udging our first annual Salon of the Year Awards was a real shot in the arm for me and the editorial staff of NAILS. Sifting through the stacks of entry forms, we “met” so many individuals whose stories inspired us. Reading the stories about why these exceptional people got into the nail business and what keeps them going reminded us all what we love about the nail business: It’s about working with people, doing something you love, and making other people feel good. And, for the most part, it is about working women.

You’ll meet the winners of this year’s awards in this issue, but the non-winners (there are no losers!) had stories just as poignant, salons as beautiful, staffs as earnest, triumphs as inspirational — but when all the dust settled, only 12 salons were chosen as finalists. It was a hackneyed reminder when I told the awards banquet crowd at the NAILS Magazine Show in Las Vegas that narrowing down these salons and selecting the 12 was one of the hardest things we have had to do, but believe me! If we could have, we would have honored every entrant. I thank you all for taking what must have been a great deal of time and effort in putting together your entry packages for the awards and encourage all of our readers to try again in 1996 (because our Las Vegas show is moving to June, we will be holding our next Salon of the Year Awards banquet in June 1996). Entry forms should be available late this year.

I want to say a special thank you to our first-year sponsor, Nailco Salon Marketplace. Nailco jumped in early on and asked to sponsor the awards. That sponsorship made it possible for us to put together an awesome prize package and awards banquet.

Credit for the awards’ success also go to the NAILS editorial staff (especially Julie Sparlin, who captained the project).

You will be hearing about many of the salons that entered the contest over the coming year. Even from the non-finalist salons we learned some very interesting ideas that we want to share with our readers. We will be profiling some of the salons in our Modern Nail Salon section, and you’ll be introduced to others through Snapshots and The NAILS File. I’m sure the stories will have the same effect on you as they did on the contest judges.


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