Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

April 14th, 2014

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Just when you think the nail industry can’t get any thinner on talent, two seasoned veterans are out. Combined, nearly 30 years of experience, both were with industry leaders who saw the changes take place with their very eyes. Their replacements? General managers and those with experience in the hair business. If anyone thinks that the two industries are even close to being the same, guess again. Campgrounds and Four Seasons are both places for people to sleep overnight but that is about it for similarities. Public companies view from 30,000 feet is one thing, having those in the weeds is another.

Coldwater Creek is no more. How the cataloguer opened more than 300 stores is an amazing story but alas, who shops in stores anymore?

Luxury retail on the other hand can’t be bothered with selling online and for the most part sells exclusively in their stores. How is it luxury can get away with it but mass retailers can’t?

Are you buying the Amazon Fire TV box? Leave it to Amazon to make it easier and easier to buy online. And why not toss in some entertainment and popcorn too?

If life is a box of chocolates, when was the last time you indulged and opened a box and started to dig in? The crèmes are the worst. Long ago when I did indulge, I only took quarter bites.

Google is testing in key cities building its own fiber network for internet connectivity to its Google Glasses. It wants people to be able to wear the glasses and use them anywhere and at anytime. If Google owns internet connections, what is left to stop it from owning the planet?

Are all baseball teams mediocre this year or what? Someone told me that Cabrera gets $42,000 for each at bat. Now we know why hot dogs are $6 bucks a pop.

New mortgages hit the lowest level in 17 years.

Uber which has infuriated the taxi and private driver industry is now ready to tackle the courier business. Testing now in NYC, Uber guarantees one hour or less delivery of any package. Since when did the speed of business come down to an hour or less?

HBO’s new hit, Silicon Valley, is a hoot and worth watching. The series premier featured Kid Rock live on stage at a company event and the techies were so not into him.

Happy Easter and Passover!

A Walk Down Memory Lane When Innovation Mattered

April 2nd, 2014

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It’s a sad state of affairs when innovation in our industry has been left to a new flavor of lotion or brush color. After reviewing the product selection for our THE BEAUTY BOOK Fall edition, it is apparent that most companies are sticking with their tried and true products and not investing in the next “AH-HA” product. Without new and different, there is nothing to get consumers excited about buying, so products become more and more commoditized and discounted.

Now back to memory lane, the year can be anytime between 1989 to 1995. This was when the industry trade show for distributors was called the BBSI (Barber Beauty Supply Institute) and the show was held each year in Las Vegas in the summer and a resort city in January such as San Diego and Orlando. These were the days when innovation was king and start up manufacturers flourished with new ideas, new concepts and new dreams. Most of the memories are still alive but alas, the companies long gone. Let’s take a stroll down a few of the aisles at one of the BBSI shows.

There’s Marlene Sortino [Italian Jewelry] introducing her new gold fingernails and dangling charms. Each charm is handmade and over 200 designs. The nail drill to make the hole in the nail is a huge hit.

Right across the aisle is Katia (Kami Nail Designs]. Everyone of her fingernails are long and decorated with rhinestones, striping tape and the newest sensation, snakeskin. Snakeskin is applied with glue and comes in 6 colors. Demand is high.

Tony Cuccio [Star Nail] is walking by his booth donning his dark sunglasses and black hair (which is long gone). The booth is nothing more than a couple tables and banner filled with cheap polish, files, block buffers and generic nail glue. But he is busy making deals.

Jan and Jim Nordstrom [Creative Nail Design] have a private room and excited to feature Solar Nail, Solar Beam and Solar Oil. Acrylics are hot and they have the best acrylics. Solar Beam was the first gel light but the design was flawed and had to be dropped. But it was a way cool concept. They are getting ready for their really big distributor party at the Hilton later that night featuring live music, great decorations, open bar and plenty of awards.

George and Myriam Schaeffer [OPI] have the large booth at the end of the aisle and they are launching their new polish line called Lacquer. It’s higher priced than the competition and going to be advertised in consumer magazines. George is so excited about this that even his suspenders are made of nail polish bottles. Myriam is showing off fine jewelry for loyal distributors to partake in. The booth is packed. George is quoted in NAILS magazine:

“Ours is the old style,” mused George. “It is a business philosophy of loyalty to the little guy, to those who got us started. This is the whole gist,” he added, “giving them extra, the best possible product attainable. Our first consideration is the product—the profit will come if the product is right.

“Don’t get me wrong,” George adds quickly, with a sheepish grin, “we like a little profit.”

Lorenzo Meija [IBD]is donned in his fashionable Italian suit perfect from the dry cleaner. He is excited to show off his new Soft Gel collection, the first gels to cure under a UV light. 5 Second Nail Glue is already a household name. Quoting Meija in the 1991 issue of NAILS:

“According to Lorenzo Mejia of International Beauty Design Inc., gel services are the fastest growing segment of the professional market today.

The natural look of gel nails is a major selling point with clients. In addition, the virtual lack of odor makes gels a popular service in full service beauty salons, where hair oriented salon professionals have for years used the odor complaint to relegate nail technicians to the back of the salon, or even keep them completely out of the salon.” OK, so 20 years earlier gel polish could have been invented.

Jack Sperling [Alpha 9]can be found in another aisle making practical jokes on everyone and having the best laugh as he sells his powder and liquid at outrageously high prices and gets away with it. No one had more fun in the business than Jack. This show he is proud of his new 4-Way nail file.

Vern and Lynn Rae [San Francisco Nails] have one of the hottest booths in the show. Airbrush nail art is ultra hot and everyone wants it. Machines, paints and stencils are on fire.

Ben Edwards [Design Classic] is a true entrepreneur and is showing off his latest creation: Fiberglass for nails. Wraps are getting bigger as fiberglass overtakes silk and linen as the preferred choice for nail techs.

Essie and Max [Essie] also have tables and a banner sporting Essie nail polish in over 100 colors. The big news at this show is that the polish went from $1.00 a bottle to $1.25 a bottle and the new seasonal collections are going to be introduced every quarter. We were not sure if manicurists would pay another quarter for a bottle of polish. Max was very busy behind the booth bullshitting about “nothing but nothing.”

Kirk Hamilton [Menda] was behind the innovation at Menda, or at least he represented the line well. Menda was introducing a new dispenser bottle that actually kept the acrylic powder from entering the bottle. Ingenious. However the plastic bottles remain their mainstay.

Calvert Billings [Calvert International] invented the first nail polish dryer using of all things, light bulbs. Really? I ordered 144 and had to reorder many times. He later invented something called the Laquer Whacker. Actually I am thinking of that for gel nail removal.

Dal LaMagna [Tweezerman] made the tweezer famous and could be found at the booth plucking eye brows while talking politics. Can you imagine if he was around at the time of computers he could have invented Facebook.

You get the picture. Back then business was fun, innovative and full of excitement. Our industry needs to return to this before it is entirely assimilated into retail beauty and all beauty becomes one. Or as I have said earlier, perhaps it is already there.

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

March 10th, 2014

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Finally, finally, finally. 40+ degrees and the first view of dead grass in three months. Who would have thought the sight of dead grass would be so enjoyable. But alas, 3-5” of snow coming Wednesday.

What happened to the MSU Men’s basketball team? From being #1 in the country to not even being ranked and rightfully so. Coach Izzo must have aged five years this season.

What’s hot? The new ForPro Universal Pedi Liners finally came in and are moving like hotcakes. It’s the perfect disposable solution to portable pedi’s and fits the Footsie Bath (which is on backorder).

Also hot: ForPro Crystal Nail Files including the Light Leopard print. For the price, customers are buying 10-20 at a time.

CND Shellac Paradise Collection  and it’s matching Vinylux collection are on fire. I especially love Sultry Sunset’s.

A sneak peak that’s coming in May but hush-hush until then involves OPI and a little company out of Atlanta.

Apple and it’s millions of apps know where we are every single minute of the day. So how is it we cannot locate a Boeing jumbo jet that disappeared over Malaysia?

With Staples closing 225 stores, Radio Shack shuttering more than 1100 locations and Sear Holdings/J.C. Penney wondering how many stores to dispose of, what is going to become of all the strip and shopping malls? When was the last new retail store that opened in a strip mall that you can think of? Can you imagine a start-up retailer competing with Macy’s or Nordstrom’s today?

With smartphone growth slowing to less than 10% since most everyone has on in developed countries, why are test scores going down in schools?

William Clay Ford enjoyed a great life and lived to the ripe age of 88. However he never realized his dream of winning a Super Bowl (the Lions never got close). You can put a $1.00 bet on this prediction: The Lion’s will be in the playoffs more in the next five years than they have been in the last fifty. Word on the street is that Alan Mulally will be the new GM. Wishful thinking.

Both the CEO of MGM Resort and CEO of Las Vegas Sands said they will anti up $10 billion to open a casino in Japan. That’s no gamble.

Breakthrough ideas are coming from TNG. One for the hair industry and one for the nail industry. Stay tuned!

Happy Monday!

The Future Of The Hair Salon Business

February 25th, 2014

[Reader’s Note: This is a continuation from the previous blog entry]

THIS JUST IN: Click here to see all the brands and products available on luxabeauty.com.

Loxabeauty.com is live. Truth of the matter is that it is DOA already. The video is a joke and makes salon owners and hairdressers feel totally inept. Joico, a subsidiary of Shiseido of Japan, is in full support. Why? Amazon.com has its own Joico store and most everything is 30% off EVERYDAY and FREE SHIPPING. It’s just another deflection of what truly is going on: Salon products are consumer products and hence sold everywhere by virtually everyone. Once again some of the manufacturers are trying to show their loyalty to the salon industry even as they ship truckloads to retailers each and every day. With the site more than 90% hair, hairdressers will have to decide which brands to use behind the chair. Most interesting since Salon Centric is owned by L’Oreal and a competitor to SBH (although they sell BSG the MATRIX brand), there is not a single L’Oreal brand on luxabeauty.com.

With the industry more than 90% booth rental, what is the future of the hair salon business? No one has a crystal ball, and most certainly not me. But my best guess is something like this: Back to the pre-1980’s days.

Think about independent service establishments for a moment and which ones over the years have persevered and succeeded? Dry cleaners. Shoe repair. Tailors. Fitness centers. Restaurants. There are a few more but let’s look at these.

Each of these establishments is owned by someone that has a skillset that is not easily copied by the average consumer. Dry cleaners artfully clean and press clothes. Shoe repair guys know how to replace insoles. Tailors can take in and take out just about any clothing article. Fitness centers offers specialized trainers and equipment. Chefs specialize in hundreds of cuisines. The other common trait in these businesses is that they do not retail. Dry cleaners do not sell clothes. Shoe repairs do not sell shoes. Tailors do not sell formal wear. Fitness centers do not sell running shoes or yoga pants. Restaurants do not sell steaks or bell peppers.

The folks at SBH have basically waved the white flag and made the statement that hair salons can offer services but cannot retail products. With that supposition in mind, the future of hair salons is service only. Long before the Paul Mitchell’s, Arnie Miller’s and Jheri Redding’s of the industry showed up, there was no retail in beauty shops. It was pure services. Hairdressers love to cut. Or they love to color. Or they love to do both. Their skillset is hair, not sales. 

The hair salon of the future will not sell anything but services. Ah, but there is a kicker. The successful hair salon of the future will include at-home products but make them part of the service fee. Smart marketers will offer products in special sizes for hairdressers to use for the service and then for the hairdresser to give to their client after the service is completed. This will solve many issues for both hairdressers and marketers.

The Current Process

Client comes into the salon for appointment. Client goes to the wash bowl and gets hair washed. The typical backbar has 10-20 shampoos and conditioners. Does the client even know which one is being used? No. Afterwards, the client goes to the stylist station for the cut and style. The typical station has 20 or more products and the hairdresser may use up to 6 of those on the client. Is the client going to buy all the products the hairdresser uses? No. Is there any way the client can make hair look as good at home? No. Does the hairdresser care if the client buys products? No. The client is still happy with the service. But for products, they are bought at a convenient store or Amazon.com from their smartphone and delivered in less than 48 hours.

The New Process

Client comes into the salon (no appointment necessary is best approach but all hairdressers must have equal skillsets). Client goes to the wash bowl and gets hair washed. Hairdresser recommends shampoo and conditioner to the client, shows the special sized bottles, uses on hair and then gives both bottles to the client. Afterwards, the client goes to the stylist station for the cut and style. Hairdresser recommends products to use. Each specially sized product used has an added fee so the more products, the more the service costs (same as a restaurant, everything ordered is a la carte pricing). The hairdresser uses the products and gives the products to the client to take home. Now the client is assured that they are using the same products at home as at the salon.

Win-Win

In the new process, the hairdresser and client both win. The hairdresser is happy because the client is using the products recommended to use at home; made money on the products without actually retailing them, and has no waste to deal with. The client is happy because she now has the products to use at home and if she likes them when running out, can buy with confidence from any retailer that sells the brands.

Whoaaaa!!! If this really is the future, what is going to happen to all those retail products salons have on their shelves? The better question to ask is does the salon industry really need 8 oz., 16 oz, 32 oz, and gallon sizes of the same item? Does one manufacturer really need to offer 8-10 variations of shampoo and conditioner? The future is back to simplicity, client convenience and superior service.

Want validation? The nail salon model now commands more than 80% of the nail business. No appointment necessary. No retail. And what about the products you ask? They have the system down that their clients must come in weekly or bi-weekly so products are not needed. And touch-ups are free in case of the occasional chip.

Now if we could get women into hair salons with the same frequency, that would be another conversation certainly worth entertaining (bi-weekly color touch-ups so hair never goes gray).

Whatever the future is, one thing is for certain: Change is constant. And for all those one million plus hairdressers in the USA, now is as good of a time as any to think about their future.

Happy Tuesday!

Lots Of Luck With Loxabeauty.com

February 17th, 2014

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the professional hair product business is dead in the water. Even L’Oreal masters of the universe with their Kerastase brand among others just reported negative growth in the USA. Regis the largest operator of salons in the USA continues to report declining retail sales numbers. TIGI resorted to selling an off-label to Sally. It’s no secret either that Ulta continues to enjoy healthy growth in its business (albeit they sell a whole bunch more than hair care products). Ulta’s arch enemy, Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH), thinks it has the answer to Ulta: Loxabeauty.com.

According to SBH’s CEO Gary Winterhalter, loxabeauty will be BSG’s (they own more than 1000 Cosmoprof stores and employ nearly as many DSC’s) solution to helping salons compete against Ulta and retailers. The premise which has yet to be unveiled goes something like this: BSG gets sign-off from its major vendors to sell goods to consumers. Winterhalter already has Paul Mitchell, Kenra and a host of others lined up. The BSG DSC goes into a salon and most likely has the salon owner complete an application for the website including stylists names, name of salon and other vital facts.

The client goes into a salon, gets the service wanted and then the front desk manager gives the client a business card or such and the pitch, “We can offer you more than 3000 salon products and have them shipped directly to your front door. Just go to loxabeauty.com and enter this code on the card (the code is the salon code). All products will be shipped to you from our supplier and we endorse everything.” If the client goes home and makes a purchase, both the salon and stylist will receive commission.

For the salon owner, no more inventory to stock and a full assortment of products for their clients. Win-win, right? At least that is what Winterhalter thinks.

In the real world, Amazon has more than 10,000 salon products available at discount prices with free 2-day shipping to its Prime customers. And customers can buy any brand including brands BSG doesn’t sell such as Kerastase, Oribe, Bumble and Bumble and virtually every brand under the sun. And there are hundreds of other sites to buy beauty products. But alas, BSG is more concerned with Ulta than anyone else and Ulta cannot sell pro hair care products online (yet).

The other thing wrong here is that virtually every mass retailer has a full selection of pro beauty products. CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid alone have more than 20,000 stores crammed with pro beauty. And they have virtually every brand BSG sells.

Bottom line is that this concept is as old as Ivory Soap. Some vendors today have their own consumer websites and give commissions back to salons. None of them work.

You at least have to give Winterhalter credit for thinking about the problem. But when it comes to hair care products for retail, it’s only a problem for BSG because that is their business. For every other business it is just one of hundreds of product categories.

I have a better idea and the timing is right. In fact, it’s perfect for the next generation of salons. I’ll talk more about it in my next blog.

In the meantime, there is one line that loxabeauty.com won’t have on its website and it’s the same brand not available at Ulta: Moroccanoil. Thank God for small miracles.

Happy President’s Day!

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

January 29th, 2014

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You know it’s cold outside when I wear a coat. It has to be around zero or below. Fact is I have worn a coat more times this month than the previous 10 years. . .combined. Record snow and record cold for January. And my friends in LA are laughing all day long.

Quarter, AKA the singing manicurist is back with his version of the hit song “Achy Breaky Nails.”  Actually it’s not a hit song but his own parody on nails in the salon. He and his wife own their salon right here in Michigan and tried out for American Idol. The video is a hoot.

Speaking of nails, the category remains the hottest category in beauty mostly due to the innovation of nail colors and coatings. It looks like the OPI Brazil collection is going to be huge with pre-sales already above expectations. I think the colors and display are OPI’s best in a long time. Gwen Stefani was hot too and we sold out the displays.

Speaking of OPI, we pulled the Mi World Playset as it being sold at Walmart for $14.95. Ouch.

The first beauty show of the season has come and gone, ISSE in Long Beach. So you may ask what was new and different? According to industry insiders, not a single thing. Can anyone tell me the purpose of these shows?

There is a new beauty retailer coming to the USA and will certainly make waves. Everything in the store is private label and value priced. The catch? Display and merchandising is over the top. KIKO is the H&M of beauty and may once again redefine retail beauty.

The latest fad in hair color: Individualized single application color kits for consumers to do their own hair color at home. Priced at $20 to $30 a pop, it is supposed to relieve consumers of the painful experience of visiting a salon. YIKES, that cannot be good for the industry or could it be? I visit many salons and know the customer experience is what makes or breaks any business. But when you walk in for the first time and the hairdresser is late or the receptionist doesn’t greet you or worst yet, the receptionist doesn’t ask for a rebook appointment, you surely aren’t rushing back. The salon/spa experience needs to be better and those that get it don’t have to worry about the latest fad. On the other hand. . .

I’m no artist, I’m no singer, and don’t give me an instrument to play. Yet, I have developed one of the most desirable pieces of art that retails for $1350 and will be the love of anyone who buys it. Watch for it in March.

The next crisis coming? Student loans. An average beauty school student spends $20,000 to get a license. With booth rental at over 90%, how does a student break into our industry and make enough money to pay off the loan? Average tuition for undergrad is about $100,000 yet more college grads are without jobs than any other time. Today there is more than $1 trillion in student debt and that exceeds all credit card debt.

Finally the ForPro Waterfall Polish Display has arrived. The weather and Chinese Spring Festival have wrecked havoc on deliveries. Watch for a very exciting contest next month!

And Happy Birthday to Carter, our grandson just turned two! Oh, Happy Birthday to Robbie who just turned ___0!!

Happy Wednesday!

butter LONDON and THE INDUSTRY SOURCE Rock & Roll

January 15th, 2014

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butter LONDON defined luxury nail colour in 2005. Not only did butter LONDON set out to create a perfectly safe product line, it took a HIP, WHIMSICAL, CHEEKY, UNEXPECTED and FUN approach.

You see, butter LONDON believes in Rock & Roll, Great Britain and Fashion. They are obsessed with colour, unbridled creativity & self-expression. Their collection is sophisticated enough for the most posh dressing tables, while the high quality formulas are fashion-forward, and created for the runway. butter LONDON does not add formaldehyde, toluene or DBP to any nail product formulas thus creating colour without compromise.

THE INDUSTRY SOURCE launched butter LONDON last week and the response has been sensational. Salons and spas have been seeking a true luxury nail colour brand that is exclusive to them and carries a high retail price although affordable. The colour is .4 oz. and a SRP of $15 while the treatments are .6 oz. and have a SRP of $19. Compare that to a bottle of Chanel polish at $27 or a tube of lipstick at $40 and you can see that butter LONDON hits the sweet spot. In all there are more than 90 shades with four quarterly collections launched annually. Best of all, the colour stays on for more than a week without chipping.

butter LONDON is also introducing some very cool accessories such as their latest Backstage Basics Hydrating Balm at $24. Unlike lotions that can leak in the purse (or shall I say handbag?), the balm comes in a twist tube and applies effortlessly to the skin.

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What is perhaps even more exciting is their venture into cosmetics. Already their Lippy is a huge business but the intent is to launch a full scale line that compliments the butter LONDON consumer. We will be launching this to our existing butter LONDON accounts Fall 2014.

It’s FAB to have a luxury brand that people immediately gravitate to and want. Salons and spas are well positioned to take advantage of the huge buzz and innovation that has gone into making butter LONDON one of the top indie-brands to hit the stores in a long time. All delivered to you with a cheeky British edge. CHEERS!

Happy New Year, 2014 is here

December 30th, 2013

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As the yoga class ended this morning, my yoga instructor wished us Happy New Year and we all wished it back to her. Then she said “It was just Y2K, where did 14 years go?” And then I added 14 years to my current age and thought that is how fast I will be in my 70’s. Then one of my friends who just turned 60 said “Time is marching by too fast.”

Truth is we are all on borrowed time from the moment we are born and only as you get older do you start to think about it. Really all that matters is how you spend that precious time while you are on this side of planet Earth. And that is why the start of a new year is always so exciting for me. What better time to toss out the old, clean up, and start fresh?

For TNG, we ended the year on a bang. On a very snowy Saturday morning during our Annual Meeting, the BUB and I surprised everyone. With busses waiting outside, the entire company sleighed off to Costco for a shopping spree. Everyone had 30 minutes to spend upwards of $600 on anything they wanted. It was a spectacle to be seen and both Costco workers and customers were amazed. Smiles and moments were precious and it was even more amazing to see what stuff people bought. Most popular items: TV’s, tablets and of all things, pots & pans sets. We then came back in the snow to a great lunch and finished the meeting with yet another great surprise. It was a great year for all.

As we move into 2014, this is going to be yet another exciting year for TNG and its customers.

THE BEAUTY BOOK Spring 2014 edition is spectacular, filled with more than 300 new items, many of which are unique to TNG. Bragging rights are certainly in order but I am going to keep all the new stuff a surprise for the moment. And to top off all the new items is a brand new line to THE INDUSTRY SOURCE that is very HIP and SULTRY that you will learn more about shortly.

BB2014A_001_v1.indd

This is also the year that we are launching quite a few new initiatives. The first one is called TIS First that will allow customers to pre-order all new nail color collections from CND, Essie and OPI for the entire year. Another one is the relaunch of black 15in1. The indie brand is going salon direct with all new pricing of $9.99 SRP. And another exciting initiative is the launch of our Kemon HD Performance Color campaign. This campaign will go live January 2 with a live calculator on theindustrysource.com. You have to click here to see it in action. Hint: If you buy hair color, this is a must for you.

Next week I’ll be back commenting on all the new stuff we are doing in 2014. It’s going to be one heck of a year and here’s the thing: It is up to you to seize the moment and take personal inventory now so you can make the new year as best as possible. Because one thing is for sure, it won’t be long until Gene Autry is back on the radio singing “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

Happy Monday!

P.S. Off to the Rose Bowl to see the Spartans crush Stanford. Of course any performance will be better than the utterly disappointing finish to the Wolverine’s and Lion’s season.

Out Of My Mind On A Friday Mornin’

December 6th, 2013

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STOP THE CLOCKS PLEASE! It cannot be December 6 and Christmas cannot be in less than 3 weeks. 2014 cannot be in less than 4 weeks. It was just Thanksgiving for crying out loud. Wait, it was just Labor Day! It has to slow down to enjoy. But alas, if Amazon.com is sending robots to deliver packages and eBay is using bicyclists in NYC to deliver packages, nothing is going to slow down.

I had my final farewell lunch with George Schaeffer recently in Santa Monica. George is officially retired as CEO of OPI later this month and will stay on in a consulting capacity. He is happy and at the tender age of 60-something, he has a lot going on. But at the same time, it was a quite sad moment as another milestone in the industry has come and sold.

I also had the pleasure to spend time with Max and Essie in NYC for a couple of days and that too was sad as they are mostly gone from the company and like George, serving in a consulting capacity. Essie is as busy as ever doing what she loves to do although she misses the business terribly. Max on the other hand is content designing new toilet brushes and other bathroom accessories for his next business. Bottom line: Two industry icons sold out and global corporations now control the brands. Boy, the photos I could share of everyone at our trade shows back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

What’s new for 2014? Plenty. We just completed THE BEAUTY BOOK Spring 2014 Edition and all I can say is that we have the most and new exciting products to offer in the past ten years. The catalog hits January 7.

Hot items for Christmas are our bebeautiful makeup palettes, ForPro Aroma Diffusers, and Root candles in regular and holiday scents.

Other than the Kindle series, iPad Mini and iPhone 5S, are there any “must-have” products this holiday season? Gift cards are more popular than ever.

The whole thing about Black Friday and now Black Thursday are so over. Yes there were more consumers who shopped on Thursday, but they spent less money and visit fewer stores on Friday. At what point enough enough?

Big game tomorrow and all eyes are on MSU to complete the task of turning from an under-performer to a high-performer team. Anything less than a V spells disappointment even with their perfect BIG 10 record. My prediction: MSU 27, OSU 21.

The OPI Gel Light promotion with 6 OPI Gel Colors for $199.95 has been one of our top promotions for the year. Already with sales well more than 1000 deals, we are gearing up for the last push. Starting January the lights go to $249.95 so the savings are huge.

Bye-Bye-Gone! Stock up now on China Glaze, Orly and Zoya polishes at up to 50% off.

How ironic is it that Detroit is officially in bankruptcy and both Ford and GM are doing better than ever?

Happy Friday!

TNG Worldwide Named #2 Mid-Size Company To Work For

November 15th, 2013

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For the fifth straight year since TNG Worldwide has entered the TOP WORK PLACES competition, we have placed in the top 100, one of very few elite companies to do so.

In 2012, we were #5 in the Mid-Size category (there are three categories).

And just announced yesterday, TNG Worldwide is the #2 Mid-Size company for 2013.

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This is a huge honor to be named #2 with more than 1000 companies entering this year alone. As be it, Microsoft was #1 (since when are they a Michigan-based company?).

The full results along with a nice story on TNG will be published in the Sunday Detroit Free Press/Detroit News edition. I was interviewed by Brent Snavely whom I first met at Crain’s Detroit Business. The story talks about some of our workplace initiatives and some of my favorites (I love the Running Club). Since I have not seen the story yet, I cannot say what Brent will include. However, this much is true in what it takes to be an elite company to work for. You must start with the best talent. You must engage talent in what they do best by identifying their top strengths (which is a very fun exercise). And then you have to let your talent do what they do best.

We don’t have foosball tables, free popcorn or basketball courts. What we do have is a great culture in which everyone understands our mission of 100% customer success for our 3 C’s (internal and external customers along with community). Along the way, we work hard and have fun doing what we do best.

Both the BUB and I are thrilled to be part of the fun in being #2 (#1 isn’t far behind) and more thrilled for all our great talent that strive to do their best each and every day.

Happy Friday!


CND Shellac Summer Splash Collection