Monday, January 4, 2010


I am happy to announce that Bliss World Holdings (that is their nasdaq name and all) a.k.a Bliss Spa has been sold to Steiner Leisure Limited ( courtesy of Globenewswire) for a whopping $100 million dollars.  I am so doing my happy dance right now.

As Super-Dee-Duper as this is...I am not surprised only because I know first hand how kick butt amazing this company has been for quite some time.  So here is the Fat Girl Slim on Bliss Spa: In July 1996 Marcia Kilgore (founder of Bliss Spa) opened her first location in SoHo, and then in March of 1999 LVMH announces they have a major stake in Bliss Spa to the tune of $30 million smackers (I'd say that is pretty major).  Oh, and by the way this was LVMH's first North American acquisition.  Way to Go Marcia!

Then in January 2004 Starwood Hotels & Resorts (they own The W Hotel) acquired Bliss Spa from LVMH for $25 million in cold hard cash.  After this occured Starwood opened up Bliss Spas in several of the W Hotels with the first being in NY November of 2004.  What a smart marketing idea...The W used Bliss Spa Products as amenities in their hotel rooms.  Unlike some local 5 Diamond wannabe MotorCityCasinoHotel & Bootleg Spas (oops that was personal).

After that Bliss Spa Parterned with Jet Blue Airlines In April of 2006.  This partnership offered airline customers flying from one coast to another an exclusive Bliss Kit.  I am not sure what happened but this only relationship only lasted 1 year.

And now this total and complete awesomeness, and proof that The Spa industry is here to stay. Whew-Whoo to you Bliss Spa.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009


You need a website to compete
If you've heard it once you heard it a million times.  They say that your business needs a web presence in-order to compete in today's competitive marketplace.  Yeah, having a website for your small business is a great idea.  Getting a website for your small business is a whole different beast.

Most webdesigners or webmasters (although the term webmaster sounds so 1998ish) they are a dozen for a dime.  Seriously everybody and their momma can build you a website, and what is more confusing is that pricing can range from 100.00-5,000.00.

There Is More To This...Have You Meet My Wallet?
Wait a minute once you get the website now you have to concern yourself with something they call seo (search engine optimization). WTFlip? I know right, well if your site doesn't have good seo* then it won't be found when people are searching, and totally defeats the purpose of you having a website to begin with.  Not to mention you will need a domain and hosting, and if you site is not turnkey* (easily edited and updated, by a non-technical person).  *seo, hosting, domains and turnkey sites are extra cash out of pocket for you with most "webdesigners" just a lil FYI.

I worked at a salon that every time we were running a special the owner had to call her web designer person and shell out 75 per hour to have something updated.  Who can afford that as much as I change my mind on a daily bases I would be billions of dollars in debt to a web designer.

The Pauperpreneur
Not everyone has a gazillion dollars to drop on their business' website.  I know I didn't.  Seriously I wore a hole in google search.  I searched every possible way until I came across something called Stylenet.  It is was probably 3 am in the morning and I googled upon this website that offered a 1 month FREE trial website.  Hello, they were speaking my language.

So I signed up and gave things a try.  I wasn't totally sold on the site because it was kinda Plain Janeish.  I went through the trial and didn't do much with the site.  It expired and I kept searching for something spectacular.  My dream website.

That's What Friends Are For...or NOT!
Meanwhile...I gave into peer pressure.  My "close business associates" were kinda dogging the site.  Saying things like I could do better, That they couldn't see me with a website like that.  That I deserved more, a site that fit my personality.  Dagnabit they were right, and I was going to get my dream website if I had to build it myself.

So I attempted to customize a site using Squarespace platform (which is amazing if you know html).  Yeah that lasted all of 2 sleepless nights, and then I ordered a free 30 day trial at adobe 'somebodies weaver something' just go on and design my own site and that lasted all of 5 minutes.  The best way to describe those experiences are as follows...Not fun!

My H-Yeah Moment
I am sitting in my treatment room at the salon one day and my phone rings and on the other end was a totally amazing southern accent.  OMG! Instantly when I heard that voice I was flooded with memories of when I lived in Atlanta and how for lunch I would have buttermilk fried chicken, garlic smashed potatoes and coleslaw (I am getting hungry just thinking about it). Day dream Over!

Beth had called to check in with me to see how my trial went, because that is what good companies do.  They contact people that have used their product or services and just check in with them.  I told her about my insecurity about the website not being "fashionable" enough, and she understood  my point of view, and she promised me that if I gave them a try I would not be disappointed.

She was so sure that I would love their product that she was willing to give me another trial.  I had nothing to lose and time was of the essence.  Spring was fast approaching,  this is the start of my busy season.  So I went for it, and I haven't looked back.  Of the many business decisions that I have made in the last three years.  This one to date has been the most profitable.  In terms of driving new business my way.

The Little Site That Could
Out of the gate my site was searchable in google.  I came up when people searched for 'bikini wax Rochester, Mi'.  Which was totally awesome because I didn't have to do anything to get started.  Everything was already there for me.  I was off to a great start and I know in my heart that I would not be where I am today if it weren't for Stylenet.

They offer online support, their sites come with seo.  My site doesn't have a google page rank of 10 just yet but I know it will one day.  If you are a freelance esthetician, a salon or spa.  Looking for a website I highly recommend Stylenet.  These guys can take you places.  Thanks Stylenet

Oh and by the way you get a domain, hosting, support, and a turn key site for $49 a month. BOOM how ya like them apples.  I know I do.  Clients absostinkingloutely adore this site.  For every naysayer I have had 100 compliments...a few more apples I like.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I have been using Schedulicity for the past 3 months and well yeah, we are in love. I mean it was just right, one of those this is meant to be, kinda deals. Schedulicity has totally made it easy for clients to do business with me, and that is just friggin' awesome. Ya feel me?

Clients love it, because they can book an appointment when it works for them and I love it because it saves me the...

client: do you have a 3 o'clock
me: no, but I have a 3:15.
client:Yeah that's not going to work for me. What about a 4:10
me: can you come at 4:30 (womp, womp, womp).

I know you've been there, right? That conversation gets stale ¡muy rapido! Now I am no-internet guru, but a girl is pretty savvy when it comes to certain things internet and online scheduling is definitely my bailiwick. It is part of my personality to be cutting edge. I likes walking to the beat of my own drum, and being able to provide online scheduling to clients fulfilled that need.

I actually had an account with another online scheduling/answering service/friggin' nightmare for over a year before I hooked up with Schedulicity. I am all about the overall experience...from the first point of contact until the deal is sealed. It is my goal to provide an experience worth sharing with friends and family.

Schedulicity helps me accomplish this. Clients are scheduling online now vs. calling me and risking getting my voice mail, and they couldn't be happier. In the beginning I was not totally sold on them, because they don't believe in nailing the No-Shows to the wall with a full charge for a missed session:-|. I was as skeptical as the next. I was like Yeah, No... there is no way this could possibly work. It's too nicey nice.

Hey I am a one woman show, and too many of them there no-shows are bad for business. As an esthetician I'd grown fond of my Big Bad Sass...I'll Charge Your freaking Credit Card If You Miss your appointment policy. The best way for me to describe their platform is like "Glenda The Good Witch"...Magically helpful, trusting, and believing that all things will work out for the better. Ah! freakishly scary if you are not used to that.

I was so not not used to that approach in the industry (it's like the wild west out here sometimes), but I gave them a try anyway (thank goodness, because they have spoiled me rotten) and with-in the first week I noticed an increase of clients coming in for services. When I cross referenced my sites analytics. I could see how they were helping to drive me more business. The clicks were converting into sales and this is SUPER MAJOR.

I had to do a Whitley Gilbert "Relax, Relate, Release" and let Schedulicity do what it do, and it is a Job Well Done.

Side bar...and by the way they are not the total push overs I thought they on the pic to enlarge it and see how you can still pull off a Xena Warrior Princess if you have to.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I would have to say that in the last few weeks dreams really do come true. There is an awesome new site that offers skin care product selection and education without the "Drama" of the beauty business.

No advertisements here sister or brother for that matter. Just good ole fashioned skin care at it's finest. Create a profile and you are on your way to learning more about yourSkin. Not the skin that beauty product advertisers want you to have, but the skin you deserve.

This site was liberating for me and I am in the "beauty busyness". By nature I am not a product pusher (since most of them on the market are crap anyway) ask any client. I am about folks doing beauty & skin care the way that works best for them, and making a few recommendations here and there if things get to far out of control.

mySkin is my kindred beauty spirit. We both ENJOY skincare with out all of the noise. OMG please forgive me I am yammering continuously about how amazing this site is and it has not even launched to the public.

You know that I will always look our for yourSkin, so in true OprahWinfreyesque audience member fashion.
I am giving you all access to mySkin Use the code: msesthy to set up your profile. Just in time for the Holidays.

Best Wishes learning about yourSkin. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Bang Salon was a quite the bust before Tabatha stepped in and took things over. The owner Darren Anselmo was on the verge of losing it all.

Tabatha said it best when she called Bang the "Most unprofessional salon ever". I spent most of this episode of TST in shock. Call me old fashioned, but their behavior was not funny to me. Can you say sexual harassment boys and girls?

This kind of behavior has jaded our profession and it is sad. Kudos to Tabatha for speaking up. After realizing that his entire staff was ready to take a hike leaving Darren holding the bag, he had a change of heart.

Despite his change of heart the images of him gyrating on the the couch, Leona's urine sample, and the fully stocked bar are forever burned into my memory, and not in a good way;(. Best wishes to the team at bang salon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


After I made it official and declared Tuesdays" TST Tuesday" I couldn't wait to see what was in store for Allure Salon down in Coconut Grove Florida.

Pablo the 21 yr old salon owner was neck deep in debt over 75,000 and in the habit of being totally disrespected by his staff (pobresito Pablito). His story did inspire me because he worked his way from receptionist to salon owner in a short period of time (that's pretty cool).

The staff meeting was like every staff meeting that I've ever been in in this industry. The owner is not doing enough to promote the salon and the stylist are totally annoyed. Thank goodness Tabatha was there to help them help them out. They hit the beach to promote the salon. Offering free consultations and hair cuts what a great marketing idea.

There were no casualties just one temper tantrum thrown by a seasoned stylist (not surprising). I wish the team at Allure the very best.