“She was my mother, my business partner, and my best friend,” says Renee Skrocki, of her mother Julie Skrocki(right), who passed away March 19, 1999 after a brief fight with stomach cancer. The mother-daughter team had owned VIP Nails & Tans in Riverview, Mich., since 1986 and had fought two high-profile industry battles together that today’s salon owner benefit from. They went head to head with the IRS and the Michigan tax board (and lost) and spearheaded a campaign against MMA, uniting with other owners in their community to put a stop to illegal MMA use. Although Renee handled the business operations for the salon and was the “spokesperson,” Julie lent her considerable experience in finance and management to lead the staff and manage the books. She was well loved by the staff and clientele alike, which was evidenced by the 200+ people who packed the church for her funeral.
The elder Skrocki was divorced and leaves two children besides Renee – Janette Skrocki, 33, and Michelle Hollis, 36, who is expecting Julie’s first grandchild in June. As proud as she is of her and her mother’s accomplishments, Renee acknowledges that her mother’s death has caused her to look at her life in a new perspective. Admitting that she has focused on work sometimes to the exception of all other things. Renee says it’s time to slow down and enjoy life more. “During the eulogy, the minister said no matter how fast we run and how much we accomplish, we all one day wind up at our own funeral,” says Renee, who found particular meaning in this lesson. “That will be one of her gifts to me – teaching me to slow down and learn to enjoy every minute of the life I have.”