Natural Nails

The Spa Connection

Many salons cannot afford to go the full day spa route, but they can achieve a spa-like atmosphere by providing little touches to their basic services.

What makes a salon a “spa”? Do you need a Vichy shower or a lobby decorated with imported Grecian urns in order to charge $30 for a manicure? Not really. Many salons cannot afford to go the full day spa route, but they can achieve a spa-like atmosphere by providing little touches to their basic services. How do you turn a manicure into a spa manicure? Start by replacing your humdrum bowl and soaking your client’s hands in a pretty crystal dish scented with aromatherapy oils. Follow the nail treatment with a hand facial and a hot paraffin dip. For around $l more in product costs 20 extra minutes for the service time, you can add an extra $10-$15 to /our basic manicure price. We combed the industry for a few tricks and techniques that can help you “spa-ify” your services.

When a nail technician at Nails At Your Service Salon in Ottawa, Kan., is running late and a client has to wait, owner Deena Rogers offers her a free paraffin dip on one hand. “About seventy-five percent of those clients come back for a full dip within the next week,” she says.

Danielle Markus, owner of Nails & More in Springfield, Ill., says that if you haven’t been selling fragrances in your salon yet, it’s time you started. When you find a new scent that wears well on you, introduce it to your clients and you will be surprised how fast the bottles disappear from your shelves.

Leslyn Zak, who transformed her Rockport, Mass., nail salon. Nails on Broadway, to Wild Ivy Day Spa says that her retail sales have skyrocketed since she started offering skin care products, which she says are a perfect tie-in with nail products. “One sells the other,” she says.

Is the way to a client’s heart through her nose? Or eyes? Well, Haken skin care, bath, body, manicure, and pedicure products are both aromatic and beautifully packaged, a delight for both the nose and eyes.

Expand your retail line with personal care gift items-you’ll improve your image while assisting busy clients. Jacque Lyon, nail department manager at Salon Millennium in Winnetka, Ill., says retail sales are a big part of the salon’s overall package. Lyon spends much of her time studying and choosing the hottest new products for graduates, brides, and holiday shoppers. Some of the gift items Lyon always keeps in stock are scented candles, potpourri, trinket boxes, and bath accessories.

To keep her salon smelling fresh’ throughout the day, Leslyn Zak keeps essential oil and water diffusers going from one end of the salon to the other. She also sprays a light, fragrant mist in her service area in between clients.

Elaine Shapiro, owner of Elan Salon and Day Spa in Cranston, R.I., says paraffin dips are extremely popular and the profit margin is substantial. Shapiro charges $7.50 for a heated hand paraffin, $12.50 for a heated hand paraffin with sloughing, and $17.50 for a foot paraffin. Since one pound of paraffin costs less than $5 and can service.

Gail Pirtle, owner of The Spa Connection in Cleveland, Ohio, believes background music and sound really set the spa mood. “I interchange between the sounds of nature and light instruments throughout the day,” she says.

Stephanie Francesconi’s standard manicure, priced at $14, always included a massage with hydrating oil, but when she found out her price was up to $6 higher than her competitors’, she renamed the original service “The Deluxe Manicure” and added a standard service for $10. Francesconi is still waiting to do her first standard manicure.

In the snowy, high country of Blairsden, Calif., salon owner Stephanie Francesconi likes to keep her clients warm during their visit to Ladyfingers Nail Salon.

“When a client walks in and sits down. I stroke her hands to check her skin temperature. If she is cold, I warm a dry towel in the microwave and wrap her hands up for a few minutes until they’re warm again. They love this.”

Sue and Joe Roberts, owners of My Nails of Westerville in Westerville, Ohio, offer their clients three different pedicures, each one more luxurious than the next. Offering a wider range of services will make your salon seem bigger and better than the one down the street.

Faith Glionna, owner of Cuticles Salon in Indialantic, Fla., treats her clients to aromatherapy with essential oils blended by Biddy Lamb, an aromatherapy expert and owner of Veda Salon in Melbourne, Fla. “A few drops of essential oils. In manicure and pedicure soaks go a long way,” Glionna says. Make each soak different or create your own signature salon blend.

Nancy Freeman, owner of The Nail Stop in Bethesda, Md., features clay packs in her Deluxe Manicure package. She charges an extra $5 for the clay pack, using approximately one third of an ounce at the cost of less than $2 per ounce. “The additional service takes 15 minutes, and it makes my clients feel so pampered.”

For an additional $5, Connie Boyett, owner of The Nail Emporium in Bradenton, Fla., adds an exfoliant containing alpha hydroxy glycolic acid to her Deluxe Pedicure. This treatment exfoliates by dissolving dead skin cells that are ready to be sloughed off.

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