Although salon owner Mary Metscaviz has been in the nail industry for nearly 25 years, it wasn’t until three years ago that she opened her own salon. Awesome Nails in Grayslake, Ill. Her knowledge of the industry is evidenced by Awesome Nails’ semifinalist standing in NAILS’ 1999 Salon of the Year awards – just one year after opening her salon – and finalist standing the same category the following year. She started the salon with two nail technicians: herself and longtime friend and coworker Darlene Feric. As business began to grow, she brought on two more nail techs. Now the salon has five nail techs – all independent contractors. This year, Awesome Nails’ growth and change caught the judges’ attention – their obvious dedication to their clients and the industry secured their win.
“My team and I make all of the decisions together; they feel they are really a part of Awesome Nails,” says Mary. “We all decide on marketing and advertising ideas, techniques, specials of the month, and I set a goal for each of them to go to another salon and have a service of any kind so we can incorporate different ideas into our services.”
The salon participates in many local events including the Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing, Grayslake Summer Days Parade, Miss Grayslake Pageant, and coaches the Grayslake Colts Cheerleading Squad. “I sell the salon to local newspapers each month with a press release about something great we have done,” says Mary. “It makes the technician I write about feel good about herself and her talent and lets the public know why we are better than the competition.”
Awesome Nails is a strict proponent of salon sanitation. All clients must wash their hands upon entering the salon for a service, each station is equipped with a disinfecting jar that immerses all implements, and new table towels are used for each client.
Sharing nail-related information with clients is prevalent in Awesome Nails’ salon brochure, which states, “We use high-quality, safe materials.” To keep up-to-date on the latest products and techniques, staff members regularly attend trade shows and classes. They even go one step further in keeping abreast of the industry – they are involved in various beauty associations ranging from the NCA to the Illinois Nail Technicians Association.
In addition, Mary and her nail technicians compete together in nail competitions. “Competing has brought the skill level of myself and team to new heights. We always try to achieve the perfect nail on each client. Clients come from as far away as 60 miles because the service they receive at Awesome Nails cannot be duplicated at another salon,” she says. Surprisingly, even after 25 years in the industry, Mary’s enthusiasm for nails hasn’t waned.