On the Road: Tamara Institute de Beaute, Farmington Hills, Mich.

The opulence of Tamara’s salon and the near mind numbing tranquility is well documented in just about every beauty publication. It’s one of the those places you have to experience in person to fully appreciate.

Four years ago I got a phone call from a salon owner desperate for some help. She was being audited by the IRS and needed research from NAILS Magazine before meeting with her accountant. Her problems with the IRS went on for years and we chronicled them in an article last summer (“You’re Being Audited!” June 1997). She and I stayed in touch and finally met in person at her salon, which is near Detroit, and she has become one of my best friends in the nail industry. That salon owner is Renee Skrocki, and four years ago she was a frightened salon owner who become engaged in a war with the IRS (and lost); today she is an outspoken advocate for salon industry professionalism and is waging a war in her area against unlicensed salon and illegal MMA usage.

L-R: Tamara Friedman, Cyndy Drummey,Rene Skrocki
<p>L-R: Tamara Friedman, Cyndy Drummey,Rene Skrocki</p>

While in the neighborhood, I went On the Road with Renee to visit Tamara Friedman of Tamara Institute de Beaute in Farmington Hills, Mich. You may recognize Tamara’s name as a NAILS editorial advisory board member and frequent contributor to the magazine.

I suggest all busy executives skip the traditional lunch and schedule a pedicure for themselves like Renee and I did. What better way to relax, converse, and share business ideas than while your feet are soaking in a tub of warm soapy water and being lovingly massaged by Nola and Mary? Renee has been getting her own pedicures here for nine years, and every one of the nail techs peeked in to say hi to her. Although it’s nearly an hour’s drive from her home, Renee makes the trip willingly. Besides, she says, “If I get a pedicure at my own salon, I can’t relax, and if I go somewhere in my neighborhood, I’d be thought a spy!”      

Although the opulence of Tamara’s salon and the near mind numbing tranquility is well documented in just about every beauty publication, it’s one of the those places you have to experience in person to fully appreciate… from the lighting and the aromas, to the choice of flowers in the entrance.

Tamara confides that she has one of the best employee benefits packages in the business, not only to draw the best people, but because her staff is so often recruited by the large cosmetics houses and spas. The Wall of Fame in the salon documents the Friedman Family’s prominence in the community: Her daughter’s wedding made a full spread in the society pages. Yet Tamara is down-to-earth and will quickly change gears from talking shop if asked about her new granddaughter.

Thanks, Renee and Tamara for a special day, and making my job as fun as it is.

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