NAILS editor Hannah Lee (right) visits Shelly Morley

NAILS editor Hannah Lee (right) visits Shelly Morley

PRESCOTT, Ariz.  A visit to Scottsdale, Ariz., for the American Beauty Association’s annual Dialog conference was a perfect time to go up and visit Shelly Morley, our 2000-2001 Nail Technician of the Year. Shelly works at Salon Elite Prescott, Ariz., where she is one of four nail techs. The 2,700-square-foot salon, which has been around for five years, has been at its current location for two years.

Since Shelly wasn’t actually working on the Saturday that I was in town, she didn’t have to rush to fit me in and she took some time to show me some of the recent renovations that salon owner Mary Turner had been working on. In addition to the four nail techs at Salon Elite—which is actually named Salon Elite, the Ultimate in Hair, Nails, Face and Body—there are also 10 hairstylists, one massage therapist, one makeup artist, one skin care specialist, and three guest service coordinators. The salon also includes two tanning beds and dual pedicure stations.

The most unique aspect of the salon from my point of view is the Women’s Cardio Gym, which is a guest perk that includes workout equipment, shower and locker room facility, and a personal trainer available by appointment. Shelly told me that, “Salon Elite aspires to be Prescott’s finest amenities salon.” When I asked her about the gym, she said, “Our goal is to service every aspect of our guests’ beauty needs, whether it be inside or outside.” What a concept—offer your clients a one-stop-shop for beauty and fitness.

And although I didn’t have time for a workout, I did have time for a manicure. (I didn’t fly an hour and a half and then drive another two hours for nothing!) Her station was full of certificates and awards—including one for 1999-2000 Nail Technician of the Year Runner-Up and one for her current win—and the shelves by her table showcased the latest nail related retail items. Congratulatory flower arrangements and signs also made her station stand out. Shelly, a Creative educator and field tester, gave me a relaxing spa manicure followed by a perfect polish job (even though I chose an unforgiving deep red). Shelly, who is in charge of retailing all of the nail products, even gave me a tip for my next pedicure—black polish on the toes with an extra glossy top coat for a patent leather look! And since she sent me home with a bottle, I can’t wait to try it for summer.

And when the day was over, I drove back to Scottsdale more relaxed than when I got there, content with a great manicure and a new friend in the industry!

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