Should the salon owner do nails herself?

October 15, 2013

Should the salon owner do nails herself ?


Sure, however she cannot manage the salon effectively behind the chair. She needs a strong receptionist while she is working. — Vicki Peters, Polish Nail Salon, Brea, Calif.

I’m tired of seeing non-professionals own salons. Clients are just a number to them; they don’t understand the relationship or ethics. I do feel owners need to be licensed in the field especially if they provide those services. — Amber Lynn,  The Pedicure Coven at Waxcraft Waxing Parlor, Castro Valley, Calif.

As a former salon owner, I am thankful that I did it all to get a full knowledge of the industry and a feel for how things are done. I even did things that were the assistant’s so-called job. True empathy helps to understand every viewpoint in the salon. —  Allison Stout,  Salon Oxygen, Tallahassee, Fla.

I believe that a “good” owner doesn’t have to be a licensed professional in the industry. However, I also believe, that a “great” owner should be. I’m the owner of a nail salon and I’ve been a licensed professional for 20-plus years. I love doing nails, and I can’t imagine giving that up to just be the owner. I think it takes a certain amount of skill to pull off both jobs. You have to set hours to work “in” your business and set hours to work “on” your business. — Aimee Emrick, Get Nailed, Wabash, Ind.

I don’t feel the owner needs to be a licensed “manicurist,” but licensed in our industry in general (manicurist, cosmetologist, esthetician, etc.) should be encouraged. Therefore she can understand and relate to the staff how a salon/spa should run daily and efficiently. If the owner is going to work as a licensed professional along with her team, there should be a salon manager/receptionist to oversee day-to-day business functions. — Ashley Brett, The Bladerunner Salon & Spa, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

The owner should definitely be a licensed, practicing professional. If she doesn’t know about our industry, how can she make sure she is keeping up with the current trends and techniques? How would she ensure the services are being done properly? If the salon is making money, the technicians can make money. Knowing everything about the industry is the best way to do that. — Jessica Handt, Hair Studio 52 and Day Spa, Rochester, Minn.

From my experience, the best salon owners are also long-term industry professionals. I worked at a salon for several years where the owners’ backgrounds were in commercial real estate and new car sales. They purchased the salon as an investment, put their hearts, sweat, money, and time into it, but in the end, they had no clue what they were doing. They made ridiculous, uneducated decisions and ultimately after eight years, the business was a complete failure. Therefore I think it’s imperative to have personal handson experience in the industry of any business you choose to own, especially the beauty industry. — Cari Baloun, D’Hair To Be Diff erent, Las Vegas.

The best nail salon owner I ever worked for, Diane Moretti, did not do nails herself, but she had a qualified staff and solid salon rules and regulations to be followed. It was a well-oiled machine and a pleasure to work in, and she was a pleasure to work for. — Michelle Aab, Oswego, N.Y.

I have owned my salon for 14 years. Some employees come and go, and you should always be able to step in if need be. That keeps the salon running smoothly and your clients happy. — Erica Callegari, Mia Bella Salon, Biloxi, Miss.

Yes, I think salon owners should do nails. I feel it gives the client a personal connection to the person who owns the establishment. The owner should be someone who’s approachable. When I eventually open my salon I will definitely be doing nails. — Desreen Jarvis, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Next question:
How do you deal with a no-show if she tries to book again?

[Answers will be printed in the February 2014 issue.] Share your opinion on the topic by e-mailing your response by November 15 to Please include your name, salon, city, and state with your response.


How can I cut costs and finally make a profit?

I’ve been doing nails for almost two years and have built a decent clientele. The only problem is, I did the math and over 50% of my income is going back into nail products. I’m using top-of-the-line brands and disposable files. How can I cut costs and finally make a profit? I know our prices are too low as well, but we are trying to stay competitive. Any advice?


As a mobile tech, how do I ensure I get paid?

I have a question about working as a mobile tech. When clients book group events or nail parties, how do you go about getting deposits and payments? Have you ever traveled to a client’s house and they were unable to pay? What did you do?


What should I do differently with male clients?

I’m starting to get more and more male clients. I am wondering how long a manicure for a man should last and how to price it? Also do you have any recommendations on what else I can do to give them an extra masculine sense of comfort?


Should I Use Punch Cards?

I recently started working at a high-end salon and I’m looking for marketing ideas. Should I do punch cards? I can’t do “refer-a-friend” because I don’t have consistent clients yet. We are already doing social media.


Should I start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments?

I want to start requiring a nonrefundable deposit for special-time appointments. My posted hours are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. by appointment only. I am ridiculously flexible with my schedule, and let people book earlier and later if they can’t get in during normal hours. Recently, I had a 7:30 a.m. no-show! She was supposed to get services totaling over $100, and I forfeited holiday plans to accommodate her. She comes every two weeks, so I can’t lose her, but this is the second time she’s no-showed. What should I do? And how would I go about informing current clients of the new policy on off-hour deposits?

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