The Journey continues

It’s been 5 weeks since I have written a blog, other than a discussion on cleaning, disinfection and sterilization. I have to say, it feels good.
When I was thinking about what topic I wanted to address, let me tell you the last thing I wanted to write about was COVID19. However, this journey has not ended and until it does we have to stay diligent in our actions.
I’ve described these past 3 months as “survival of the fittest”. Since we were first made aware of COVI19 and the effect it would have on our lives, I feel like I’m in fight mode…A fight for survival.

In March we suffered a 90% loss in Business. Like many of you (or all), I was concerned about what I needed to do, to help my Business survive. I became creative with ideas to help you and the “down time” gave me the opportunity to look at my Business model and review what may need to change.

Then….came April. April changed my world completely. April was the moment of confirmation. The moment I conceded to what I already knew. The moment I realized every little bit of everything you do…matters.

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Centre For Beauty is a small Business.  It’s me.  Until recently, when my husband retired, I had one(1) part time person in my warehouse.  I contract an amazing Graphics Designer and I have an accountant.

I manage all the day to day processing of orders, day to day bookkeeping, marketing, trade shows, purchasing and whatever else is involved in running a small Business.

My Business is built on education based marketing and I bring in brands which I not only believe in, I trust.

After owning a Salon for 24 years, I experienced the lack of respect we get as Nail Technicians.  And, if you’ve read my Mission statement, you will learn my goal is to take us Nail Technicians from the bottom of the totem pole and bring us to the top.

April reminded me of a saying a friend of mine told me.  Al Estes.  A big burly man, Bail Bondsman in his 60″s (at that time).   Very well known and connected in our State. I cared for his feet.

Al would say “Marketing is like Russian roulette, you have to keep pulling the trigger until you get that silver bullet. When you do, watch out….it will explode like you have never seen before”.

I’ve lived by this saying for years. Constantly creating one idea after another, hoping one would be the silver bullet. I’ve done this for the soul purpose of helping others. Teaching, mentoring, giving…has always been my passion.

Silver. bullet

I created my business “All About Feet” with the idea in mind of bringing the best of foot care to our Salons.  This doesn’t mean just service products. This mean’t service perfection. This mean’t offering education and a full line of products for our technicians to “safely” do their job.

April taught me, if you keep plugging along…If you continue to be creative…If you continue to forge forward with passion for all the right reasons, and….if you truly believe in what you do, the silver bullet will arrive.

April woke our Industry up.  COVID19 woke our Industry up.

For  six(6) weeks straight, every order which came through our door was PPE products. Since my Business model was always positioned with these products (or most of them), we were able to help our Salons by providing them with quality disinfecting products and we pulled our resources together to be able to provide safety materials as well. (Mask, face shields etc)

But, something else happened as well!

EVERYONE BECAME A ‘SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST”

Before I had time to even realize it;

  • Mfg’s of PPE products themselves became overwhelmed
  • Mfg’s weren’t taking on new clients
  • Mfg’s were expecting orders to be paid up front
  • Mfg’s put products we’ve purchased for years on allotment
  • Mfg’s raised their prices
  • Mfg’s lead times became weeks instead of days

The logistics of managing all of this was overwhelming. To this day, we are still struggling to receive quantities we need to provide our Salons what they need. It’s pure insanity and I know I am not alone. This is affecting all Distribution channels.

 

Something else happened though. Education became the key focal point. Our Technicians had time to spend on Education. Our Mfg’s came to the plate and brought all forms of Education to the forefront. Virtual classrooms became a reality….and it worked.

Our Technicians have been revived and as they re-open their Businesses, they are better than ever.

COVID 19. took all  our Technicians who believed and followed everything they learned in school,  COVID 19 turned their disinfection world upside down.  They learned more about cleaning, disinfection and sterilization than they ever have.  AND, they took it seriously.

COVID 19 HAS HELPED OUR TECHNICIANS CHANGE THE IMAGE OF OUR INDUSTRY

CJ Murray, President

CJ Murray
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12 thoughts on “The Journey continues”

  1. CJ you are the best. Thank you for caring to keep us the best we can be. Your knowledge and education is always top notch. Looking forward to working with you for many years to come.

  2. pmdavies@me.com. Thankyou for sharing your experience during this time.
    The anxiety and fear plaques our world right now.
    The efforts you make to help fellow businesses
    Will not go unnoticed and it is my hope your clientele will become even more loyal.
    Blessings to you, Paula Davies

    1. Paula, thank you so much. You are so right about our anxiety and fear. It’s for sure crazy times but I know, as many generations before us, we will prevail. I sincerely appreciate your comments.

  3. Ramona Scaggs

    I admire that you are always sharing new things. You’re not stuck in ‘my way is the best way’ attitude. Always willing to help us grow our business.
    Love ya

  4. Vickie Meador

    This article speaks volumes! It has truly been a different time in our careers. I hope it helps shine a different light on nail salons. Yesterday, as I was getting in touch with my clients, I was told over and over again how they felt safe coming into the salon and they trusted me. Thank you for everything you have done for us through this difficult time. May our industry always shine!

    1. Thank you Vickie. That is so good to hear. Our clients should feel safe and you have done a great job in helping them feel that way. Stay safe.

  5. ALEXANDRIA WASHINGTON

    Thank you so much for being in the trenches with us and making sure we had what we needed, including the patient and understanding care during this time as we didn’t know what was going to happen with our clients and business. This has definitely been a trying time for many of us and my sincere prayers for all of us is that we learn how to be better and survive this by standing together.

    1. Alexandria, you are so right. We are all in this together and we should all pray together, heal together and grow together.
      Stay safe.

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