Candice: Husband's Help is Key to 1-Year Anniversary (And Retail Source Revealed)

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Candice for successfully making it through her first year as a new salon owner! You can read all of Candice's posts by clicking on the Candice tag at the left column of this blog, under "Post Categories." (And stay tuned to Blueprint to meet a brand new salon owner later this month.)

March 22 marked my one-year anniversary, and I'm feeling pretty proud of what I've accomplished in that time. I love that our industry allows me the opportunity to be a business-woman, marketeer, artist, janitor, retailer, prayer warrior, and everything else that goes into this career.

Recently I had another nail tech who called me to ask a question, and she took the opportunity to tell me how proud she was of me for being a woman in business. That was, of course, a really nice compliment, but not exactly true. If I didn't have a husband with a good job who's also handy with building and fixing things, I don't think I could have done this. He plumbs, carries heavy objects, assembles new furniture, suffers through Hobby Lobby and other girl stores, unsticks lids, changes light bulbs, and most of all...tolerates finding glitter stuck to his cowboy hat and pretty much everything else he owns! It really has been a partnership that makes my little studio work.

Many of my goals for the year were exceeded. Others still have plenty of room for growth.

On the numbers side, I beat my financial goals by about 7%, so I'd say they were pretty realistic. I'm projecting a 50% growth for the next year, with a chunk of that coming from expanding retail sales. I'm thrilled that my eight week average for pre-booking is running at 89%, an upward trend from my six month average of 82%!  It's really hard to tell with my seasonal clients and people who take the occasional break from their nails, but I think I'm at about 70% as far as building. Hopefully a year from now I will be full.

I'm still building the retail bit by bit, but my shop is now full of a great assortment, mainly products made in the USA. I've had a few people contact me privately to find out where I source my retail, so I'll share one really great source here: There are hundreds of artists to choose from! A few of my best sellers are Solemate Socks, Ten Good Sheep felted wool soaps, and Gather Studios word stones. All three of these are made in the U.S., take up very little space, and would fit in just about any salon.

Thanks to NAILS Magazine for the opportunity to share here, and to everyone for reading! I'm looking forward to the next year and seeing what it brings!

—Candice, Panache Nail Studio, Stanwood, Wash.

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