The Secret of My Success (in 100 Words or Less)

Nail product manufacturers tell us their story in the space of a cocktail napkin.

Greg Salo, President of Young Nails
<p>Greg Salo, President of Young Nails</p>

In the beginning everyone told me I had no chance. I never believed that at all. I had nothing to prove to anyone but myself that I could make it. I worked hard because I wanted to take care of my Mom and Dad. They did everything for me and my brother, so I want to make sure that they are taken care of for life. I keep that philosophy with my business. I want to make sure that my customers are taken care of with a lot of love.

Greg Salo, president of Young Nails

Jim McConnell, President of Light Elegance Nail Products
<p>Jim McConnell, President of Light Elegance Nail Products</p>

I was raised among hard-working people in Southern California. Earned my degree in chemistry, graduated and went to work as a polymer chemist. I met Lezlie at her parents’ barn! She opened a salon, we both went through divorces (independently and not planned!) and we got married a few years later. Lezlie asked me to formulate a new UV-cured gel line for the nail technicians at her salon. After nine months of trials, the techs loved it and Lezlie said, “Let’s sell this stuff!” Light Elegance took over the house and so we moved to a warehouse. Light Elegance is now our life. 

Jim McConnell, president of Light Elegance Nail Products

Michael Megna, CEO & President of Backscratchers Salon Systems
<p>Michael Megna, CEO & President of Backscratchers Salon Systems</p>

• Graduated high school in ’78 — the principal told me I would never amount to anything.

• Held down three jobs simultaneously while attending beauty school full-time: Worked for my father, worked in the construction trades, and as a bartender at a local restaurant.

• Came up with the idea of using fiberglass on fingernails while repairing my boat in the garage in 1983. • Designed the company logo and packaging on bar napkins while working.

• Completed all hours for cosmetology licensing, quit other jobs and went to work full time with my father and founded Backscratchers in 1984, never looking back.

Michael Megna, CEO & president of Backscratchers Salon Systems

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