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I’m very concerned about the other nail salons that follow the rules; it makes us all look bad. How can we stop them?

December 28, 2011

I’m so tired of all of these cheap nail salons popping up all over the place. They are so disgusting inside. The tools and mani/pedi stations are never clean. How does one report them? I’m from Michigan and the state board doesn’t reply back to me. I’m very concerned about the other nail salons that follow the rules; it makes us all look bad. How can we stop them?

Answer

I agree with your concern about these salons. I have owned a salon for over 25 years and have watched the industry go from busy down to barely making income and recently — within the last year and a half — we’re back on an upswing thanks to the introduction of gel-polish and other innovative products. We lost many established salons when the wave of discount, walk-in, and non-compliant salons took the country by storm. It was a very tough time for the nail industry. However, our time has come to sharpen our skills and educate ourselves to the maximum.

I am not avoiding your question, but telling you that if we concentrate our energies on our own salons and make them the best we can with product knowledge, customer service, client retention, and new products and technology, then we will all be back to staying busy and not have time to even be aware of the problems at these other salons. We spend quite a bit of money on sanitation and doing what is right for us and our customers. Clients in today’s world are much better informed than ever and when they discover the quality and safety of the services we provide — and they will eventually — the non-compliant salons will begin to see client loss. When filing a complaint with the Michigan state board, make sure to date and document your issues and place a call to follow up directly with the state board offices.

— Reneé Marie Borowy is the owner of VIP Salon & Spa in Riverview, Mich.

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