Picture Perfect

We've pulled together some of our favorite snapshots and snippets from the 1997 Salon of the Year Awards entries.

Join us for a glimpse of salons from New England to the West Coast as salon owners and nail technicians tell us what makes their salon unique.

Heaven and Earth Salon

Plantation, Fla.

Denise Malone, owner

My husband, retired Miami Dolphins football player Darrell Malone, and I opened heaven and earth salon in August 1996 with the goal of providing the best service, the best products, and the best professionals. Our nail technicians are required to take six 4-hour OPI classes initially, with 15 hours of continuing education each year. We have clients that come to us wanting the best nail professional, and they find it hard to believe that everyone at heaven and earth salon gives the same great service. The nail business is constantly changing and for us to be successful, we have to stay ahead of the game.

Carmen’s Nail-Tique

Saginaw, Mich.

Carmen Goretski, owner

As a 14-year veteran nail technician and salon owner; it is not difficult to pinpoint the most unique aspect of my salon. Without a doubt, it is my staff that makes it special. Like a model family, we take an interest in each other’s personal well-being. The fact that we love our chosen career is only one aspect of our compatibility. We thrive on helping our clients look great and feel good!

Savoir-Faire Salon

Auburn, Calif.

Nancy Lawrence, owner

The architectural design of Savoir-Faire uses the ancient Chinese art of Feng shui which utilizes the proper placement of furnishings and objects to enhance the vital energies of the earth, known as chi. Feng shui creates a sense of balance and harmony Also used in the interior is color therapy, incorporating three shades of gray with burgundy and teal as accent colors. When clients enter the salon, they are greeted warmly by staff members, offered a beverage of their choice, and enjoy the scent of simmering essential oils.

Cuticles Salon

Indialantic, Fla.

Faith Glionna, owner

The evolution of Cuticles Salon is a culmination of dreams, risk, and hard work. More than just 'another’ salon was fashioned when we opened our doors. Teamwork is what has propelled this salon. Friendships, pride in accomplishments, and the joy of working together with highly qualified professionals are what make us stand apart. Seven individuals make up our “family”- Ambra is our natural nail technician and pedicure specialist. Carla has been doing nails for 14 years. Faye is from England — she is our perfectionist! Shelley, our licensed massage therapist, has been featuring Swedish, sports, and deep tissue massages for six years. Megan, our licensed esthetician for more than 10 years, specializes in European-style facials. Robin is our treasured receptionist She is a retired nail technician who keeps our salon running smoothly.

I am Faith. I have been a technician for 14 years and have, achieved my dreams of hand modeling and publishing my nail art. But most of all I have achieved my largest goal of owning a salon that I am very proud of.

The Nail Spa

Howell, N.J.

Dorothy Gdovin, owner

The first thing a client notices upon entering The Nail Spa is the aroma of freshly brewed French vanilla coffee or the scent of aromatic oils. We use Star Nail odor-free acrylics, and all of the nail stations are fitted with vented fans. The entire salon is beautifully carpeted to keep down dust. All of this contributes to a pleasant and relaxing environment for our clients.

Midnight Nails Plus

Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.

Bessie Strum-Watford, owner

My love for nails started more than 20 years ago when I would go into a beauty supply store to purchase nail tips to glue onto my nails. I took pride in blending the tips perfectly. After going to school, having a child, and working as a clerk typist, a nurse’s and, and a legal secretary, I found myself training for the one thing I loved in the first place — nails. Today, with a lot of hard work and the help of my husband, we own Midnight Nails Plus Salon and the Academy of Nail Technology I call my school the "Academy of Hard Knox ".


Chickasha, Okla.

Kathy Tibbetts, owner

My goal is to make a comfortable, roomy, and professional environment for both clients and employees. From the time our clients walk in until the time they leave, they are treated like family. Our fills take about one and a half hours. Some people say, “Time is money,” and that is true, but also, time is precious. We take time to make our clients feel at home. Clients are our first priority; they work hard for their money and deserve a quality job.

We recently acquired an aqua massage bed. It is one of only two units in the state of Oklahoma; the second one is owned by a chiropractor. The services that the aqua massage provides has generated a positive response from the public. It massages the person with 36 water jets pulsating on the person while they are completely covered with a waterproof barrier. It traverses your entire body, providing a variety of massage techniques, leaving you feeling pampered and relaxed.

Those are some of the things we do for our clients, but my staff needs special attention, too. Staff members are offered a benefits package with sick days, a two-week paid vacation, booth rental or commission, a progressive retail sales commission, free services, and a choice of promotional activities, such as Christmas parties and summer cookouts. I believe a team that can work together can also play together.


Nantucket, Mass.

Randall Laufenberg, owner

After seven years in the salon industry, I can tell you the work never ends, the ideas can’t ever end, and the insight gained through conversation with clientele shouldn’t ever end. Ninety percent of my ideas come directly from my clients, and it is they who have built On-Glaze into what it is today. My specialty is taking these ideas and making them the reality that physically and financially works for the salon.

On-Glaze has stepped into an area that many salon owners feel is dangerous. Twice a year we bring in an educator to teach advanced techniques to all technicians on the island. It is our contention that knowledgeable technicians in all salons will increase the client base in our area, dramatically increasing the number of clients trying nail services for the first time with pleasant results. Obviously this is working, as a number of our technicians are now booking a year or more in advance.

This is just one of many ideas generated by my customers. I cannot take credit for it, but 1 can take credit for being able to “read” my clients and to implement everything they and the industry desire. Now, isn’t that what makes a successful salon? I love this business!

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