The Making of a Seasonal Sensation

by Judy Lessin | June 13, 2016
Ginger Bay hairstylist and nail tech Kara Spencer is experiencing an Aveda Aroma Journey Ritual, which is performed with many nail services at the salon to customize the aroma for each guest.

Ginger Bay hairstylist and nail tech Kara Spencer is experiencing an Aveda Aroma Journey Ritual, which is performed with many nail services at the salon to customize the aroma for each guest.

To keep services fresh and innovative, every year the nail team at Ginger Bay Salon & Spa reviews and revises its seasonal pedicure offerings in an extensive collaborative process. “New seasonal pedicures start with a few technicians working together, experimenting with ingredients like lotions, scrubs, masks, and oils,” says Terri Kavanaugh, a nail tech and technical educator for Ginger Bay, which has two St. Louis-area locations. “Soon more techs pitch in their ideas and not long after that, everyone is participating — even team members from other departments.”

Nothing is off the table when creating a new service. “We might consider beverages, flowers, chocolates, hot stones, organic paraffin, hand massages, reflexology, breathing rituals, customized scrubs, masks, massage oils, and aromas,” says Kavanaugh. Most importantly the pedicures must appeal to all the senses.

As an example, Kavanaugh explains the thought process that might go into creating a chocolate pedicure:

> Sight: How cool is it to see creamy chocolate brushed on your feet?

> Smell: Can the guest smell the aroma of the warm chocolate mask?

> Touch: A good scrub already feels great. What if we warm it?

> Hearing:  What language is most enticing? “This is a combination of our Caribbean body butter, cocoa, and shea butter, which encourages circulation and softens the skin.”

> Taste: What beverage or sweet treat works best? Does the flavor and temperature of a beverage complement the season and the aromas of the treatment products?

After everyone’s input is considered, the team creates a “first draft” of what the new service will look like and begins testing out the protocol on each other. “Our nail techs attend a class where they learn how to perform the service and understand its benefits. This process is critical to the success of the service,” she says.  During the learning process, techs are able to offer suggestions or recommend adjustments — particularly when it comes to the timing of the service. Techs are also required to perform the service on models. “Our other team members and guest services concierges are highly encouraged to act as models to better understand all that will be involved for potential guests,” Kavanaugh notes.

Once the protocol is finalized, the details are shared with all staff members. “We publish a monthly promotional guide for all our team members to review and encourage them to ask questions. We also discuss it during our weekly team huddles and leadership meetings, as well as our at our quarterly All-Team and Happy Hour meetings,” she says.


Click here to view hundreds of inspiring signature service ideas.

Nail tech Melba Mosley demonstrates reflexology techniques on colleague Apryl Moore, while...


Foot Forward Summit 2019

by Staff

NAILS' second Foot Forward Summit was held in Atlanta August 11-13. Nail techs gathered for speaker presentations, advanced education, and networking.

Nails by Tracey Lee


Up Your Acrylic Skills: Mix Ratio

by Tracey Lee

Even though mix ratio is fundamental to learning about liquid-and-powder acrylic application, it’s still one of the biggest challenges for nail professionals in the salon. The performance and longevity of our product is hugely affected by an incorrect mix ratio.


In our video section, watch salon professionals in action, listen to the advice of salon business experts, and tour inside the world’s top salons.

What's The Difference? Clarifying Commonly Confused Nail Terms


What's The Difference? Clarifying Commonly Confused Nail Terms

by Holly Schippers

You probably know the essential differences between the products and nails terms you use in the salon every day — like soft gel versus hard or LED light versus UV. But could you provide a clear explanation to a curious client? And what about those fuzzy terms that can mean different things to different people? Here's a terminology "cheat sheet" we hope will help keep us all on the same page.

Load More