What Happens When Everyone Has Everything? Part One.

Now that both Clinton and Trump are the favorites, who are you voting for as of today?

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I recall starting the company and deciding that I needed a computer to help beat the competition. I worked with a company called Computerland and bought an IBM 386, dot printer, monitor and installation for $5,000. It was amazing. Every invoice was printed on an Okidata 186 printer with pin feed paper. So it took 2 minutes to print, it was a marvel. The rest is history, PC’s could not be made fast enough.

Then in 1989 I decided I had to have the first fax machine to help beat the competition. It was the size of a couch and cost $2000. But who cared, I could now fax orders to vendors instead of calling them in. The only problem was that I had to convince the vendors to buy a fax machine too. The rest is history, fax machines could not be made fast enough.

Then in 1995 I decided I had to be the first to have an Internet website to help beat the competition. Routers, servers, cables, IP address, it cost a fortune. But who cared, I could now sell products to customers without them calling our 800 number. The only problem was that I had to convince our customers to get online. The rest is history, especially the dot.com bust in 2001. Remember modem speed and Internet speed? Now LTE 5 is coming.

Then in 1996 I decided I had to have the first truly cool cell phone to help beat the competition. The Motorola Startak was just the trick. I never liked pagers and now I could call customers and vendors anywhere. It was so cool. The rest is history, cell phones could not be made fast enough.

Then in 2007 I decided I had to have the first Apple iPhone to help beat the competition. My designers were all on Mac’s but I was a Microsoft guy. Now with the new iPhone I could do just about everything anytime. It made the Startak obsolete overnight along with everything else. It was so cool. The rest is history, iPhones could not be made fast enough.

Fast forward to 2016. I haven’t needed to buy a single electronic device to help beat the competition. PC’s are dead. Fax machines are gone. Everyone is online and has a smartphone. Heck even my 4-year old grandson has an iPad and is connected. Everyone has everything. No wonder Apple sales plunged for the first time since 2007 last quarter. I mean really, what is the iPhone 7 going to do for me that the iPhone 6 doesn’t already?

This phenomenon is hitting every industry. It’s no wonder the economy is tepid at best. Where is the innovation to make us buy something? Right now the only electronic device we want to buy is Amazon’s Echo. But that certainly is not going to help anyone in business to be more competitive. At least the device makes it users talk.

It was only six years ago that CND launched Shellac, the first gel polish. I remember the launch well, only six shades. Why only six shades I asked? Formulation issues, bottle design, yadda-yadda-yadda. Plus we need to make sure there is a market for it. OK, I ordered 5000 bottles of each shade. And like innovative products of years past, it sold out. Hmm, this is good. I’ll take 5000 more of each color please.

Then they launched six new shades. I’ll take 7500 of each please.

But then the competition caught on. As more colors were launched, open quantities would diminish to 3000, then 2000 and then 1000 and less. Now there are more than 100 colors plus add the competition to the mix, there are more than 1000 colors. Walk into any nail salon and witness at least 300 colors sitting on the shelf, most collecting dust. What happens when every salon has every color they need?

Nail polish is no different. Oh I can talk about when Essie was $1.00 a bottle and nail techs would go to trade shows and buy 100-200 bottles at a crack. We sold Peau de Peche nail polish at one of our trade shows and sold more than 5,000 bottles in a day. OPI at one time had four booths at the Chicago show to keep up with demand. But now every salon has every color they need. What happens next?

Hair dryers, flat irons, clippers all equal one giant yawn. Dyson thinks they have the answer and are launching their first hair dryer for $399.95 this fall exclusively at Sephora.  Unlike a smartphone, I don’t think this will connect to the Internet and place an order on Amazon. But at least one company is trying to spur innovation and get consumers to buy a new product.

Part Two will focus on where the growth is (are you hungry?) and what the future looks like (sorry but VR is not going to help me beat the competition).

Happy Tuesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Do you prefer 1-ply or 2-ply toilet paper?

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Cosmoprof Las Vegas 2013 has come and gone. More exhibitors (over 900) and less attendees. It was quite the interesting mix of both. In fact, I thought I was the Cosmoprof Hong Kong show that takes place in November. There were more Asian booths from China, Korea, Pakistan and European booths than USA booths. In fact, the biggest USA booths were for the most part rep groups who don’t sell a thing but take up space on the show floor. Attendees were about the same mix as well, a strong indication of what the beauty industry has evolved into.

We launched the For Pro brand at Cosmoprof and met with great enthusiasm. Our Asian customers loved the fact that they could buy one line encompassing all their needs at low prices. Our European customers enjoyed the variety and breadth of the line. Hot items included the For Pro Serenity and Harmony diffusers; Fleece & Terry shower wraps; Vinyl gloves; Makeup Palettes; Massage tables and sheets; and all the disposables.

One thing the PBA can do a better job is to keep salons out of the show. Many stopped by and were very confused why they were there. I am sure the exhibitors were just as confused.

Looking for hot products on the show floor was difficult at best. The nail category continues its domination and when it comes to gel nail polish, CND Shellac still reigns supreme. We are launching their new Forbidden collection and are already close to sold out condition. And before you know it, Shellac holiday will be shipping. Please don’t tell me holiday is around the corner.

THE BEAUTY BOOK Fall 2013 is out and is splendid.  It is certainly the largest selection of professional beauty products for the spa, nail, mani, hair, and hospitality markets.

The next big thing in medical and health will be self-diagnostic devices. There is an estimated 62,000 shortage of doctors in the USA alone and that number will grow with the aging population. The next big thing will be these devices that pretty much do it all without a physician to do the test. One thing that IBM, Apple and the health care community is working on is taking the SIRI concept and applying it to these devices. Once the device configures the results, a virtual nurse will actually discuss the results with you much as a doctor does. The iPhone camera will be the next X-ray and then some. For a hint of the future, visit here.

Student debt now exceeds credit card debt. Over one trillion dollars. What does that mean for the 20’s generation? And since these loans are guaranteed by the taxpayers, it is only a matter of time that this issue explodes much like the housing crisis. I am shocked how many cosmetology students spend $20,000 for tuition only to abandon the industry after a short period of time.

Most employment gains are from part-time workers. Is a booth renter considered part-time? I wonder what percentage of the beauty industry is full-time vs. part-time?

If toilet paper rolls get any smaller, manufacturer’s will need to introduce dual paper holders. And why does anyone like 1-ply vs. 2-ply? Remember when toilet paper came in colors?

Happy Monday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Do you prefer 1-ply or 2-ply toilet paper?

View Results

Cosmoprof Las Vegas 2013 has come and gone. More exhibitors (over 900) and less attendees. It was quite the interesting mix of both. In fact, I thought I was the Cosmoprof Hong Kong show that takes place in November. There were more Asian booths from China, Korea, Pakistan and European booths than USA booths. In fact, the biggest USA booths were for the most part rep groups who don’t sell a thing but take up space on the show floor. Attendees were about the same mix as well, a strong indication of what the beauty industry has evolved into.

We launched the For Pro brand at Cosmoprof and met with great enthusiasm. Our Asian customers loved the fact that they could buy one line encompassing all their needs at low prices. Our European customers enjoyed the variety and breadth of the line. Hot items included the For Pro Serenity and Harmony diffusers; Fleece & Terry shower wraps; Vinyl gloves; Makeup Palettes; Massage tables and sheets; and all the disposables.

One thing the PBA can do a better job is to keep salons out of the show. Many stopped by and were very confused why they were there. I am sure the exhibitors were just as confused.

Looking for hot products on the show floor was difficult at best. The nail category continues its domination and when it comes to gel nail polish, CND Shellac still reigns supreme. We are launching their new Forbidden collection and are already close to sold out condition. And before you know it, Shellac holiday will be shipping. Please don’t tell me holiday is around the corner.

THE BEAUTY BOOK Fall 2013 is out and is splendid.  It is certainly the largest selection of professional beauty products for the spa, nail, mani, hair, and hospitality markets.

The next big thing in medical and health will be self-diagnostic devices. There is an estimated 62,000 shortage of doctors in the USA alone and that number will grow with the aging population. The next big thing will be these devices that pretty much do it all without a physician to do the test. One thing that IBM, Apple and the health care community is working on is taking the SIRI concept and applying it to these devices. Once the device configures the results, a virtual nurse will actually discuss the results with you much as a doctor does. The iPhone camera will be the next X-ray and then some. For a hint of the future, visit here.

Student debt now exceeds credit card debt. Over one trillion dollars. What does that mean for the 20’s generation? And since these loans are guaranteed by the taxpayers, it is only a matter of time that this issue explodes much like the housing crisis. I am shocked how many cosmetology students spend $20,000 for tuition only to abandon the industry after a short period of time.

Most employment gains are from part-time workers. Is a booth renter considered part-time? I wonder what percentage of the beauty industry is full-time vs. part-time?

If toilet paper rolls get any smaller, manufacturer’s will need to introduce dual paper holders. And why does anyone like 1-ply vs. 2-ply? Remember when toilet paper came in colors?

Happy Monday!

CND (aka Jan Arnold) Does NY Fashion Week 2012

CND (aka Jan Arnold) Does NY Fashion Week 2012

No where is fashion more prevalent in the USA than New York. And no one in our industry is more attached to NY Fashion Week than Jan Arnold.

While her father invented Solar Nails and her brother Jim managed the growth of the company, Jan was always “out there” on the cusp. Jan never bowed to what others wore in clothing, shoes or makeup. Rather Jan has always been a walking billboard of individuality, healthy living, shopping and how can we not mention. . .nails.

So it was no surprise when Jan and Jim sold their company to Colomer, that Jan wanted to stay on as their “fashion advisor.” Truthfully, I don’t know Jan’s title but when it comes to nail creations, no one does it like her. John Heffner, Jan’s just retired boss even introduced a polish line to satisfy Jan’s intense creative (how do you like use of that word!) needs, Colour & Effects. Truly artistic people use these products religiously. But fame and notoriety didn’t come from this and that didn’t stop Jan’s fashion parade for a second. She was doing NY Fashion Week before it was even a week long.

Jan’s true talents and perhaps one of her top highlights of her career came with the launch of Shellac and the totally unexpected media coverage the line received. Jan as flamboyant as can be (who else can get away with bleached white hair, 6” heel patent boots and a dress you don’t find at Barney’s on any given day) became a sensation and came into the limelight naturally. Shellac was not only revolutionary but it gave Jan creative freedom to explore design like never before. Even though Shellac launched in only 12 colors, Jan figured out a way to “layer” colors to create many more custom colors and with the launch of the next 12 shades, figured out a way to perfect nail art using Shellac exclusively.

The results are impressive but if you talk to Jan, she hasn’t changed one bit. She loves what she does and always has. Who else can do a daily blog at NY Fashion Week complete with photos and commentary AND be backstage for hours on end? Here are some of my favorite pics posted, please visit http://cndfashionweek.com/Spring2012/category/day-1/ to see her entire post:

Day 2

Day 5

Day 7

If anything, Jan has brought nails into the fashion scene and onto the runways. While the focus is still on legs, breasts, and hair, at least nails are big enough for designers to take notice. And if sales of Shellac are any indication of fashion success, then we can only imagine than Jan will be doing what Jan does best for a very long time.

Happy Tuesday!

Out of My Mind On A Thursday Mornin’

What's your favorite burger?

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All six new Shellac shades are in stock, a full month earlier than expected. WOW!

Who would buy Kwame’s book? And would they read it if they bought it?

Big weekend in Detroit with two Kid Rock concerts. Are you a Kid Rock fan?

The new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm is Larry David’s best yet. The last episode is particularly funny. One scene was about one of his friends that always confirms appointments and meals before they happen. David never confirms because he is always on time and present. This particular time however, he totally forgot about the lunch date and his friend didn’t confirm because of David.

While I don’t eat burgers, fries and onion rings (well, once in a great while), I love watching them being made and eaten on Food Networks, Dives, Diners and Drive-Ins. The Blimpie burger joint in Ann Arbor was recently featured. They grind fresh daily their meat and form them in 1.6 oz. balls. You then order how many balls you want. Most people order 3 but 5 and even 10 are also popular. And their rings? They take 3 days to make: First day peel onions and cover in water. Second day slice and put in refrigerator. Third day is the cooking day. Thin sliced with good crunch. YUM!

Oh, I love this technique too: Put a slice of cheese in the patty and cook as desired. Cheese oozes out. More yum.

We are living through stock market history. Are day traders the next “home flippers” to do us in?

With gold at $1800 an ounce, should anyone walk around with gold jewelry anymore?

Does anyone not shop at Costco?

How many times do you adjust the water temperature before stepping under the shower head?

Happy Thursday!

Out of My Mind On A Thursday Mornin’

What's your favorite burger?

View Results

All six new Shellac shades are in stock, a full month earlier than expected. WOW!

Who would buy Kwame’s book? And would they read it if they bought it?

Big weekend in Detroit with two Kid Rock concerts. Are you a Kid Rock fan?

The new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm is Larry David’s best yet. The last episode is particularly funny. One scene was about one of his friends that always confirms appointments and meals before they happen. David never confirms because he is always on time and present. This particular time however, he totally forgot about the lunch date and his friend didn’t confirm because of David.

While I don’t eat burgers, fries and onion rings (well, once in a great while), I love watching them being made and eaten on Food Networks, Dives, Diners and Drive-Ins. The Blimpie burger joint in Ann Arbor was recently featured. They grind fresh daily their meat and form them in 1.6 oz. balls. You then order how many balls you want. Most people order 3 but 5 and even 10 are also popular. And their rings? They take 3 days to make: First day peel onions and cover in water. Second day slice and put in refrigerator. Third day is the cooking day. Thin sliced with good crunch. YUM!

Oh, I love this technique too: Put a slice of cheese in the patty and cook as desired. Cheese oozes out. More yum.

We are living through stock market history. Are day traders the next “home flippers” to do us in?

With gold at $1800 an ounce, should anyone walk around with gold jewelry anymore?

Does anyone not shop at Costco?

How many times do you adjust the water temperature before stepping under the shower head?

Happy Thursday!