In 2008 when I began my journey of Foot Care, as I can recall there was only one(1) Mfg. making it’s way into the USA foot care market. Footlogix
How I began my journey with them, and where that opportunity has taken me is where I discovered my passion for foot care and realized I wasn’t the only Nail Technician being ignored.
14 years later, the growth in Foot Care has grown substantially. In fact, since 2008 the Pedicure service has been and still is the fastest growing segment of our Beauty Industry. It continues to grow at a steady 38% per year.
Come with me as I share my journey to Foot Care and the repercussions which can be caused by our “me too” movement in foot care.
It was a Friday at the end of February, 2008. I was manicuring my last client of the day on a Friday evening when two people walked into my facility. Two people I have never seen before
It was Katharin Von Gavel and Murray Smith of KVG Group aka Footlogix.
I don’t remember the conversations we had leading up to March 31st, 2008. What I know, is that day was a pivotal change in my career.
Footlogix was invited to private label one of their products to bring into the Home Shopping Network. Seemed a logical thing at the time, as Footlogix wasn’t really known and Foot Care hadn’t quite hit the Professional market yet.
It was the vision of Katharin to host an event and invite all the players on the team at HSN who was involved in working on the Footlogix product.
I remember that day as if it were yesterday. Footlogix rented my space (2000 sq ft), hired my team (and brought in some of their own) wined and dined 35 show host, coordinators, producers, camera crew etc. etc. all while sharing information about the brand while our job was to perform pedicures using Footlogix. It was truly a memorable and magical day.
It was exciting in so may ways. For 14 years my Salon was the host Salon performing nail and feet services on 150 per month HSN members. We had to make sure their nails and feet were picture perfect. Shape, length, color was all up to me and my team, per discussion with the powers to be at HSN. Seeing many of our previous clients was like ole home week to me.
It was also exciting because as I was catching up, filling and emptying pedicure bowls, I was also paying attention to all the information being shared about the brand. It was all foreign to me, “Urea” “Dermal Infusion Technology” “Results oriented”. We didn’t have anything like this in our venue of products. It was a brand developed in Canada. It was a young brand and had not made it’s way into the USA market…..yet!
By the end of the day, in short….I wanted to be working with the Footlogix team, and they wanted me.
I still had my Salon yet knew after 24 years, it was coming time for me to move on. I really enjoyed being an Educator in our Industry and thought maybe that was a part of the Beauty Industry I could employ. Meeting Footlogix allowed me to get back into what is truly my passion.
Prior to Footlogix I had worked as the Educational Manager for a nail product “Elegant Glass”. Unfortunately, for personal reasons the Company had halted all and everything Business….including my position. (14 years). Therefore, for 2 years I was for the first time in my Beauty career, not educating.
By April of 2008 I was their Florida Distributor. By July of 2008 I was their National Sales Director. By 2013 I had witnessed all over the Country what I had experienced as a Nail Technician and vowed I was going to make a change. I witnessed the importance of Foot Care and how our Technicians had not quite gotten it yet…..Foot Care IS important and we can make a great living on offering this specialty service. I also witnessed, our Technicians needed education, they needed guidance, they needed focus…simply put, they needed attention!
Footlogix at the time couldn’t afford me (they were still a very young Company) and I, at that time still had to make my exit plan from my Salon. None of this was a bad thing. In fact, I learned some extremely valuable lessons on how to grow a Business with limited funds. We all have to start somewhere right?
I grew Footlogix in the USA by 37% my first year. I introduced the idea of a Newsletter and I focused on “USA” Education.
I studied hard to understand the terminology and I researched every bit of info being fed to me until I understood it in a way I could share with you. I managed my position from the side of a Nail Technician. Not sales, not turnover.
When we parted ways in 2013 it was amicable. Footlogix was ready for the next growth step and I was ready to concentrate on MY Distribution.
I marketed the same way I marketed Footlolgix. Education based. I grew 57% my first year and have been consistent in substantial growth, every year thereafter. Education is still my #1 focus.
Why am I sharing this now? Let me continue to the next part of my story….and then I’ll get to the punch line.
In 2015 Footlogix made the decision to place their product in one of the largest Distributors of our Industry. Salon Centric.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. It literally killed me. Both financially and mentally.
Financially I knew my Business would take a hit…it did. I knew the smaller salons would find it convenient to pick up the couple of items they may need from Salon Centric, as they were going in and buying hair products, nail products etc. Unlike the comment from the then National Sales Director of Footlogix when he told me I didn’t want that under $50.00 order anyway…..I did.
THAT under $50.00 order was me for many years in my Salon. That order was just as important to my Business as any order was….it STILL is!
Mentally it was so exhausting. It. Was the first time since I had started my Business in 2008 I began to worry about it’s future
Then….I was introduced to LCN. Another Urea based product which produced results, cost effective and had follow through with retail for at home care maintenance.
The significance of the above paragraph is paramount to how I run my Business. It isn’t about brining on just any product. If it were, I could be promoting CND, OPI, Cuccio…any of them. It was a choice not too.
Heres the thing though. I didn’t get rid of Footlogix. I still believe in the brand and I had some very loyal clients. I believed what I learned and what I taught…..so why do away with it? I just had to make a little pivot in order to survive.
I knew how Footlogix worked, I believed in the process and I educated on all of that for 5 years. How could I possibly bring in a new line which didn’t offer the same or better? If I did…would you ever believe again, a word I shared with you?
We all have our reasons for carrying the brands we carry. What concerns me about our Industry is are we choosing products, changing products, promoting products which are truly beneficial for us, beneficial for our clients?
Or, are we making decisions based on what is the latest, greatest thing on SM?
We have gone from “what is a Pedicure” to “caring for the immune compromised clients”. We have gone from the absolute of foot care “manicuring & massaging” to filing thick toenails, calling ourself “Medical Pedicurist”, caring for fungus toes, diagnosing skin conditions and even buying, using, selling products which are “Medically proven”. It’s pure madness.
So finally, here is my point!
Let’s not lose touch as to why we are in this Industry. We can absolutely solve problems with our clients feet by sharing information we have about the brands in our market. If you want to do more than that….go into the Medical Industry. Don’t jeopardize the licensing of our industry by performing services which are out of the limits of our license.
Choose your products carefully. Constantly changing brands because you want to be on the next train traveling through SM isn’t beneficial for your brand and it isn’t beneficial for your clients. Find what you believe in. Find what you want from a product.
Centre For Beauty educates on the brands “I” believe in. I believe in them because they are not only safe, they are effective and cost effective.
When I was literally forced to expand my product base, I still stuck with my core values. And, even though the situation was painful, I looked beyond the emotional aspect and proceeded with what I knew would be best for my Business and especially my clients.
So, the questions which seem logical to ask yourself is;
- What is it YOU specifically need in a product?
- Do you think of yourself AND your clients when choosing products?
- Is accessibility efficient?
- Do you receive continued educational support?