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How you can use Urea to safely and properly service your clients!

In an effort to provide you with different content, I began to think about the many questions I receive regarding why?  "Why should I purchase and use the products you recommend for my pedicure arena?"

It's a legitimate question, I think.  After all, how many products are available to you, and how the heck do you choose the best one for you and your clients?

In 2008 when I first realized my passion for feet, was when I was first introduced to the reasons why products work.  I learned that not all products are created equal, and I learned there is a definite difference between offering a Pedicure and offering a Foot Care service.

In the years that followed, until now, I have also learned the many various reasons why being a Nail Technician becomes someones choice.  It saddens me to say this however, there are many Technicians in our Industry who get into this Industry because "they like playing with nails and the bling and the blang".

It may be sad, but I'm not saying it's wrong.  It's just a different avenue.  This is the first thing to decide....which avenue do you want to pursue?

Choosing which avenue you wish to take, will help you decide which products you could be using.  If you choose the fluff and buff avenue, you can use a variety of different products.

However, if you choose a more serious avenue, choosing the right products to perform the proper service should be your #1 priority.

To understand a bit more of what I am attempting to explain....let's learn a little about ingredients.


There are two(2) basic kinds of ingredients;

  • Those that work to repair the skin
  • Those that don't repair the skin

It really is that simple.

When we talk about products which work to repair the skin, we are needing products which offer ingredients which will penetrate into the layers of the epidermis. Why? Because we heal from the inside out.  Otherwise.....

When we talk about products we love because of their fragrance, their color or any other fluff-n-buff reason you can think of, these products stay on the top of the skin. They feel good, they smell good, they "appear" to give you instant results. However, they are wiped off immediately when socks are put on, shoes are slipped on, feet are washed in the shower, walked on the floor etc. etc.

These fluff-n-buff products are nice. Please don't get me wrong. I am not here to criticize any brand, any product. I just want to educate you on what it is you should be looking for based on which avenue you wish to take.

  • If you wish to go fluff-n-buff your good old standby's are just fine. OPI, Creative, Cuccio just to name some familiar ones.
  • If you wish to go more repair oriented. LCN, PodoSafe, Footlogix are all great brands. Yes...I do represent them all because I "chose" that direction.
fluff n buff

The reason I choose to represent these brands boil down to one(1) basic thing.  They are all Urea based.  THEY WORK. Let's talk about Urea.

It actually took me a while to understand what this ingredient is.  When I was first introduced to the ingredient, it was introduced to me from more of a medical standpoint than a Beauty Industry standpoint.  I had no clue.

It took my own research to understand the ingredient in such a way that I could help YOU understand it.

Urea is a natural end product, made up of protein metabolism.  It is lab based.

  • Protein metabolism: Protein metabolism denotes the various biochemical processes responsible for the synthesis of proteins and amino acids (anabolism), and the breakdown of proteins by catabolism. (wikipedia)
  • Lab based: labs are a service business that thrives on the need to perform quality testing services.  Researched, tested and made in a lab.

Urea is also a hygroscopic.

What lab based and hygroscopic simply means.  There are not urine farms all over the country which protein metabolism is derived from AND because it is a hygroscopic, when the product is applied to the skin it absorbs into the layers of the skin and forms a natural moisture barrier.

This information is still a bit more then what I normally share, so let me put it to you simply.

  • If you want to offer Foot Care then offer products which actually care for the feet.
  • If you want to offer Pedicures, then do just that.  Manicure the feet which means you concentrate more of what happens at "that" moment without the follow through education.

Here's a question for you....can you do both at the same time?  ABSOLUTELY!

This question is exactly why I've introduced this year, our class "3 Mythologies in Pedicuring".

  • Urea does not have to be medical related...although it can be
  • Urea can be combined with luxury
  • Urea comes in different do you know what to recommend?

As I begin to embark on a year long journey of introducing Oncology care into the pedicure room, I am dwelling more and more into ingredients. What are the benefits, are they safe, do they work.

I've realized through my most recent educational experiences we can't solve every problem when It comes to foot care.  However, we can be the adviser and the educator and we can share our knowledge with anyone who wants to listen.

In addition, if we learn these basics about ingredients and we advise properly, we constantly educate and we continue to share....we WILL change the image of our Industry.  We WILL be more respected.  We WILL rise to that high ground on the totem pole....where we should be and goes what?  We WILL change lives.

CJ Murray, President

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3 ways to market yourself

3 Ways to Market Yourself

As you know, I don't often look back at Salon ownership and say, "I miss it". In fact, I'm sorry to say it would be an act of God for me to go down that road again.

What I do miss however, are the services. For 24 years, I had hair stylist, nail technicians, massage therapist and skin care specialist at my fingertips.

I always paid my team for performing those services I wished to receive, but it's nothing like having to pay what I pay now.

I do get my nails manicured, I do get pedicures, and I do get regular massages and facials. To me, it's important in so many ways to maintain how you look and feel. For no other reason....I am in the Beauty Industry. Shouldn't I look and play the part?

marketing savvy-3

I bring this up because without a doubt, I am super picky about who I choose for these services.  So picky in fact, my pedicures are only performed by the infamous Nellie Neal.  Not just because he's a friend, not just because he is damn good at what he does.  It's because I know he is using quality products and I know his cleaning and disinfection techniques live up to my expectations.

Nellie has spent a lot of time (and money) to market himself.  He didn't sit in his Salon and say "build it and they will come".  He put his face out there, he put his body out there (at trade shows) and he still continually markets most every little step of his journey.

It's not brain's smart!

The idea of this blog came to me after receiving by facial on Friday night.  I have been using the same esthetician for probably eight(8) years now.  Unless she disappears into thin air, I will continue to use her.  I have followed her now to 2-3 different locations.  Not all have been the most convenient, but let me tell you......she is freaking amazing.  She is one of those people who "I feel" is doing exactly what she should be doing.  She's THAT good.

However, her marketing skills are -0-.  Not because she isn't capable, it's because she doesn't want to.  Some people are made to market and some people are not.  Some people are a natural (like Nellie Neal) and some people have more of a struggle. Doesn't make them bad people, this Business....self marketing is crucial.

marketing savvy-2

So, the question becomes how does a person market themselves when they aren't THAT kind of person. It's a real struggle, and I recognize this.

#1 - Know your why!  Why are you doing what you do?  Purpose? Money? Just because?  Whatever your why is, if you don't market it correctly, you will never get where you want to be.

Using myself as an example.  My why is to help others succeed.  I do this through Education Base Marketing (EBM).  I like to help others succeed because in the end, it does make me feel good.  I feel good because I feel like I have been able to give to others, what others have taught succeed.  My bottom line why is "pay it forward".

Because I am constantly marketing and producing put's me where I want to be.



#2 - Be present!  Where are you?  Who sees you? How do you let people know what you do?

Being present in today's world can cost you nothing.  With the amount of SM available to us at no cost.  If you aren't marketing on SM...I guess I'm left speechless.

I see so many Technicians on sites which are Industry related.  That's awesome.  These Industry related forums have a wealth of information coming in from all directions.  However, are these the sites you need to be on to market YOUR Business.  To market YOU!

I very rarely see Technicians addressing their clients.  The ones I do see, it is so darn obvious how successful they are or have become.  It's awesome.

Let your clients and/or potential clients know who you are.  Recruit your current clients to write reviews about you on SM.  Share...share...share.

You have to be visible.  You have to be present.


#3 - Be involved!  Network groups, Community events! 

It doesn't take much to put yourself out there.  In my hay day at my Salon, I belong to 1 network group and I participated in local events.  These events could have been getting together with a group of friends to walk the American Heart Association walk or it could be directly related to offering lunch time services at local Business health fairs.

Either way, I began to make a name for myself and my Business grew.  In fact I still go to the same Dentist I met through a network group.  I have some very close friends still now of whom I met through a network group AND there are many who stay in touch via SM.

Many of these same people reach out to me with "Beauty" questions and have even introduced the Salons they frequent to my Business now.

There are many, many numerous way for you to market yourselves.  There are many books, podcast, SM sites etc to help you.

However, the above 3 are the most important (in my opinion) and they are simple.

Just remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.  It took the Wright Brothers 6 yrs to make an airplane that could fly and now, we have Vatican City, Millions of airplanes and Abraham Lincoln had 44 years of failures before becoming President in 1860.

CJ Murray, President

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3 steps to choosing a trade show!

Orlando, Chicago, Massachusettes, Gatlinburg, Pennsylvania, Birmingham, Las Vegas, Oregon. This list goes on and on.

Our industry has been inundated with a trade show for this, a trade show for that and they are all vying for your attendance.

It's a difficult choice in deciding which one will be the most beneficial. It's difficult to know, should you attend 1-2-3? Should you attend them all?

What to do, what to do?

I'm going to share with you my perspective from both angles. Attendance as a Distributor and what WE hope for, as well as my perspective as an attendee and what YOU should look for.

One thing for sure.....attending at least one trade show a a must!


I don't want to spend too much time talking about what a trade show means to a Distributor.  I've shared with you (you can find in our archive of blogs), the work, the time, the monies involved for us Distributors to present.

What I do want to share is what is it we are looking for?  I don't want to speak for all Distributors, however for myself it's pretty cut and dry.

  • Meet clients I've never personally met.  It's always such a great thing to put a name to a face.
  • Obtain new clients.
  • Share specials which we may not be able to offer throughout the year.
  • Introduce the amazing brands we offer through demo's and/or classes.
  • Network with other vendors

As a Distributor, deciding which trade show to present at, can be just as difficult, if not more as YOU deciding which trade show you want to attend.  We have to;

  • Determine logistics.
  • What expense is involved in getting there.  Travel, team, products, shipping, hotel etc.
  • Will the ROI be worth it?
  • What competitive Mfg's will be there.
  • What will attendance be?

It's truly grueling.  Not only from the standpoint of the work involved.  Just the process of deciding can add a few grey hairs.

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I know there are a different set of factors which need to be determined as a Salon owner and/or Nail Technician.

When I grew up in this industry, we had one(1) yes, one trade show.  It was held in Orlando Florida, it was nails only and it was short of amazing.  I'm not really sure what happened with it or why it closed down, it was shocking.  I'm sure many of you veterans, know which show I'm referring to.

It was replaced eventually by the Premiere Group beauty show.  An all inclusive show presenting Hair, Skin and very little for Nails.

Eventually, the Nail section grew and with that, so did the Premiere Group which now, offers show's in Orlando, Birmingham and Pennsylvania


Getting to the guts of what I would consider and what I think is important when deciding which show to attend.

  • Budget - First and foremost.  SAVE SAVE SAVE.  In your Salon budget, it is a must to have an educational expense.  This expense should be carefully thought out and designed for one reason only.  Education in an effort to learn, grow and be successful because of it.
  • Objective - This is important because if your only objective is to meet up with your industry friends.....there are much less expensive ways to do this.
    • Are you looking for new products
    • Are you looking to learn more about the product you know carry
    • Are you looking for Business education
  • Location - location is important from a budget and time standpoint, but it's also important because many times, a family vacation can be managed around the same time and location.

Once you have decided which show(s) might be beneficial to you, it's also important to do some homework before you attend.  Attending a show "willy nilly" is the absolute worst thing you can do.  Not only is it a waste of time, it's not cost productive at all.

  • Plan your agenda - check out ahead of time which classes you wish to attend....and why?  Yes, why?  What is your objective in attending this class?
  • Plan your visits - which booth do you want to visit and yes, why?  Demo, information, specials, meet etc.
  • Know your pricing - I caution this all the time.  If you don't know your pricing, how do you know if you are getting a good "show" deal.  Not all presenters offer show deals.  This is very important to note.  If wanting a show deal is all you are attending for, you may very well be disappointed.

Lastly, decide who of your team you would like to take with you.  Sorry to say, sometimes our husbands are more valuable and helpful than a team member.

Don't use this time to bond.  This is Business.  It is a costly one.  If you think someone on your team can offer valuable insight, is there for the same reason....bring them.  Otherwise, leave them home.

It can be costly both financially and mentally to be around the wrong people at a trade show.

Trade shows are a lot of work.  They are loud, crowded and everyone is mostly out for themselves.  I personally experienced this the "1" year I attended a show as an attendee.  I vowed I would never do it again.  LOL


As a Distributor in our world today, we find ourselves competing with the very same people who's Business we are spending countless hours and monies growing.

If you use a product and wish to purchase that product at a show....please know who you are buying from.  If you support a Distributor and that Distributor is at the show....go to THAT booth and NOT the booth of the Mfg.

Do your homework and know who is presenting and where you should go.


Attending a trade show or an educational event is a signal to your clients about who you are and what you want to do for them.

I know again, from personal experience, if you don't stay educated you WILL be left behind. Since my team at my Salon were independent.  I could suggest they go to a trade show, but I couldn't make them.  Those that attended have grown leaps and bounds.  Those that did not, are no longer in this Industry.

I can relate too many challenges we have in getting there, and the expense involved.  All I would say is prioritize and save accordingly.  It WILL benefit you in the long run.





"possibly" Rhode Island

Puerto Rico

CJ, Murray

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goals 2020

If you were to set “one” goal?

Those who know me, know I am a pretty positive person. I don't believe and even want to be around negativity and I somehow find a way to always look at the positive side of every situation.

This disposition and my faith has brought me through many difficult periods of my life.

What I also learned during those times of my life is the art of goal setting.

Sure, the beginning of a new year is always a great time to set new goals. However, I never really understood why people would stop there. After all, there are 12 months in every year.

What I learned is not just about setting goals, it's about reaching goals and always having something to strive for.

In fact, it's rewarding and motivating all at the same time.

Do the math

There is a commercial I hear all the time about an accounting program.  "If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your Business"

This is not only true, it's also very much related to goal setting.  If you don't know your numbers, how do you even begin to set a goal?  And, if you only set a goal once a year, does that mean you only check your numbers one time per year?  Or, do you just check your numbers and do nothing with them?

Goal setting from your numbers is imperative in Business growth.

Of course, it's important to know what our numbers need to be, however it is equally important to set a goal against those numbers.  They don't have to be hefty, unrealistic goals.  In fact, they should be small goals.  Goals which are attainable.

My husband, soon to be Business partner and I were involved in a conversation about setting a goal for 2020.  Every year I change my password on my computer to something that reflects what I hope happens in the coming year.  I "put it out there" if you will, and I repeat it several times during the day.  A mantra which keeps me focused.

When choosing a new one for 2020, we came up with a couple of ideas.  Mine was on the hefty side and he reminded me "it has to be realistic".


Realistic goals is one key to success.  If you set a goal which is way to high to reach, you are surely setting yourself up for failure and you will feel defeated.

This is one reason why setting many small goals is so much better then setting one big goal.  A goal can be changed as you go along.  By setting a smaller goal, you can reach your goal and then set another goal.  Baby steps.

Remember, success is a big elephant.  You can only get there one little piece at a time.

Motivation is another key to success in goal setting.

We should always have something to look forward to and get excited about.  It's important, when looking at your numbers "always" to refer back to the same dates as your prior years.  What did you do then, what are you doing now?

If you are way under what you were the previous year, you need to figure out why.  If you are way over the previous year, you need to continue what you are doing and do more of it.

Remember, as a small Business owner, we are our only motivators.

Speaking it out loud is another key element to goal setting.

I don't believe you have to shout out your numbers and/or what your specific goal is.  However, if you are having a bad month, constantly saying the month is bad is NOT going to help you.

It's taking me almost 16 years, I've finally have convinced my husband not "to put it out there".  If you say "it won't happen" probably won't.  If you say "it"...."it" will happen.

I'm a firm believer.  What you put out is what will come back.  Therefore when setting a goal, saying "I know or I feel it is going to be an amazing year" is much better than saying "I hope for a good year".  Speaking as if it has already happened, is the key.

If you want to reach $2000.00 a day in sales.  It's much better to say "It's going to be a $2000.00 day" in lieu of "we could never reach $2000.00 per day"

Trust me when I tell you, from experience, I've seen positivity work in the strangest most unbelievable circumstances ever.  It changes everything.

Goal setting isn't just great for Business, it's great for us personally as well.  Set a goal for all aspects of your life.  Personally, Professionally, Spiritually and Physically.

As it relates to specifics in your Salon/Spa.  The one thing I missed the boat on when I owned my Salon is the introduction to new products.  Now, I realize how trying new things, being a little different can bring huge benefits.

If I were still a Salon owner, I would goal set in my retail (first and foremost) because retail brings in the highest profit margins.  I would goal set with my already existing clients.  Why? Because it's always easier to increase our already existing sales.  And, I would goal set for new Business.

Don't forget to bring your entire team in on your goal setting.  Bring them in on your mantra and you all will benefit.  In fact, do I have a goal I can help you with?  Contact me and lets work on it together.

CJ Murray, President

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What NOT to say-Part 2

Last week I wrote about what NOT to say. I wanted to follow up in this blog with
what NOT to say in regard to your client consultation.

This is an area of which many Technicians are intimidated by. I can certainly relate - in my prior years. However, as I become more educated and more confident in my approach, I understand if you follow a system, if you repeat the same steps always, and if you learn to communicate properly with your clients….your clients consultation can not only PYA, it can lead into a new revenue stream of income. Retail!

I have to give credit where credit is due. My knowledge that I’m about to share with you now, came from my daughter when she worked as a stylist at a Salon here in Florida. It was her early days of her career and the owner of the Salon she worked was very savvy when it came to selling retail.
I remember my daughter going on and on complaining about the push to sell retail and then being extremely excited when she “followed the system” and it worked.  In fact, she recently shared with me the very same situation at where she currently works.
For me, I firmly believe when we just take the time (as we should) to do a visual consultation on our clients, THAT step alone opens the door for us. You would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t automatically justify why their feet are dry or cracked. This happens in every demo I do. It’s just crazy and it’s so easy.

To begin with, if you do NOT do a visual consultation on your client prior to placing them in the water….you are flat out wrong.  There are far too many risk for you and your clients these days.  We have got to take as many precautions as possible in order to protect ourselves from liability and your clients from infection.  Ladies and gentlemen.  We are living in a completely different world today.  The saying PYA has more meaning today than it did when I learned it 30+ years ago.  

Knowledge is power

What does a visual consultation do?  To begin with it instructs us as Technicians whether or not we should even be touching our clients feet.  Severe fissures and ragades must be managed differently than just basic dry or rough skin.  

2nd, I know I sound like a broken record, however….we are many times the 1st responders.  Looking at our clients skin AND their toenails for anything out of the ordinary is part of our job now.  NO, I am not suggesting you diagnose.  I am suggesting you be aware of what you see and refer your client to a medical professional if necessary.  

3rd, when looking at your clients feet, you aren’t just looking at what you can and can not do to them.  You should be processing in your own mind, what product you need to recommend to them for at home care.  

While performing your visual consultation, verbal consultation is just as important.  We know to ask the basic questions regarding health (I hope). Do you know what other questions need to be asked and the proper way to communicate those questions?

Listen to your clients

Let's look at this one scenario...

Mrs. Smith…….”do you like your feet”?  NO, says Mrs. Smith


Mrs. Smith…..”tell me something you like about your feet”.  I like how small they are she says.


Mrs. Smith…. “Tell me something you don’t like about your feet”.  Well, I don’t like that they are dry, and cracked especially in the winter time.

The point here is you have started a conversation. 

Asking a closed ended question, leads the conversation no where. 

Let’s look at some do’s and don’ts of proper communication in our verbal consultation.


  1. Ask a closed ended question-ask questions which will force your clients to tell you their story
  2. Let your client believe that all can be solved in 1 session.  If they are severely dry and cracked, it took more then one day for them to get that way,
  3. Wait for your client to ask what they need.  However, if you are communicating with them properly, they will want to know what you would suggest for their problem to be solved.
  4. Overwhelm them.  If they are cracked AND dry, manage one problem at a time.


  • Ask what they are hoping to achieve today?  This is a very important question which I bet many of you don't ask.  Do they want softer skin, or do they just want to relax and  care less about their skin at all?
  • Ask what their life style is.  How much time do they take in caring for the skin on their feet.  This question alone will help you determine which product might be best for them

If they are a daily maintenance person, a product for daily use is perfect.  However, if they are a "whenever person, a product which requires less application will work bets.

Remember.....we want them to use the products, we don't just want to sell it to them.

  • How do they feel about the condition of their feet?  If they say I don't care, it's your job to share with them why they should care.

Maybe your client doesn't even realize how their feet are.  Some clients have lived with dry skin their whole just is.

It's important to note in our discussion with our clients, to be gentle with our conversations. Don't just say, "hey Mrs.'re feet are really dry".  Ask?  "have you noticed you have a crack on your heel?"

You can then follow that up with your recommendation.

The art of communication is not your only gateway to selling products.

Product Knowledge allows you to demonstrate your brain power and leave no doubt or question behind the value of your own education.

Product knowledge also allows you the opportunity to explain professional products vs. store bought and/or professional services vs. home remedies.

If you are able to give them solutions to the problems you have identified in the consultation. You build credibility and you have a client for life.

If you skip this part, you can bet that when this client reads about ‘putting coconut oil on their skin daily, or Vicks vapor rub to cure fungus.....they will believe it.

and finally....

Great consultations are the best way to avoid salon complaints

Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny. — Chinese proverb, unknown author

CJ Murray, President

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What NOT to say

With my passion for education, I have made a point to learn about proper communication.

I'm not talking about politics or religion, although that usually is the #1 lesson. I'm talking about words we say and how they are perceived by others.
It's so interesting when you take an interest in something at how much of that something you now recognize. It's always been around you, you just haven't seen it.

It's a bit like how I am constantly noticing UPS vehicles wherever I go. Regardless of what State I'm in. Since meeting my husband (who works for UPS), I can spot a UPS truck in any State on any road.

When you begin to slow down and pay attention to what you are saying, you realize some of the things you say can easily be taken a completely different way than what you mean't.

Think before you speak

Let's look at some common ones;

  • Have a nice day
  • I know how you feel
  • I think you should

Have a nice day is probably the saying I hear the most.  When it's said to me, I chuckle with what my response might be....if I were to say It out loud.

Don't tell me to what to do

When you think about it, that's exactly what is happening.  You are telling someone to have a nice day.

The proper way to express this is: Hope you have a nice day!


I know how our feel... No you don't.

No one knows more of how you feel than yourself.  We mean well when you give condolences and you are trying to empathize with someone.  However, what you are really doing is putting the attention back on you.  Now it's YOU feeling a certain way.  You haven't acknowledged the feelings of the other person.

I think you should is usually spoken by somewhat with a dominant personality.

However, there are many times when you think you may be showing empathy towards someone, you are really "telling them what to do".

You may even think they want your least that's how you answer.  When in reality, it really isn't appropriate to give advice unless asked.

The reason I bring this up is because although communication is important at any time, it is hugely important when managing an Oncology care client in your Pedicure room.

Studying the area of Mind, Body and Spirt, is just as important as learning what and what not to do mechanically in the Pedicure room.  It is certainly the most emotional.

Being able to manage an Oncology care client emotionally in our Pedicure rooms is a learned art.  In fact, it's an important segment in the OSS Oncology class.

What's interesting about this segment of the OSS class, is the realization of how simple it is to re-word or re-phrase what we are saying.

However, what it did for me is help me realize the importance of proper communication skills.  Not just for Oncology Care...for every day use as well.

When I'm traveling I am very attentive.  I listen to people around me and I listen to Business conversations.  It is truly amazing, in a sad kind of way, how people really do not know how to communicate properly.

In fact, it happens in my own relationship.  My husband may have said something I took offense to.  It isn't so much of what he's saying it, but how.  And yes, I can certainly do the same thing to him.  I'm sure most of you can relate.

When I set my goal for Centre For Beauty for 2019, I wanted to move into the Medical part of Pedicure care.  I was fortunate enough to be directed by the Universe to study Oncology Care.  I had no idea how many horizons it would broaden for me.

I have learned so much and found a passion with was always there, but the tools I needed to bring it out, were not readily available....until now.

Regardless of what your goals are and whether you do or don't educate yourself on Oncology care in the Pedicure room, you might want to think about what you are saying.  You might want to think about how you are saying what you want to say.

Make it a 2020 goal.  Practice the "pause" before you speak.  It truly does work wonders.

CJ Murray

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It’s time to plant!

How crazy is it that we have entered into the final weeks of 2019? I can still remember the Y2K of 2000. It seemed so impossible that we had actually hit the year 2000, but 2019? No freaking way!

Many of you know how this time of year for me, is seed planting time. Business will have a tendency to slow down a bit. I will be in my office longer than I would be on the road. And, I finally get the time to review my year and plan for the new year coming. 2020

Planting seeds is something I have done since my early days at the Salon.

  • You get those creative juices flowing.
    You think of the idea
    You write it down to make it a plan
    You plant the seeds to grow it from scratch

It’s a lot of work and I must add, you need to be self motivated. It’s not like your shouting to the world “this is what I’m doing” No…you are secretly planning your Business attack for the New Year. 2020


I always felt in the “Salon” Business, planting those seeds in the winter time, made for a fruitful summer. It was an amazing process to know you are more fruitful because of what you did 6 months prior.

If you can be your most creative during the Holiday, you will reap the most benefits.

Your art-2

As a Salon owner, through our Winter months, which in FLorida is always busy…..I entertained my clients. I kept them happy through promotions, events, decorations, packages and more!

Many children would bring their visiting elderly parents in and we would pamper them. When the parents left, the children came back because we treated their family so well.

Many of our snowbirds were regular’s. They looked forward to coming back and there were several cases to where they ended up moving here permanently. Permanent for them, also mean’t permanent for us.

Our seeds was in how we treated them. Some constant form of genuine excitement that kept them wanting to come back.

I also kept in mind when we talk about Seasons, we are really talking about type of client. Think about this. How many of your clients always make sure they are booked through the Holiday, but the rest of the year is much more flexible. In addition, you see the people who come In off of Gift Cards, that normally would not come in. And, there are always the Holiday party goers. Those who come literally 1x per year….maybe 2x if they happen to have another occasion.

So, when dealing with this type of client, what seeds can you plant?

  • You can add $5.00 to their account for each referral
    How about a discount off another service
    How about a birthday incentive (you do get their birthdays don’t you?)
    How about a complimentary AA treatment
    What does your retail shelf say?

There are so many options. We just can’t forget that our seasonal clients CAN become our permanent clients.

One of the things I learned to do which I highly recommend. Order labels with your name and contact info to place on each item you sell retail. When they want or need more, do you want them to go to Amazon, or do you want them to come back to you? Make it easy for them to find you. Anymore, you can order labels very inexpensive through your local printer or you can purchase the blank labels at your local supply store, and print them yourself.

And, speaking of retail. NOW is the time for you to jump out of the box. Clients aren’t looking for the regular items you sell. They are looking for different. Now is the time for you to try some new things.

I realized early on, the Holiday Season can beat you down.  However, if you embrace it and look at is as an opportunity, you will for sure enjoy it a whole lot more.

Don't forget though, keep your customer service happy face on, be gentle.  Be empathetic towards your stressed out clients and be the ONE....who brightens their day.

And, keep In mind you are doing this to plant the seeds for future Business.

Happy Planting

CJ Murray, President

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Client experience is everything!

I honestly don’t know if my patience level, as I get older, is getting shorter or if I’m
just tired of the lack of “everything”.
I don’t consider myself to be an angry person, however I have truly been put through the test these past few weeks. Different days, different circumstances all with the same results. A head shake. Wondering how and why people act a certain way, do certain unscrupulous things, going on in life like they are the only ones who exist.
Customer service to me, is just one of those things that you shouldn’t even have to think about. Treating others with respect. Courtesy towards others. Just doing the right thing. I just can’t wrap my brain around people acting any different….yet…..I’m confronted with it all the time. It’s just mind boggling.
It seems the idea of a great customer experience has been thrown out the window. Everyone seems so self absorbed they forget there are actually other beings around them.

My experience flying last week is what sparked this article.  I typically search for flights with Southwest Airlines.  In my experience with flying Southwest always seemed to have the happiest team members.  They are usually always on time and for the most part, their boarding system seems to work just fine.

However, my first flight last week, I found myself with a carryon bag, attempting to place it in the overhead bin.  We all know how annoying it is that we have to wait on people who just can’t seem to stuff their big shark into a sardine can.  I’m aware of this, so I’m trying my hardest to do this quickly and get out of the way.  However, there was a small backpack which I was attempting to stand on it’s side, so I would have room for my bag, and it kept on falling over.  There was plenty of room, I just couldn’t hold the backpack and lift my bag at the same time.

The stewardess was RIGHT there and did nothing.  I turned to look at her for assistance and she just smiled and did the shoulder shrug.  WHAAAAT?????  It was a nice little ole gentleman that got up front his seat to assist.  I was blown away.

Southwest Airlines also gives you the option for automatic check in.  $25.00.  What it does, is pretty much guarantee an early spot in line which then guarantees you’ll get a seat at the front of the plane.  Since I mostly travel for Business I like this.  I can get off the plane in a quick manner, not having to wait for all the slow pokes.

I did this upgrade on my way back home last week.  When I got on the plane, 2 people were saving 10 seats for their “friends” and/or “family”.  I was blown away.  NOT cool!  Sadly, the stewardess again, did nothing about this.  How is this fair?  1 person pays the upgrade and everyone benefits.  NOT!!!!!

So, as I’m sitting in my seat (in the middle of the plane) fuming, I’m thinking about the faces of a Business really do make a difference.  Southwest always had friendly staff…..this trip everyone seemed like they were on their grumpy pills.  Southwest always managed seat saving.  This trip they turned their heads.  These simple changes, completely changed my customer experience.  It made me mad, it pissed me off…to be quite honest.  Sure, we may only “pay” for a plane ticket, but that ticket should come with a good experience.

Have you thought about this in your own Business.  Are your faces of your Business reflective of what you want your client’s experiences to be?

Yellow Red Faces Playful Kids Group T-Shirt

Also in this past week, I’m managing some affairs for my parents and needed to seek out other options for their cable/phone/internet service.  One of the carriers in their area is Comcast.  I worked all over their website, and could not find a phone # to call.  It was so frustrating.  I didn’t want to answer their “on line” questions.  I didn’t want to give them details of my interest….I just wanted to speak to someone.  I actually had to go into the chat section and request a physical phone #.  It was a grueling, time consuming process.  Do they not think about these things?

Again, what are you telling your clients?

This reminds me of a commercial for a phone system called Grasshopper.  Their commercial is about a client attempting to reach someone and the message they hear is something to the affect “text me, message me, find me on SM, email me and if I remember to check all these places, you may get a call back from me”.  It sounds so stupid, but it was dead on with the message.  You have got to make it easy for your clients to reach out to you.

Again, what are your processes telling  your clients?

Is your website client friendly.  I know first hand how difficult it is to satisfy every mentality out there. Not everyones brain works the same. What might be easy to someone, can be challenging to others.  However….although we know we can’t make everyone happy… you have contact information easily available for your clients or potential clients to reach you?

Is it easy to locate you?  I’ve traveled all over and it’s frustrating.  You go into a Salon Suite and there is no one to send you in the direction you need to go.  I end up walking around in circles because either the information I was given or it was outdated on their website offered no instruction.  The same goes for a free standing Salon.  How about a landmark?  Something really visible for your clients “ease of access”

What about your front desk team?  Do they acknowledge your clients when they enter your building.  I’ve gotten warmer greetings from Chipotle than many of the Salons I’ve visited.  Not a warm and fuzzy experience.

I can remember visiting a local restaurant near our home.  It was a beautiful day, we wanted to eat outside, so we sat at a table visible to the inside.  A waitress never came out until a group of 4 people sat at the table next to us.  When she did come out, she obviously knew them and greeted them with hugs.  NEVER saying a word to us.  It was shocking.  So much so, we ended up leaving.   For months we never went back.  That’s lost revenue for that Business.  Client experience is everything.

As we come into the Holiday season, many tend to get stressed out.  Both clients and us.  However, we have to maintain the higher ground and remember….our clients support us.

I suggest you do a lot of review and do it now

  • Is your reception a really good reception?
  • Is your website user friendly…..can someone find you if they wanted to
  • Is your team informed

Our Holiday business in our Salons dictate what the following year will bring.  It’s your opportunity to maintain all the Business you get from new clients.  Will they want to come back?  Will they remember you “for the good”?  Will they give you a raving review?

It’s time to evaluate before it too late.

CJ Murray, President

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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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