The nail industry lost an original on September 2. Michael Falley, chairman and CEO of Realys Inc. (manufacturer of Tropical Shine Files) and known to most everyone as “Mikey” passed away from cardiac arrest. Although he had been in ill health recently, it hadn’t stopped his involvement in the business he started almost 20 years ago with a couple of friends and his wife.

Falley was born in New York and became a New York City motorcycle policeman. After 20 years of service, he moved to California, where he and Julian Wilson (who passed away in 2003), Lisa Crowther, and Mikey's wife Zoe launched a nail file manufacturing business in 1985.

Mikey had a distinctive voice and when it was him on the phone you didn’t need to ask who it was. He liked to call me every few months and critique the latest issue of the magazine. His comments were always feisty, well-informed, and good-humored.

One time at an industry event years ago, I was standing holding a plate of appetizers and talking to Mikey when someone jostled me. I accidentally spilled my plate of food, which included a large scoop of guacamole, right on him and somehow - right into his pants pocket. From then on, he would greet me with his hands up, pretending to protect himself from flying food, and I would greet him by saying, “Is that guacamole in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

I know I’m among the many friends, colleagues, and family who will miss this original.

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