This month's distinguished visitors included Robyn Kiefski (, northeast regional school manager for OPI, popped into the chat room one night. One of the other chatters asked Robyn what OPI stood for. At first she playfully replied, “It stands for... nothing!” Some of the chatters chimed in with their own ideas of what OPI should stand for: Only Perfect Individuals and Only Polish Indeed! Finally, she explained that the name originated when OPI was a dental supply company. “It stood for Odontorium Products, Inc.”

Janet Baker (, president and CEO of Charni Cosmetics, Inc., announced online that Charni is back. The company is offering samples of their polish and a color chart, by e-mailing Baker or calling 1-800-4-CHARNI.

Chatting Online

Sunday nights 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and Monday through Saturday at 10:00 p.m.

Pricing probe. How to price backfills for pink-and-white sculptured nails was a topic of discussion one evening. There was a wide range of responses from no extra charge above the price of a standard fill to an additional $ 15.

Crossing the line. Mary Ballering (, Nails To Envy, Mukwonago, Wis.) asked, “So what do all of you think about inviting a client to a personal function, say, your wedding?” Most chatters said they would not ask clients to a personal function, but would make an exception for a particularly long-time client.

Nail Tech Mailing List

Relaxation Techniques. Elaine Raymond (, Nail Envy, Biddeford, Maine) has noticed that in addition to serving coffee, some salons offer clients a glass of wine or a bottle of beer Elaine was very concerned about the liability of serving alcohol in her salon, so she posted an e-mail soliciting opinions. Doug Schoon (dschoon, director of K&D at Creative Nail Design Systems, warned that it is against OSHA regulations to eat or drink in the salon. Some people replied that their salons do offer the client a glass of wine, but in very small glasses — plastic ones that can be tossed in the garbage, no sanitizing required. The overall consensus was to check your state’s liquor laws and check with your state board.

Self-Promotion. No wonder she was voted NAILS’ 1996 Nail Technician of the Year Debra Shoaff ( The Nail & Hair Gallery Wampum, Pa.) has some brilliant marketing ideas. On the first anniversary of her salon’s grand opening, she sent out an e-newsletter that was titled “Forget Me Not,” thanking her clients for making her first year in business a great success In each letter Shoaff enclosed a packet of forget-me-not seeds.

People Connection. Laurie Engels (, a recent nail school graduate, was reading local competition results and noticed that Finger’s Nails Studios in W. Dundee, Ill., placed in almost every category A few days later; Engels was reading the posts on the NAILTECH list and came across one signed by the salon’s owner Shari Finger ( Hoping for a mentor, Engels e- mailed Finger who wrote back saying she’d help all she could. They met a few days later at the-salon and after a very short mentoring period, Engels was asked to participate in their apprentice program. “The most amazing part about all of this to me is that I live about 15 minutes from her salon and probably would have never met her if it wasn’t for this list,” says Engels.


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