I’m not sure how you feel, but I’m pretty excited to be almost done with the year 2009. (It’s been a double whammy of a rough year professionally for magazines and the beauty business.) And 2010 is not just a new year, but a whole new decade. While some are still predicting more hard times ahead, I am thinking that it’s the perfect time to regroup, reassess, and set some future plans in motion.

Did you know that chocolate chip cookies were invented during the Great Depression? (In 1933, Ruth Wakefield ran out of baker’s chocolate, and with only a chocolate bar, she broke it up into pieces thinking it would melt into the cookie. Instead of melting, the chips hardened within the cookie and it was love at first bite. Happy accidents come at the oddest of times.) This is a time when we can all dream big, because new ideas have never mattered more. Here’s my list of five things the world needs now (the nail world, the beauty world, the whole world):

1. A genuinely new product for the industry to get excited about. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a truly new and noteworthy way of doing nails. I know the next great thing is out there, the question is, where will it come from? A professional manufacturer? A working nail tech? Someone outside the industry? Wherever it comes from, we’re all ready to “ooh” and “aah” over a dynamic new product.

2. A satisfying distribution system — for both product makers and buyers — to get nail products into your hands. With the continued consolidation of distributors, salon owners and nail techs are finding it increasingly more difficult to get your hands on the nail products you seek. Sure, you can usually find the bigger brand names on the shelves of full-service dealers, but if you’re looking for a smaller or mid-sized line, you might be out of luck. A note to full service dealers: Don’t forget about us! Our industry is a $6.06 billion industry. Whoever stops to reassess the nail industry’s needs will gain a large and loyal following.

3. More cooperation, less competition. This year we saw more grassroots level networking events than ever before. It’s heartwarming to see so many of you taking control of your own destiny and creating a learning environment for yourself and your peers. NAILS was happy to be a part of many of these events. And while I’m on the subject, let’s try to speak less in terms of “us” and “them” when referring to Asian-owned salons. Let’s do what we can — in deed and in word — to elevate the entire industry.

4. A commitment to cleanliness and pride about a job well done. While I’ve seen so many salons embrace a commitment to sanitation, there are still too many that don’t. I can easily imagine a time when a clean salon is as common as a clean dentist’s office. Once consumers start standing up for their rights to clean tools and equipment and all salons reach the same high standards, only then will we really be able to gain the respect we so deserve in the beauty industry.

5. Love. Pure and simple. What the world needs now, what the industry needs now, what your clients and employees need now, and what you need now — and always — is love. It might sound cheesy, but it’s true. In the spirit of the holiday season, I wish you all love and light in the year to come.

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