to come and go as he pleases. And, any jobs that may keep him busy continues to give him the realization....he's not in his prime anymore.
One question that kept running through my mind as we try to "analyze" his thoughts. Is this a matter of "I don't feel like a success" anymore?  So the questions becomes........


Mom Dad Me

I can remember when my Dad retired.  At the time, nothing seemed any different to me. However, as I got older and would have heart to heart conversations with my Dad, he would tell me he wished he wasn't who he was.....he'd be a lot richer. (more on this later)

Recently, there was an article printed by #nailspro magazine. It highlighted 5 successful women in our Industry. They are all amazing icons and I think it's great they get recognition for their work. However, I found it sad, they all measured success by their product, growth and recognition.

Even though I only know one of them personally, I would venture to say they all have far more reasons to call themselves successful besides basing it on their product and sales.


This made me start thinking about all the successful clients I have. I wonder if those of you whom I find highly successful even realize you are successful.  Do you measure success by;

  • Your sales
  • Number of clients
  • Your artistic ability
  • Income

Going back to my Dad.  I turned and looked at him and asked...."what would you have done so different?" His response was "he wouldn't have been so honest." I was stunned.

Being honest IS what makes you a success.  Not to mention you raised 7 children, have been married for 60 Yrs (at that time) AND you passed on your values....including Integrity!

I also think back to many of the struggles I've had in my life and it also got me thinking about my own Business.

My struggles put my own integrity to the test. Initially I fought that little devil sitting on my shoulder. In the end though, I always took the high ground and did the right thing.

My Business may not be big, it probably could be a lot bigger.  However, when I look back at my mission statement, which I do often, I stay focused on why I did this in the first place.  "To give the Nail Technician the attention they deserve" "To move us Nail Technicians from the bottom of the totem poll"

In addition, it has always been a frustration of mind, in fact it still is....Companies get so big, they forget the people who got them there in the first place.  This is a conversation I have constantly with my husband.  I never want to lose the personal touch, the customer service, the availability I have to my client for when they need me. I never want to lose touch with no matter how small or how large I may's been YOU who has put me there.



  • I look at "who did I help today, not who did I sell"
  • I think "am I doing the right thing?" always.....even when no ones looking.
  • I look at being the best I can be.
  • I think about being positive
  • I think about being accepting

Think about it.  Are you doing yourself an injustice by measuring your success through monetary things or do you measure success by the person you are?

CJ Murray, President

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Expanding your retail!

Here we are again, the last quarter of the year. Wow! Can someone please tell me, where the time goes?

As I finish up my year long season of Trade shows which, thanks to many of you were a great success, I think about the many conversations I had with those who visited our booths and other Mfg's who presented.

Yes, many of our attendees are there to learn new things and try new products. However, I do have many conversations regarding the follow though with retail.

What better time of year to learn new tricks to treat your clients with the knowledge of how to better care for their feet and share with them some products you may not necessarily sell throughout the entire year. Products which make great stocking stuffers, products they can travel with and BONUS....products which actually work.

happy team-4

First of all, let's get one thing straight.  Retail in our Beauty world is much more than going to a Department store and buying a new set of bath towels.  Think about this.  When buying bath towels, we generally know what we are looking for and why.

We want 2 large bath towels, matching hand towels and matching wash cloths.                Which, have to match our decor.

In our Salons, our clients don't even know they are looking for a product they really need.  It is our job to educate them, it is our job to recommend to them what would be best to care for the skin on their feet, their cuticles etc. etc.


2nd, Don't you think there is a reason why ALL stores carry creams and lotions and oils and potions?

It's a HUGE industry!

You can find foot care and nail care products in any store ranging from Nordstroms to the Dollar Store.  JC Penney, Macy's, Walgreens, CVS....just to name a few.

In fact, the Esthetician I go to monthly, works part time at Walgreens.  She shares with me the $$$$ and the volume of products for foot and nail care which goes out the door daily.  It's truly mind boggling.

In our Spas/Salons, we have a captive audience. Our clients are already with us. We hold their hands, massage their feet......and now we send them out the door to purchase products "wherever"?

I love you-3

I do understand the trepidation of presenting products to your clients. I've been there!  We need to circle back to the why.  Why are we shy to promote our brands?  Why do we feel like we are "pushing" products on our clients?  Why, why, why?

Education - Confidence

It's really simple.  You don't have to be in sales.  You only have to believe that what you are recommending to your client is a necessity not a luxury.

You don't have to be in sales.  However, you do need to know what you are recommending. Knowing the product, what are the ingredients, why does it work.....knowledge!

Let me share some tips on promoting retail. Enough retail for you to pay your rent.

  • Use it - very difficult to have belief in a product which you've never tried.
  • Talk about it - although there are some very good and creative display set-ups, they don't just sell by sitting on the shelf.
  • Display it - let the display work for you. Don't just set the products on the shelf with a name tag.
  • Change - change your displays monthly. Set up for each Holiday. Mix it up.
  • Samples - do your Mfg's offer samples for your brands? It doesn't have to be a sample of everything you use, however clients love samples and it's a good way to get a taste of the products prior to making a purchase. Centre For Beauty has small sample sizes for purchase on each of our brands.

What about diversity? Many of you are in a suite or a room by yourselves. Maybe you don't have a whole lot of room for retail. Maybe you have been doing the same clients for many years and, you don't even take on new clients anymore.

This is not a dead end.

  • Reach out to your fellow Beauty world Technicians.  You will be amazed at how many make specialty products.  Last week on our journey back home from the Premiere Birmingham show, we stopped in a small town in the Northern west corner of Florida. Port St. Joe. I knew I had a client there which I've never met. I stopped in to say hello and her small, cozy room was filled with creative items. Items of which she made personally. I bought the cutest hand sized towels with different sayings and decorations.

The Holiday season is the absolute best time to make your $$$$ in retail. You hear it all over the news how retail is up x% in the 4th quarter. Amazon, Department stores etc.

How can you reap the benefits of this increase in percentage?

  • Be creative with your offers
  • Stocking stuffers
  • Travel size

Those 3 is all you need!  Here are some examples;

  • Be creative with your offers:
    • Are you wanting your clients to get on a maintenance routine?  Share the importance of a good skin care routine for the skin on their feet (or hands).  Promote a FREE travel size product with the purchase of a full size.
    • Offer a small discount......however......don't just set it on your shelves.  Wrap the item in a decorative bag and let them choose (without knowing what's inside).

Make sure you do the math before you just willy dilly discount.  Take advantage of your Vendor discounts on items which you can save money and not lose on the selling end.

  • Stocking stuffers;
    • Travel size options
    • Cuticle care pens, rollers and more
    • Nail oils
    • 8 oz nail polish
    • Pedi Sox

Centre For Beauty has so many options of great stocking stuffer items.  Looking for something not so "nail/feet" specific?  Life of Riley Salon Supply has many many close out items which would fit perfectly into your Holiday Season sales.

  • Travel size
    • There is nothing like travel size items for stocking stuffers. They can be many of the items listed above or hand and feet creams which are under 3 oz.
    • Look for items that will be usable.
    • Look for items which might spark interest for future sales.

Also, label your items with your Business name and contact number.  You can print right from your own computer.  Clear labels work best.  If a client of yours is giving something from you as a gift, you want to make sure they contact you if they like it.....NOT Amazon.

This time of year can be so stressful.  I would just like to add.....keep it simple and enjoy.

My journey with introducing Oncology care to our Technicians this year has taught me over and over again, the importance of enjoying life.  The importance of not sweating the small stuff and the importance of being the best we can everyone.

I wish you all a season of profits and a season of Love and Laughter.

CJ Murray, President

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A forever Journey

My journey this past week, has been an emotional one.

Gearing up towards my first experience with teaching the OSS oncology class and hoping I can deliver the message as Becky with the OSS has done for years.

As with every class I offer, it’s personal. It’s personal because I believe in what I advocate for and it’s personal because of my desire to teach, to empower others and to share knowledge with the hope of seeing others grow in their journey through life and through our Beauty Industry.

Lessons are always learned…if you accept them. Lessons of courage, of inspiration and lessons…..we forget we already learned.
If I have repeated myself and/or maybe you've had enough on Oncology care.  I make no apologies.  This subject is important and we have GOT to pay attention to it.

Even though we had a small class, we still deliver the same message and its a big one.  Getting to know our attendees is always such a great experience.  What I love about it the most, is learning where they come from.  Some of these people  I have know through the circuit for years.  They may or may not be clients, but they are familiar faces.

Seeing someone in the circuit or sharing my brands with them are quite different then getting to know them in a class which brings out many, many emotional feelings.  These feelings are personal and they will make you look at each other in a very different perspective.

We also hear the stories of our guest.  WOW.  I truly don’t know another word for it.  We listen to these stories, one of which was from a lovely lady in her 50’s, diagnosed almost a year ago with liver, breast AND brain cancer.  She was initially given less than 6 months to live.  She just downright refused to accept that diagnosis and here she is, 12 months later.


My takeaway from this past class once again brings me into the Salon and how we treat our customers.  In fact, it truly brings me into the                                  reality of every day life.


I challenge you to ask yourself these questions

Are you living in the moment?

When you have a client in your chair, are you not just listening but hearing what they are saying?  Or, are you to wrapped up in your own mind and not really giving them 100% of you

Are you grateful for them?

Do you really understand, our clients allow us to live.  They [ay our bills, put food on our tables, pay for our vehicles and more!

Do you have your priorities in order?

When was the last time you for real put things into perspective?  As one of our guests said, the disease of Cancer will truly make you realize the importance of medical checkups, health insurance, love & peace.  The size of your house doesn’t matter, the things mean nothing. Standing vertical everyday and appreciation for life is most important.

Do you share your love?

When was the last time you told your client you appreciate them?

Do your actions reflect your talk?

So often we talk about appreciation, we talk about gratefulness   However, our actions say otherwise.  We get angry, we say mean things, we rush through the speed of life, not even thinking about what we might have said, posted or emailed.

My takeaway also is how important it is for us to realize, we can NOT just go through the motions of performing our services.  We have got to realize the impact of the reproductions which can come from lack of knowledge, lack of insight and the lack of understanding.


Understanding that not all clients are created equal.  Understanding that we have been blessed with a gift.  A gift which allows us to service those in need.  A gift which allows us to protect our clients.  A gift which gives us the opportunity to affect so many lives.

Many of you have written me asking if the OSS will be coming to your area.  Becky is thrilled and excited to bring the OSS for pedicures wherever she can bring it.  I am on a mission to help.  In 2020, with Becky's guidance, the OSS will be heading to the following locations.  Dates haven't been confirmed and exact locations aren't determined.  However, My goal is to bring the OSS to the following locations.

  • Largo Florida - scheduled for Feb 16th, 17th and 18th
  • Chicago
  • Minnesota
  • Arizona - November
  • Texas


One final note;

This class in intense.  It is filled with information which will change your life forever.  It will impact you emotionally and will make you take a look at everything you do in the Pedicure chair.  This is good!

Learning what needs to be learned, cannot be done in a day, 2 days and even 3 days truly isn't enough.  However, what Becky offers with the OSS is far more than a 3 day class.  She offers onctginued support, continued resources and continued education to help you grow in your Oncology learning.  Finally, what she offers in her class is a collaboration of knowledge from respected sources who have been in Oncology care for years.  I highly encourage you to visit her website, and see for yourself.

CJ Murray, President

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Oncology Care in your Salon!

I am soon to embark on a new adventure. 2020 marks the year, I will be independently teaching "Oncology Care in the Pedicure room"

I've taken 2 classes, one of which I hosted. I'm about ready to host a 2nd and teach with the assistance of Becky Kuene, the amazing soul that brought this subject to light, along with Reggie Stephens who will embark with me on bringing Oncology Care into the pedicure arena. Reggie has been a client of mine, a friend and speaks of the topic....from personal experience.

As I look back to how this class was "brought" to me, I can't help but praise our good Lord, the people who have helped me full fill this dream and the faith I have in knowing there are Technicians in our Beauty world who really do want to make a difference and understand the value of not just needing this service in our Salons, but the value of making sure they don't just "wing it" or "guess" at caring for the Oncology clients.
I've talked so much about stepping out of the box.  Being different.  Making positive changes.  My journey with Oncology Care came as what I believe is a necessity.  In competing with the Mfg's of the brands I carry, I knew I had to do something of value for you, our clients to want to come to me.....Centre For Beauty....for your products, not direct to the Mfg.  I should be honored that many of them have produced educational programs much like the ones I have developed, and I am.  However, by this happening, it eliminates my distinguished difference. Therefore, in the year 2018 I began a quest to look for products and Education which I could begin introducing into the Podiatry market. Since I knew, many Technicians were moving into Podiatry office themselves, I felt like this would be a great way to go.  First of all, finding products which would help me move into that arena was difficult.  And,  I soon realized it really wasn't much different then what is being taught now. The consultation, the what and what not's we should do with our compromised clients and the rights and wrongs of services we provide, techniques we use and the basics of Recognizing, Recommending and Referring really isn't a whole lot different than what we should be doing anyway.
Many classes we take, teaching us the motions. They teach us Techniques, they teach us about products. What I find respectful about this Oncology class is;
  • It teaches us the history of Oncology. It's so important to understand where it came from, to understand where we need to go
  • It teaches us of the kinds of Cancer. Knowing this and how they become what they are, is important in understanding not all Oncology clients are alike. In fact, no 2 are the same.
  • It's not a class about products, it's a class about what is in the products we use in our Pedicure rooms. Understanding these ingredients will forever change the way you look at deodorant, foods, perfumes, health care products and more.
  • It teaches the emotional aspects of the Cancer clients journey. What we say, how we act and how we treat "people in general"
  • It teaches us techniques. Techniques which can used in everyday life. Techniques we can use both in our Pedicure rooms AND our homes.
All part of our journey-3

It was Reggie who brought my attention to this class. A class designed for Oncology Care in the Estethics room. It sparked an interest. However, I had no idea it work take me on this journey of bringing it into the Pedicure room. And, I had no idea I would find myself right smack on the forefront of taking this Nationally.

As I prepare myself for the upcoming class (October 11-12-13th), reading through materials, retaking the on line course and assisting in the Pedicuring protocol, I'm reminded how truly important it is for our Technicians to take this class. I'm reminded of my very first impression(s)

  • Best $997.00 spent EVER
  • Best class EVER taken
All part of our journey

How many of you either know someone with Cancer or has had Cancer themselves? The rate is alarming. We focus so much on Diabetic care which, is hugely important. However, we are missing the boat when it comes to our clients with Cancer and truly any client with an immune compromised health.

As I go through my studies, I'm saddened by the fact it takes someone with Cancer to make us act a certain way or provide a certain service. When in reality we should be caring for all our clients in the same manner we care for our clients who do suffer with Cancer....minus a couple strategic techniques.

I'm reminded, as we all should be at how our precious life can change in an instant. I'm reminded of how we treat people around us, can make or break our journey through life.

I'm reminded of how life IS a journey and the stops along the road to leading a happy life depends on our actions, our souls and our honesty.

I'm reminded, everyones journey is different. This doesn't make yours better or's just different.

What is it that makes this class so worth my time and money?

  • To begin with its personal. Many of you know my Dad had cancer. He went through Chemo and Radiation and ultimately ended up with surgery and a colostemy bag. Hearing of his side affects from all of the above, made be cringe. How a man at 90 years old endured all that he did, Is beyond me.
  • There was also the realization of how many people in our world, suffer with this disease, and how we really do not know how to manage it. Both from a technical level and an emotional level.
  • As I sat through this class...both times, I couldn't help but think how we should be acting this way, performing services this way...daily.....on everyone.
  • Sitting through this class twice and now going through the study material, I'm convinced I have been lead in the right direction. I need to share, I need to teach, I need to shout all over our Nation, the value of this knowledge. Not from only a Professional level, from a Personal level as well.

As I write this, I keep trying to get to my point. I guess I don't really have one. I believe I'm feeling passionate about this topic because I recognize the importance  and the seriousness of where we have gone in our Pedicure rooms. Our Technicians are taking more chances and/or they are going through the motions not realizing the implications.

Our Technicians are taking "product" classes, "design" classes developed by the Mfg's to sell their products. Learning about Oncology care in the Pedicure room is none of that. It's about knowledge, it's about care, it's about emotions and truly keeping our clients safe.


I hope to see you in 2020 taking this journey with me. The opportunity to expand into a much higher level of Pedicuring and truly setting yourself apart from being a Nail Technician who does Pedicures, is a journey I know I would take if I were still behind the chair.

CJ Murray, President

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Worth repeating!

I've always said, there are 2 types of service providers in the Pedicure arena. You have the Technicians that go through the motion of "performing the pedicure" and you have the Technician who "performs a service".
The difference between the two is simple. The Technician who performs the pedicure, goes through the steps. They pedicure their client with no understanding of why. The Technician who performs the service provides Education to their client, they understand the meaning and the value of Recognizing, Recommending and Referring. They do what is best for the client based on their clients needs AND they do this safely.

Over the past month, I have trained over 50 Technicians. Introducing them to their new brands and Educating them on the safety of pedicuring their clients beginning with the consultation, what the products do for them and their clients and the importance of using the proper tools.

More than ever, I saw the stark difference in Technicians. Not just in one Salon to another. also, within the same Salon.

Truly eye opening

In light of this reminder, and seeing many newcomers in our Beauty World, I wanted to repurpose this article on the "Dangers of Foot Files".  Although that may not be the should be.

Now that you have read the above article (I hope), let me help you make the decision to "come to the other side".

  1. I truly understand how difficult it is to go from a satans grater or a sandpaper file to something you are not use to using.  However, this one you just have to trust me on.  It is better for your client, and it is better for you.  It may take an adjustment, but it will be worth your while.
  2. If you think you might have challenges with that client who wants you to cut off her/his entire callus. This article is not for you. It simply takes confidence and education. Believe what you do and know what you know.
  3. Our file buy back program.  HAPPENING NOW!

Centre For Beauty is adamant about getting those crappy files (yes, I said it) off our streets, out of our Technicians hands and out of our clients hands.  Therefore,

Beginning now, our File Buy Back program is in effect

October 1st through October 31st.

Please understand....there is a deadline

Here's how it works

  • Send in any and all of your crappy files....any brand....any make
    • Centre For Beauty Salon Supply
    • 9985 82nd Way
    • Seminole, Fl.
  • Inside the package
    • Write youR name
    • Email address
    • Contact phone #
  • Upon receipt
    • Cj will personally call you
    • You decide how many ANGELlFeet files you want
    • Payment authorized


No minimum.

 Only requirement is they reach our door no later than October 31st, 2019

CJ Murray, President

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Are you leading your Team?

Doing the amount of travel I have in these past few weeks, has afforded me the opportunity to get back into a bit of reading. I’ve missed it. I feel reading feeds the mind, feeds the soul and I know it for sure gives me ideas for future articles. I’m usually reading something motivational. Something that brings me back to center point. In the book that I’m reading, I circled, underlined and highlighted a ton load of OMG words or quotes that struck a nerve. One in particular sparked this article.
Team Leadership 
“Like a football team in a huddle lining up for the next play, the team is coming together to lay groundwork. The ball doesn’t move forward during the huddle. Forward motion toward the goal only happens when each player receives his assignment, trust the coach, understands how he fits into the big picture and then executes on behalf of the team”.

This is true in any situation where there is a team. There is a team leader and players on the team. In our Salons, it’s our salon owners, the management team (which could be the same people) and the Technicians and stylist who fill the rest of the team. We so often use the word “team” when we talk about our Staff. However, do we actually treat our team members…….as a team? 

I hope this resonates with someone. Because out there in our Salon world, I have seen and witnessed the exact opposite. I have seen Salons never make it to the goal point….and I understand why! 

You don’t have to cross the goal line everyday.  In fact, this would be virtually impossible.  However, it should be expected, as with all great teams that you practice, strategize, assess your strengths and weaknesses, retool, reinforce a foundation and/or huddle.  It’s all about laying solid groundwork for the future.  

Your team Is Your Voice!

We so often as “leaders” of a team forget that input from the team can be very valuable.  If you listen to the members that are actually in or on the field, you are getting first hand communication from the battle field.  There is nothing more valuable.  

  • Huddle often-you not only may get some great ideas, you also give a sense of value to your team.  That sense of value will bring much stronger results than leaving them out.  
  • Choose your plays-many great ideas may come from these huddles, don’t just run and play.  Strategize your moves and talk about what might be the best plan of action.  
  • Use your strengths and encourage your weaknesses-not every team member will be the same.  When you huddle and move forward with your plays you will know what teams members show strength and what team members need to be encouraged.  Use your strong team members to encourage the weak.  Find the strength from the weak….it’s always there. 

I can remember during my days at the Salon, when I interviewed potential team members I always asked them to paint their perfect scenario.  You would be surprised how much you found out about a person based on that one question.  Not only that, if I heard from them they didn’t want to work nights or weekends……I wouldn’t place them on nights or weekends.  I found someone who would fill those voids.  Placing someone in a position of weakness, or a position they won’t be happy with, will not produce the best results for your team.  

Not all plays are today plays. Laying a solid foundation for future plays is imperative.  It will give your team something to work towards and something to look forward to.  How?  Simple steps in securing your foundation can produce a winning team or it can cause the team to break apart and you WILL come in last place. 

Your team Is Your Voice!-2
  • Assign-if you call your team a team, act like it.  Team members like to feel useful. Assign projects, producing teams within a team.  Place them in charge of the next Holiday decoration.  I like the program “Last man standing”.  Mikes wife was overwhelmed one year panicking over how she is going to get all the Holiday projects completed.  She had too much on her plate and she was highly stressed over it.  So stressed, it knocked all the enjoyment out of the season.  Mike recruited the family and gave each one a job.  In the end, not only did Vanessa feel loved, but each family member learned how much she does and how hard she works to make it special for everyone.  In the end, they appreciated her so much more.  
  • Delegate-this isn’t the same as assigning. Assigning gives someone the opportunity to use their own creative juices or assigns them a project which needs to be completed.  Delegating is assigning specifics.  Do you need new inventory items put into your computer program system?  Delegate someone.  Do you have a list of office supplies you’ve been needing?  Delegate someone.  The project is concrete, you just need to delegate the chore.  

In our Tampa Bay area,  we have Rays baseball. It’s frustrating.  They are always recruiting great team members, but they don’t keep them. They groom them but for whatever reason, they don’t stay.  This might be a bad example because I’m sure they have their reasons and methods of madness, however, it makes me think of how many good stylist or Technicians have left a place to pursue other opportunities. 

Yes, even I experienced it.  I look back at it now and some changes were inevitable….some could not be controlled.  I do think however, I was lacking something for the members of my team not to feel like they wanted to stay with me, stay in the field and keep making us better and better.  We all know the grass is not greener on the other side.  But, if someone is peeking over the fence…they are missing something.  

I felt like I was a great team leader.  I had the same amazing team of players for an unheard of amount of time.  I know how blessed I was.  I also know, knowing what I know now and sharing ideas and thoughts with you, if I had to do it all over again….I would definitely make some adjustments.  Is it time for you?

Many Businesses don't like to make change during the Holiday Season. I for one, think it's a great time of year. Most people are in better spirits, preparing for Family affairs and actually love the hustle and bustle and the cheer in the air.

What better time to huddle with your team and come up with a game plan. Bring everyone in and let their ideas flow. I think you might be surprised where an idea can come from.

CJ Murray, President

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Are you ready in case of an emergency?

It's crazy. Inspiration can come from anywhere. When talking with my husband regarding the topic of my next blog, I was stuck. Everything that was going through my mind related back to my last article. I didn't want to write about the same thing, but my brain wasn't settling on anything that interest me. If I can't interest myself, I can't interest you.

You may have seen on my personal FB page last week, we had a very traumatic incident with our 9 year old boxer, Maddie. She choked on a bully stick. We know she died. I'm going to leave the details out about how we know, and share with you, she is fine. My husband was able to pull the bully stick out of her throat, opening her passage to breath. It was the most frightening experience, surreal and a true test of not only how the grace from God, but how the 2 of us acted or really we reacted, in the event of an emergency.

So, as I was discussing my next article with my husband, I was staring at our precious Maddie and thinking about what would have happened if we weren't quick thinking in our actions to save our dog whom, we had no idea at first......what was wrong.

This made my mind wonder into our Salon environment. We know NOT to cut the skin of a Diabetic. We know NOT to massage someone with Fibromyalgia or circulatory problems. However, do we know what to do of our services has gone bad?

It's true isn't it?  When I think back of all the classes I have taken, not a one of them address the "what if's?"

Its easy to teach

  • Why we shouldn't use implements on a diabetic
  • Why someone with neuropathy shouldn't have their feet in hot water
  • Why we shouldn't massage a client who has had a lymph node removed
  • Why if a client has thin skin, water and a massage can damage them
  • Why we shouldn't service someone with fungus
  • Why why why?  We have heard it all.

However, addressing circumstances which happen in our Salon which, can be life changing, is something not many have discussed.

  • Have you ever continued with a service after your client felt discomfort from your Efile?
  • Have you ever continued a service after you nipped someone with your cuticle nippers. Enough to draw blood?
  • Have you ever hurt someone during a massage?

These and many more can happen in your Salons.  Would you know how to manage?


About 2 years ago, I was hired by an Attorney to provide State Law information for a client she was defending.  Her client had gone into a nail salon for a set of artificial nails.  The Technician, using an Efile burned her.

She pulled her hand back and he gave her a love tap.  "It will be okay he say's, just give it a minute."

She gave it a minute and the pain did go away, however the indent he caused in her nail which was red.....did not.

Within a couple of weeks she felt pain and had swelling.  Long story short, she attempted to get treated for it, but it wasn't going away.  By the time they realized what was going on.....they had to amputate her whole finger because the infection had gone through to the bone.

What went wrong?

What went wrong is the lack of knowledge and professionalism from the Technician.

  • No love tap here.....geez Louise Really?
  • He should have an antiseptic product at his station.  Cleanse the nail and apply.
  • He should also have sent his client home with an at home antiseptic.
  • He should NEVER have gone over the nail with any primer nor any artificial nail enhancement product, be it acrylic or gels.
  • He should have scheduled a 1 week appointment to look at it and assess any progression.
  • He should have a referral program in place to refer his client to a Medical Professional for extra precautions.

His lack of knowledge and professionalism cost him thousands of dollars from the suit the client filed for causing the infection which caused her to lose her finger.

In addition, a conversation was started on the lack of cleaning and/or proper cleaning and disinfection within the Salon which then, caused the State to get involved.

What about the client who got nipped during the Pedicure service, happens to be diabetic and the Technician ignored it and placed his feet back in the water.

BAD things can happen!

Placing a diabetic or anyone back in the water after an accidental cut can be horrific.

  • Clients can get very bad infections from open wounds
  • I've seen clients who have been scarred for life because the infection was so difficult to manage.
  • I've seen clients who have had their foot amputated because the infection was so bad.

What should we do in this type of situation?

  • Do NOT place that foot back in the water
  • Do NOT continue the service
  • Apply an antiseptic to stop the bleeding
  • Instruct the client his/her at home care.  Continue with an antiseptic, keep the area clean.
  • Schedule a follow up appointment in a week to stay abreast of it's "hopeful" healing.
  • Refer to a Medical professional if needed

What about a client who goes into shock or has a mini stroke in the middle of your service?  I hate to even think I have to say this....STOP THE SERVICE.

  • Call 911 immediately

That's it!  Do NOT attempt to do anything.

What about toenail fungus or foot fungus? Do you even know how to tell?

The reality is, if we turned down every client who had discoloration on her/his toenails.....we would be broke? However, how do you know?

We can't diagnose

We can't treat

What we can do is recognize, recommend and refer!

Knowledge is power. The more you know how to visibly identify different toenail and foot conditions, the more comfortable you AND your client will be.

Letting your client know "this is indicative" of a fungus and knowing you should not pedicure her/ hard. However, I'm 100% sure your client will have the utmost respect for you AND you have for sure protected yourself from a law suit waiting to happen.

Refer. Build you community of resources. Put them in your emergency manual.

Don't be afraid to walk away.

And, the client who stops breathing for any reason.  Whether it be from something you did in your service, or natural causes?

  • Call 911 immediately
  • Do you have anyone on your staff that knows CPR? If not, maybe you should

The bottom line is, its' time we realize there are many many things which can happen to us in a day at our Salon.  We need to be ready!

  • Do you have an emergency kit on premises?  The basics, aspirin, bandages, gauze, peroxide etc.
  • Do you have an antiseptic at your station?
  • Do you have proper cleaning and disinfection procedures in place?
  • Do you have an actual written manual on emergency procedures, phone #'s of your local hospital, emergency clinic, police etc.?
  • Is anyone on your team CPR trained?
  • Is your entire team aware of your procedures.

We were fortunate.  Our Maddie girl situation had a happy ending.

We finally realized she was choking and just knew we had to get what was lodged in her throat out of it.

If I told you however, we did all this calmly.....that would be a lie.  We both were screaming for our Maddie not to die.  We both were shaking like crazy and we both felt like our world was crashing.

The lesson I learned?

  • Never ever give your dog bully sticks
  • Have the phone # to your very posted somewhere in addition to your phone
  • Have your closest emergency clinic phone # posted somewhere in addition to your phone

We learned some hard lessons....maybe this article will help at least 1 person to produce an emergency manual.  For your benefit and the benefit of your clients.

CJ Murray, President

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Are you ready to “Up your game”?

I am humbled again by a couple of referrals I received this week for potential new clients. It doesn’t seem like a job to me when I’m able to help people grow personally and professionally. To think I’m trusted as a mentor from my piers/my clients to the extent they refer my name…..I’m truly grateful.

What’s interesting about the referrals I received is, both Salon owners are looking to take the next step up in their Pedicure service. They are realizing the change in our Industry as it relates to Pedicures and they understand the value of making a change within their own service arena.

This is so exciting to me since i’ve seen this change, i’ve recognized this value as far back as 2008. It’s exciting because there is a definite turn in the way our Salon owners, our Technicians are starting to think. Realize, the Nail Technician has always been the low man on the totem pole. We are now beginning to be more recognized, we are being taking more seriously and we are definitely moving up on the totem pole. Which, for me is AWESOME. Read my mission statement...Provide the Nail Technician the Education, the Attention and the Support they need to safely and properly service their clients”.

When we talk about “upping our game”, it doesn’t take drastic changes. It simply means making a few adjustments and perfecting what you already do.
Is it time to Up your game?-2

Image:  I don’t want to offend anyone by this however, one of my biggest pet peeves is wearing flip flops or sandals in the Salon.To begin with, in the State of Florida…they are not allowed.Closed toed shoes only.I would imagine Florida is not the only State with this regulation.

This is a regulation because of the dangers, not because of appearance.  Dropping shears or clippers on your feet can be very dangerous.  My angle is more from an appearance standpoint.  Short and sweet….I do not think it’s a professional look.  

#1 step in upping your game

stop wearing play shoes in a Business environment. 

Products: Systems! I once went to a very well known Resort in our area and received a Pedicure.I was blown away by its beauty, it’s serene surroundings and what they had to offer.But (and I do mean but), all that was taken away when I sat down for my pedicure and the pedicure tray consisted of a mix match of products.Maybe it’s just me.When I go into a reputable Spa/Salon, I expect to see professional products, a system being used to perform my service.In my opinion it was lame.

Besides, there is a reason why msg’s develop a “system” of products.  The “system” produces optimum results.  Now, grant it….I’m in the Industry I would notice something like a mix match of products where maybe the average client wouldn’t.  However, I believe it makes for a sloppy appearance and appearance is very important.  

Step #2 - Stop mixing brands

Communication: Begins at the reception desk.Yes, you’ve heard me sing this tune before and I make no apologies for singing it again.If you want to up your game, your communication skills must improve.How you greet your clients (over the phone or in person), what questions do you ask, how accommodating are you and does this communication start at the reception desk and filter through every person your client comes in contact with.

My husband and I on separate occasions called Sirius XM about our contract.  We called at completely separate times.  We both got the exact same treatment.  We were thanked for our years of being with them.  We were asked what our concern was.  We were asked if we would stay with them if they could accommodate our needs.  We were both taking care of in the exact same manner.  Was it a script?  Absolutely!  However, we both hung up as a satisfied customer, appreciative of the “personal” feel of being an important customer. 

Step #3 - Change the way you speak to your clients. 

Ambience: This may be one of the easiest adjustments you can make.You can easily give the illusion of Professionalism with a few minor changes/or additions.*towel wrap *neck pads *music change  (I got this from Nellie Neal) *service trays. Slight, inexpensive changes can make a $10.00 - $50.00 difference.

Step #4 - Create simple yet effective illusions. 

Educate with Integrity

Offer new services: Sometimes this can be old services.Rotate them throughout the year.Contact your favorite Distributor and ask what is in their venue that you don’t have and ask them to help you.This doesn’t have to be expensive. Even bringing in 1 new retail item can spark not only a new revenue stream, also new conversation which might lead to a new money making service.It truly is magical.

Step #5 - Don’t be stagnant, keep evolving. 

I caution you.  Don’t throw out the old, revive it.  Whether it’s a change of products or a change of appearance, it will Bring a change of attitude….it will be a positive one.  And, if it doesn’t because of one negative nanny……well…..maybe its time for a change there also.

CJ Murray, President

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Why choosing the right tools is important!

It's always mind boggling to me when our Technicians don't take the time to not only choose the right tools, but care for their tools properly.


After all, tools we use in our service(s) ARE our life.

When we talk about changing the image of our Industry and charging higher prices than the sub-standard Salons. EVERYTHING should be taken into consideration.....including the tools you choose to use in your service(s).

This may seem a little extreme to you, however when you consider the idea of changing the image of our industry and portraying Professionalism, I think we should portray that image and that Professionalism in every aspect of our service....including our tools.
Teal and Yellow Vector Trivia Night Poster

With so many choices available to do we know what to choose?

Many of you know I don't take lightly what I bring into my Business to offer to YOU, my clients.  I try my best to do my due diligence in choosing products or brands which I know, are safe and beneficial for you to use in your service(s).

As I often do, I think back to some of the choices I've made in my Salon days and whewwwwww......some were pretty bad.  I was stuck in a money mode in lieu of being in a beneficial mode.  I was more concerned with what my cost would be and didn't even think about what it did for my clients.

Of course...this changed as I matured and became more aware.  However, that learning process for me was very costly.  That is the reason I take so much time in making decisions for my Business....decisions to help you.

What have I learned?

  • Price should not always be your first consideration.  Yes, we need to be aware of what our cost are, however I don't feel that should be your only consideration.
  • Don't always trust.  If the tools you are choosing are making the claim to be 100% stainless, go a step further and ask for the proof.  There is also different types of steel.  Our single use implements are stainless steel.  However, it's a low grade not designed for more than one use.  Remember, steel coming in from other Countries don't need ISO regulation.  Many are mixed with other chemistry (like nickel) which is an allergen, meaning they may cause an allergic reaction to someone who may be allergic to nickel.
  • Be aware of plated tools.  Some tools are available in fun, beautiful colors.  Check out the source and make sure the color is oxidized and not plated.
  • There are many sizes and shapes available.  It's important to find the one that works for you.  However, don't block out a change.  In most cases, a different size or shape is just something getting use to.

Caring for your tools is just as responsible as choosing the right tools.

As with anything, when you make a purchase it's an investment and you really should do all you can to protect that investment.

I realize the hustle and bustle we are in when working our clients back to back during and 8 hr period.  However, I'm going to use the cliche "slow down to the speed of life".  Take your time to care for your tools properly and you will find they will last you a lifetime.

I kinda feel it's very similar to having my clothes dry cleaned.  I look back at pictures of myself from 5+ years ago and I still have the clothing I'm wearing in the picture.  I'm a dry cleaning addict because I like my things to last and I love that crisp, clean look. Besides I hate to iron.

My point is, I take special care and therefore my clothing last longer.  Take special care with your tools and they will last you a lifetime.


How do we properly clean our tools?

  • This is a 3 step process;  First we clean, we disinfect and then sterilize!
  • There are 2 ways to clean:  Scrub with antibacterial soap at the sink or use an Ultrasonic cleaner
    • Scrubbing at the sink has been proven to cause nasal problems which can lead to headaches, sore throats and stuffy nose.  The warm water constantly being run through the drain, causes the collected BioFilm to cause fumes which are coming out of our drains.  If using this process, be sure to rinse thoroughly
    • Using an Ultrasonic cleaner not only becomes a safety step, it also saves time.
  • The 2nd step - disinfection, most likely a liquid.  All disinfection products are NOT created equal.
    • Look for products which have rust inhibitors.  However, even with MUST wipe your implements dry upon removal from your solution AND you must NOT place them in your disinfection solution with any tools which is NOT 100% stainless steel.  Doing this will cause rust to "deposit" on your tools.
    • I want to re-interate this.  All tools must be wiped completely dry when taking them out of the solution.  And do NOT place them in the same solution at the same time with NON stainless tools and implements.
    • Know what your disinfection contact time is.  Contact time is the amount of time you must leave your implements soaking, in order for the disinfection to kill the fungi and bacteria it claims it kills.
    • Know your replacement time.  How often do you need to replace your solution?  Many are daily....this is something you need to know and should follow per the Mfg;s directions.
  • 3rd step is Autoclave.  This is not a requirement anywhere in the US that states you HAVE to use an AC.  However, if you are trying to up your standards...using an AC is your next step.
    • There are 2 types of AC.  Dry heat or not.  Some of the autoclaves do not require sanitizing pouches to be used.  This is because it has no drying cycle and therefore the pouches would remain wet which is not good for your tools.
    • Watch for your guarantee.  I know many have purchased AC on Amazon.  This would scare me.  Where is my guarantee.  Who do I call with questions and how much of a hassle would it be to find out?  Mechanics are just that....mechanics.  Things can happen even with new equipment.  Remember though, it's not what happens to you, it's how it's handled.

Look, there's a lot of choices out there, some very good choices.  Whatever you choose, research and set your criteria;

  • Make sure are getting what you think you are getting
  • Are you going for cuteness or quality
  • Are you purchasing the right tools for your needs
    • Don't purchase a cuticle nipper to cut nails with
  • Don't let price scare you away
  • Keep your clients safety in mind

Finally, one thing most people Dom't realize, and quite truthfully neither did I until recently.  Your tools should be oiled 1-2x per week.  Use proper oil for your tools and set a schedule.  Oil when you start the week, oil when you end the week.

CJ Murray, President

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Are you Accommodating?

Is there a difference between Customer Service and Accommodating?


  • Customer Service; The assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.
  • Accommodating; Those who are easy to get along with and willing to help you. Those who are cheerfully willing to make small adjustments to help you out.

The thought of this difference never really crossed my mind until recently. As I'm traveling through Ireland and dealing with Hotels, Restaurants, Drivers, Shops and Bars, the stark reality of one versus the other made me start thinking.

Is it possible to have one without the other?



  • Patient-Dealing with clients on a daily basis, it's important to stay patient when they come to you if they are frustrated (for whatever reason).  Also be sure to take the time to truly figure out what they want — they’d rather get competent service than be rushed out the door!


  • Attentiveness-What are your customers telling you without saying it?


  • Clear communication skills-When it comes to important points that you need to relay clearly to customers, keep it simple and make sure you are clear.


  • Knowledge-Without knowing your product and/or service from front-to-back, you won't know how to help customers when they run into problems.


  • A calming presence-Don't let a heated customer let you loose your cool.  Staying calm in fact, is the best way to de-escalate a fiery situation.


  • Empathy-When you can’t tell the customer exactly what they want to hear, a dose of care, concern and understanding will go a long way.

Just to name a few!


  • Truly listen. Offer expertise, but make sure you are listening as much as you talk.


  • Be responsive. Customers want answers, fast. Even if your answer can’t be delivered immediately, always email or call back the same day.  In today's age of Technology, there is just no excuse.


  • Accommodate customers. Unfortunately, customers can cause a bit of frustration with being late or even be a no show.  Keep in mind, when you speak with that client,  that every client is a potential brand ambassador, meaning every interaction can be a selling point or a barrier to attracting more business.


  • Build trustGoing the extra mile and showing passion for the client builds loyalty, trust and a longer customer relationship.


  • Live the company valuesTo ensure a great client-service experience, your Business needs to make customer service and accommodating your clients a culture.. When creating a company culture, standard practices, or a mission statement, highlight the importance of customer service.


  • Don't grow too quickly.  Don’t sacrifice quality in lieu of hunger for growth. Happy customers lead to word-of-mouth referrals and an overall positive company brand, image and reputation. This organic and steady growth is what will lead to a much healthier company.

I often read on SM questions about "what would you do if"?  These "if's" are mostly related to questions regarding clients being late, a client who forgets her money to pay, a no show.  I also see messages from Technicians to clients (usually no name mentioned) in regards to these issues.  It boggles my mind.

No doubt, there is frustration in Business.  However, thriving in Business isn't about what can your customer do for's about what can you do for your customer.

  • Manage your frustrations privately, not on SM for the whole world to see.
  • Remember - your client IS your income.
  • Learn how to communicate clearly and communicate professionally with clients who seem to take advantage of you.

I can tell you from personal experience, many of my frustrating clients ended up being my best "raving fans".  It's not what happens to you as much as it is how you handle what happens to you.

So...think about it.  Customer service is hugely important, Accommodating just as much.  Do you know the difference?

CJ Murray, President

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