The nail technician as a professional is not a novel idea. Long gone is the stereotype of manicurists as “that buff and file girl at the back of the shop.”

This individual is now a technician, a pro­fessional with desires for career advancement that include dreams of salon ownership. Their creative, professional ability to do a job right only reinforces this individualism: Hence the desire for growth and for this month's cover story.

As with the nail service, salon ownership demands professionalism and attention to detail ... and well thought-out plans prior to any actions. Such is the central theme of this story: in order for the nail salon to be a professional, service-oriented, successful shop, it must look the part. And that requires planning.

Several individuals contacted for this story suggested that it is the salon's environment, not the service that will determine its success. Although such a statement may seem out­rageous, you as a salon professional have to deal with image and what you project to clients and community ... your salon is an important extension of that image.

To help illustrate what specialty salons are doing in different parts of the country, we have included photographs of four operations: Great Nails, Ridgewood, New Jersey; Elan, Fort Lee, New Jersey; Candice's Place for Nails, Pompano Beach, Florida; and the nail care section of the La Costa Spa and Country Club, La Costa, California. All four dealt with particular limitations and desires, planned every step, and ended up as a “dream” salon.

My thanks to each for the use of their photo­graphs to illustrate outstanding salon design, and as examples of what others can achieve through creativity, planning and professionalism.

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