Profiles

A Lesson in Loyalty and Passion

Light Elegance’s Lezlie McConnell recalls her introduction to the nail industry.

Lezlie McConnell and her daughter Lexy (for whom her salon was named) are all smiles at a tradeshow.
<p>Lezlie McConnell and her daughter Lexy (for whom her salon was named) are all smiles at a tradeshow.</p>

Nowadays you may know Lezlie McConnell as the effervescent co-owner of Light Elegance. But in 1991, she was a fledgling salon owner laser-focused on opening her first salon, Lexy’s Salon in Eugene, Ore. Promotions done, she was excited and ready for her grand opening day when nature threatened to upset her plans. What happened that day taught her a thing or two about the grit and determination of nail professionals and the loyalty of their clients.

“I had a full day of appointments booked – both hair and nails — but when a huge ice storm hit I became worried that customers wouldn’t show up,” recalls McConnell. One by one, she started getting calls from hairstylists who said they couldn’t make it to the salon, and then from hair clients who were cancelling their appointments. “But then I started getting calls from the nail techs — they said things like, ‘I’m on my way … I had to take a different route.’ The nail clients started calling too, saying they would definitely be there, but were running a little late.”

McConnell knew little about the nail industry back then, but she got educated fast. “It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. They all came, maybe an hour or two late, but they made it. The hair folks didn’t think twice about cancelling,” she says. “The commitment of nail techs and their customers is a wonderful thing.”

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