Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

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Another birthday, another year coming up. This year I’m going to celebrate big time and stay up until 10:00PM both Friday and Saturday night! The festivities start Friday with Starbuck’s morning for all TNG talent and then a fab lunch at our corporate headquarters. Saturday the dreadful drive to East Lansing to see the Spartans play Purdue which just clobbered the Buckeyes. After last weeks disastrous loss to the Wolverines along with exiting the stadium for an hour only to endure rain, sleet and wind, is it any wonder Spartan Nation is hurting? Coach Dantonio, how about a V this week and next for my birthday?

My birthday continues on Sunday when I do not have to make brunch or dinner, sorry BUB! And then the real fun is Tuesday when we go to see Stevie Nicks at LCA. Now let me tell you, seeing a concert on a Tuesday night is a big deal especially when I go to sleep at 8:30PM and that is when the music starts playing. Like I said, this is celebrating at the highest level!

Remember back when you had a birthday, you would open the mail box and there would be 10, perhaps even 20 birthday cards with your name on them? These days, kids under 35 only know your cell number for texting, addresses are long gone. At least I know I can count on MGM sending me a $5 Free Play birthday gift. HA!

Here are a few birthday gifts I would really like to see:

  • Hotels eliminating those tiny 1 oz. bottles. It’s impossible to read which one is shampoo or body wash.
  • OPI shipping an order at least 80% complete and without damages
  • The Spartans winning a football game (oops, I already mentioned that)
  • Bill Knapp’s chocolate cake
  • Carter stopping by Sunday (C is my 6 1/2  year old grandson)
  • Max inviting us to fly in his private jet and stay in his new Palisades Park beach house (the joys of selling a company for $175 million, wait, it goes up $25 million each year!) stocked with great red wine and single malts.
  • Tony Cuccio running a 5K
  • John Barth retiring and writing a book “How to be  rep and live the good life without working”
  • Elimination of passwords with 8 letters, upper case, lower case, number and !@$# character.

TNG did it again and was the #1 sponsor for American Cancer Society Strides event in Detroit. We raised more than $130,000 and dominated the field. Sorry Kroger, Suburban Collection and Comerica, you need to step up your game!

I have never seen so much Halloween candy at stores as this year. And who eats candy anymore?

What’s better than Costco’s rotisserie chickens? $4.99 and they are huge, tasty and juicy. Costco sells so many of them, they are now building their own chicken farm that will supply at least 25% of their annual needs. Guess how many they sell a year? You weren’t even close, more than 60 million. They lose about $.75 on everyone they sell which has fed their sales and profit growth over the years. Love that.

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

Would you spend $50 for a bottle of nail polish

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UPDATED September 24, 2104: The latest details on OPI INFINITE SHINE on this week’s blog post or view the product line.

One of my favorite readers reminded me that I haven’t blogged this month and that would be the first time since blogs were created. OMG, with that I wondered what happened to August, what happened to summer (that never came) and are those yellow busses actually back on the road. Actually this has been a busy month celebrating BUB’s birthday, plus a trade show and finalizing plans for 2015. YIKES, 2015 is around the corner.

Speaking of birthday’s, the one and only Tony Cuccio just celebrated his 60th. I remember seeing his photo when he was 18 selling nail polish on Venice Beach. Happy Birthday Tony!

We spent a few days in Seattle and one must do the Pike Street market. It truly lives up to its reputation. If you love fresh seafood and fish, this place is for you. Two pound lobster tails galore, quarter pound prawns and hundreds and hundreds of pounds of wild salmon and halibut. They sell more than 5000 bouquets of flowers a day at $5 to $10 a pop. Seafood chowder is among the specialty things to eat and is quite good. It is also the home of the original Starbuck’s. We waited in line for 30 minutes just to get to the front of the store and then decided to bale. Starbucks is everywhere in Seattle but I thought Tully coffee was even better.

black 15in1 Miracle Hair Treatment won Good Housekeeping’s Hair Award for best frizz and shine product.

Just completed my annual physical. The doctor asked his usual 50 questions like “Do you have this or do you experience this,” and I thought and figured out that eventually I will be answering yes to those questions. YIKES!

Michigan State is the team to beat this year. Now that we won the Rose Bowl last year, can we match up to the hype this year? Season starts Friday night.

OK, I know the bacon craze is alive and well, but does America really need this???

IMG_1192

Here is a startling statistic for you. In the U.S., there are more than 1.3 million licensed hair and nail professionals. 92% work independently. The study put out by the PBA claims there are only 92,000 or so salons that employ full time employees (more than one). Average hours worked is less than 30 per week.

OPI is launching its new7-10 day nail lacquer later this year and THE INDUSTRY SOURCE will be pioneers in launching the line. Stay tuned as this is OPI’s first innovation since they were acquired by Coty and it promises to be a huge launch. Unlike CND’s Vinylux, this system requires both a special base and top coat. 30 shades at launch. Stay tuned!

How can I not share this with you: Inside the original Nordstrom’s we came across this display:

Yep, the famous shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, came out with his signature red in a nail polish (far right). Price: $50. Demand was so high and it sold out so fast that the company fast tracked the collection and added another 30 shades that launches this week.

Or if you prefer you can pick up a pair of these instead for only $1095.

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On A Wednesday Mornin’

Would you spend $50 for a bottle of nail polish

View Results

UPDATED September 24, 2104: The latest details on OPI INFINITE SHINE on this week’s blog post or view the product line.

One of my favorite readers reminded me that I haven’t blogged this month and that would be the first time since blogs were created. OMG, with that I wondered what happened to August, what happened to summer (that never came) and are those yellow busses actually back on the road. Actually this has been a busy month celebrating BUB’s birthday, plus a trade show and finalizing plans for 2015. YIKES, 2015 is around the corner.

Speaking of birthday’s, the one and only Tony Cuccio just celebrated his 60th. I remember seeing his photo when he was 18 selling nail polish on Venice Beach. Happy Birthday Tony!

We spent a few days in Seattle and one must do the Pike Street market. It truly lives up to its reputation. If you love fresh seafood and fish, this place is for you. Two pound lobster tails galore, quarter pound prawns and hundreds and hundreds of pounds of wild salmon and halibut. They sell more than 5000 bouquets of flowers a day at $5 to $10 a pop. Seafood chowder is among the specialty things to eat and is quite good. It is also the home of the original Starbuck’s. We waited in line for 30 minutes just to get to the front of the store and then decided to bale. Starbucks is everywhere in Seattle but I thought Tully coffee was even better.

black 15in1 Miracle Hair Treatment won Good Housekeeping’s Hair Award for best frizz and shine product.

Just completed my annual physical. The doctor asked his usual 50 questions like “Do you have this or do you experience this,” and I thought and figured out that eventually I will be answering yes to those questions. YIKES!

Michigan State is the team to beat this year. Now that we won the Rose Bowl last year, can we match up to the hype this year? Season starts Friday night.

OK, I know the bacon craze is alive and well, but does America really need this???

IMG_1192

Here is a startling statistic for you. In the U.S., there are more than 1.3 million licensed hair and nail professionals. 92% work independently. The study put out by the PBA claims there are only 92,000 or so salons that employ full time employees (more than one). Average hours worked is less than 30 per week.

OPI is launching its new7-10 day nail lacquer later this year and THE INDUSTRY SOURCE will be pioneers in launching the line. Stay tuned as this is OPI’s first innovation since they were acquired by Coty and it promises to be a huge launch. Unlike CND’s Vinylux, this system requires both a special base and top coat. 30 shades at launch. Stay tuned!

How can I not share this with you: Inside the original Nordstrom’s we came across this display:

Yep, the famous shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, came out with his signature red in a nail polish (far right). Price: $50. Demand was so high and it sold out so fast that the company fast tracked the collection and added another 30 shades that launches this week.

Or if you prefer you can pick up a pair of these instead for only $1095.

Happy Wednesday!

A Walk Down Memory Lane When Innovation Mattered

A Walk Down Memory Lane When Innovation Mattered

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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!

Cosmoprof 2012 Recap

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Once again, Mandalay Bay Convention Center was where the action was for Cosmoprof, now in its 10th year (although many of us will refer to it as the BBSI for another 10 years).

The show floor was filled to capacity with stands and booths and this is with virtually every major hair company off the floor. The show cannot grow at Mandalay since there is no more space to be had. And we surely don’t want to go back to the Las Vegas Convention Center but those issues are those of others. July 14-16, 2013 is confirmed at Mandalay and most likely, the next few years as well.

Attendance although advertised up over 15% from 2011 seemed OK on Sunday and light on Monday. Clearly the Euro recession is in full bloom as there was little presence from across the continent. Asia and Canada were in full contingent along with regions in Mexico, Middle East and South America. I left early Tuesday so don’t have any feedback but most likely it was even lighter than Monday. The perfect clue is that on both Sunday and Monday, the Verandah restaurant at the Four Seasons was oversold for breakfast. On Tuesday, you could have a table of your choice, inside or out.

The show really kicked off Saturday night at the City of Hope dinner featuring George Schaeffer. Or should I say, the George Schaeffer dinner featuring George Schaeffer. Sure Al Green showed up in his really bad toupee and worn dancing shoes and Aretha Franklin for those that endured the midnight hour honked out 45 minutes of Motown. But the night was pure George and are no words that I can write that could translate into what happened for more than six and one half hours. Bottom line: More than twice the number of guests registered than any other City of Hope event and more than $5.4M was raised with George kicking in more than half of it. This was more than five times the previous record for net proceeds. With word that Reuben Carranza from P&G will be the 2013 honoree, P&G best start collecting  for every tube of Crest, box of Pampers and jar of Olay to make a company-wide $5M contribution.

This year’s show overkill theme was argon oil and gel polish. I guess it beats hair extensions and straightening products. There had to be 40 companies hawking argon oil and at least that many with gel polish. Let’s guess how many of each will be around at Cosmoprof in five years.

Of course the grand-daddy of argon oil is Moroccanoil and they dominated the private meeting area with a huge meeting room block, exhibit and private dining area for its distributors. One thing about MO is that everything they do is first class and with the introduction of their spa line, from $18 soap to $52 scrubs, first class is the only way they know.

Helen of Troy had a virtual city within the show floor and if Mandalay Bay had a retractable roof, the exhibit could have literally flown out. I could only imagine Art August’s expression when he signed off for the budget. But in the end, leaders do what leaders need to do and Hot Tools is still the #1 brand.

black 15in1 kicked off its first Cosmoprof with a huge booth presence and although it couldn’t get the island location it wanted, it still drew interest from more than 20 countries. It was truly exciting to see the brand recognition from those who stopped by and everyone commented on both the booth presentation and packaging. It is refreshing coming of the Premier show dealing with business people interested in investing in the brand versus watching people fill up rolling carts with close-out goods.

Tony Cuccio was very busy launching Cuccio Veneer and Lacquer. While already launched internationally, the U.S. launch is September. TNG is the exclusive master distributor for the U.S. and big plans are in the works for this huge launch. Already more than one million bottles have been sold and demand has been outstanding. In all, there are 24 Veneer shades and 72 Lacquer shades in the initial launch.

One thing very evident on the floor was the number of salons on the selling floor. Cosmoprof is not for salons and why they continue to let them into the show is a huge concern. There are plenty of beauty shows for salons to attend with one in Vegas just a month prior to Cosmoprof. Another concern is the number of companies setting up shop in hotel rooms. Yes space on the show floor is a lot more than a room you sleep in, but the inconvenience is not worth it. Next year none of our buyers will attend meetings in off-floor suites, we will utilize open meeting space on the show floor.

Monday night was all Moroccanoil. Once again they took over MIX atop TheHotel. Open premium bar and free flowing appetizers included sliders, shrimp skewers, and ahi tuna bites. There were more than 300 crowded into the space. About an hour into the event, MO held a business meeting and among other topics, handed out prizes to its top 12 salon consultants across the U.S.. Two each won a BMW and two each won a trip for two to Israel. Once again, MO showing off their class. After the business meeting, a buffet dinner was served.

All in all, Cosmoprof is the best all-purpose show to align companies within the beauty industry. Most likely, private on-floor meeting rooms will need to move to the second floor and NAHA needs to be moved to ISSE to get rid of the salon presence. And closing the show floor at 5:00PM on Monday would be nice as well.

Happy Wednesday!