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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

We “adjusted fire”.

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

In the end though, we were not disappointed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

My creative answer is virtual demonstrations.

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

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

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

Are you capable?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CJ Murray

CJ Murray
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