As TVs become the norm in more and more salons, we find out how owners and techs really feel about the transition to digital amenities.
"It all started with O.J.," says Diane Moretti, owner of iNatural Cosmetics in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. by way of explaining why she has two TVs in her salon. "In the early 90s, people stayed home to watch the O.J. Simpson trial and business began to fall off. Finally, I advertised that the trial would be on at the salon," she recalls. Now it may be "American Idol" and "The Bachelor" on people's minds, but Moretti maintains her philosophy of giving people what they want. "We're in a mall and everyone knows they can catch what they want to see here.' A sports fan, she also tunes in to big games every Sunday. "It keeps the spouses from rushing their other halves out of the salon," she says. She has also attracted a large male clientele on Sundays. In deference to those who may not be interested, she keeps the volume muted and plays music in the salon.
Della Diver, owner of Heart's Desire in Indianapolis, keeps a TV in the nail room and uses it much like an exhausted mom to entertain clients when she needs a moment to tend to her own thoughts. "There are certain shows that the clients will sit quietly and listen to like 'Dr. Phil' and 'Oprah.' Sometimes my client and I are both just tired. After all these years we're close enough friends that we can enjoy being in our own space and then talk during the commercials," says Diver. "When I get these opportunities, I just look up and say a little 'thank you' for some quiet time."
It's the hypnotic nature of TV that turns off nail tech Diana Bonn of Colours Day Spa in Muncie, Ind. "If I had a TV in my salon, I would be listening to it and not paying a bit of attention to my client. I don't even listen to talk radio for this reason," says Bonn.
Rhonda Taylor agrees that television is too much of a distraction. "I don't personally care for TVs in a salon environment as this is a time for total relaxation and TV can be very distracting and serves in no beneficial way," says Taylor. "I recently visited a salon where they had four TVs running two different channels at the same time. I was so annoyed I asked if they could turn the volume down to a tolerable level."
For those who believe TVs have a place in certain types of salons, but never in the spa, consider the 10-inch plasma TVs with cable and VCRs in the semi-private pedicure suites at Isle Pedispa in Houston. "Clients come in and say, 'I never get the time to watch TV," says nail tech Athena Elliott.