Sissy McQuinn has come a long way in her beauty career. After having trained under Seligman and Lantz of New York and opened the salon for Lord & Taylor in Atlanta as a hairstylist, she opened her own business 10 years ago in a very small unusual fashion in the original Atlanta Flea Market where she did hair and nails.
After expanding there 13 times and finding her husband in the Flea Market, which Sissy says is the best deal she ever found in a flea market, she purchased another nail salon in Buckhead, which is the elite of Atlanta. After two years she expanded again into a beautiful 71 -year-old house and designed it into an "at home" atmosphere where she specialized in a complete nail care program as well as a full service salon.
Sissy has opened the South's eyes to nails since July, 1982. She and her "girls" have traveled all over the United States picking up numerous trophies, plaques, and rewards in all phases of nail competitions. She never competes with her girls in competitions: However, she does all of her girls competition training and coaching.
"I really get into everyone of them winning, but will not tolerate any sore losers," said Sissy. Her motto is "If you can't have fun while doing something, then eliminate it from your life."
Early in 1983 Sissy decided she was bored and needed a new and exciting challenge. This is when she founded GINBA (Georgia International Nail & Beauty Association) in conjunction with WINBA. "Talk about a challenge," she said. With the good grace of WINBA and support from many others in this business, she sponsored the first nail, make-up and skin show in the South.
During this time, Sissy was playing a very important role in getting the legislators of the State of Georgia to pass a bill requiring people doing nails and skin care to be licensed as hairstylists are. This bill was passed in March, 1983. According to Sissy this was the greatest accomplishment she has ever had part in.
"Our profession needed to be more professionalized and now we have a backing for it."
Just when Sissy was again trying to decide what she would do now that she had had her show and helped to get the law passed, a call came from Governor Joe Frank Harris' office advising her that she had been appointed to Georgia State Board of Cosmetology to serve in a new position as nail consultant for the state of Georgia. This was a true honor as she is the first person in Georgia to have filled this position.
At the present time she has sold her salon to Diane Patterson, who has been Sissy's right arm for many years or rather we should say left arm since Sissy is left handed. She is enjoying her appointment and working hard at carrying out the duties of a state board member. In addition to this, Sissy has combined GINBA with the Georgia Hairdressers & Cosmetologists Association to produce one large show in Georgia this year. This will be a "total look" show. There will be a total of 12 competitions in all phases of beauty representing $10,000 in prizes, "We feel by combining our forces it will be the hottest thing to ever hit the south," said Sissy.
So, where do you go from here Sissy? "After completing the tour of competition shows in Florida, New York, Atlanta, California and who know where else, I am planning an endeavor here that no one else in Georgia has done — would you believe a 'Fat Farm' where you come in looking like a grapefruit and go out looking like what else but a — Georgia Peach."