> I was in Akron, Ohio, to visit one of our company’s field offices and after a full day of talking about tires (yes, we have a magazine for tire dealers), I hit the highway to get my nails done at The Nail Mender, run by Crestlynn Wesig. It took me 35 minutes to get there, which Wesig says is about half as long as many of her regular clients drive to get their nails done with her.
> I had scheduled myself a manicure, not knowing that Wesig’s specialty was pink-and-whites. She only recently decided to bring in polish to the salon and to start offering pedicures. Though pink-and-whites have been her bread and butter for most of her 18-year career, she’s circumspect about their profitability. When she was moving to this salon suite location recently, she found an old salon menu from the 1990s. “My prices then are practically the same as they are now,” she lamented, though at $60 per set, she’s above the national average.
> Facebook has been a lifeline for this single-tech salon owner. She swears by the Facebook group called Nail Tips for Nail Techs, where she gets support, encouragement, and serious business tips. One thing she discovered early on, though, was that if she was going to use social media as a business tool, she needed to “clean up her act.” She went through the painstaking process of cleaning up her social profiles, removing any photos that were less than becoming, and otherwise shoring up her online reputation. “If it’s not something I would say when I’m in my chair, it’s not something that I say online.” Now her clients love seeing their own nails on her Facebook page when she tags them.
> A family medical situation sidelined Wesig from the business for nearly six years. Her father-in-law needed near continual care and she stepped in. She doesn’t regret a moment of it, but she is trying to make up time building her business. She has an aggressive client referral program where she gives a free fill to anyone who refers a new full-set client and half-off for any new fill client. She knows that if she can get someone in her chair, she can retain them. She may have been out of the business for a few years, but she hasn’t lost her confidence.