Monday, May 19, 2008

Manolos and Sex And City Movie

I’m so excited about the Sex And the City Movie!

I’m going to try to hijack our bookgroup into becoming a movie group for the month. (After all, we are more free form these days – we’re reading some macrobiotic food article and Michelle is cooking us a macrobiotic meal tomorrow).

In anticipation, I just bought my first pair of Manolos today! Even though they’re not mine, it was thrilling. They are all feathery and elegant.

Anyone who comes into Julep for a pedicure before June 13th can enter to win the Manolos, and 4 tickets to the Sex And The City Movie. We’re also playing Sex And the City in our parlors (still so exciting to write “parlors” in plural!) this month. I'm going to send out an e-mail newsletter later tongiht, and trying to figure out what acronym to use (SATC? S&The City? S&TC?) so that we don't get filtered out as inappropriate content.

We had some friends over for a barbeque this weekend, and the guys were all predicting that the movie would not be good. I can’t imagine what it would take for me not to enjoy this movie (leaky roof right above my seat?).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our New Downtown Parlor is Now Open!

Since last I wrote, we have:
· Opened our beautiful new downtown parlor (and the last of our furniture - for the reception area - arrived today!).
· Celebrated our first mother’s day - at both parlors!
· Submitted for permitting for our new Gig Harbor location.
· Eaten dozens of Top Pot doughnuts (okay, that’s mostly ME)

I feel about our second parlor the way I felt about our second child – having our first child made us parents, having our second child made us a family. It was the tipping point where the whole became a stronger separate entity that I felt a stronger, separate responsibility to define, grow and nurture (aside from the parental obligations of nurturing each individual child).

This has made my role more familiar, but in a bittersweet way. Over the past year, I have loved being the one who solves everything directly – from tropical temperatures and lighting outages all the way through financing and strategic planning.

But we now have a talented cadre of managers, who are doing the day to day doing. Angelina is trouble shooting the tropical temperatures and slow booking software. Amy and Patience are recruiting, and Anna is building the staffing schedules and creative new programs like the Night of Amore (teaching couples how to do foot massage). And it’s hard to complain about not being the one to open at 7:30am and close at 9:30pm (thank you guys!!!).

As Jeanne and Kate keep reminding me, my role now is to support this talented crew, define what success looks like at Julep and help them achieve it – so they can, in turn, to do the same inside each parlor with our talented team of estheticians and vernisseurs. Both Jeanne and Kate are great at anticipating our team’s needs. Kate says that she loves it when she has a plan that works. That’s how she gets her work highs. Jeanne said she stressed two months ago (updating/writing/directing all of us to write pieces of the manager / parlor hostess / vernisseur operating manuals) so she’s not stressing now (except about having her baby, which should happen THIS WEEK if all goes well!).

I’m really excited about the opportunity to focus a little more on figuring out where we’re headed as a whole, and who we want to be as a collective entity.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Thoughts of our first, founding parlor

As we open the doors to our new downtown parlor, I’m really overwhelmed by how much we’ve accomplished at our first, "founding parlor" in the University District. We’ve now made our guests just a little more relaxed and glamorous over 14,000 times in amazing manicures, pedicures, esthetics treatments and massages.

If it wasn’t for the amazing team who built Julep from our first harried days of working EVERYTHING out on the fly, we wouldn’t be where we are today (operating as smooth as glass in our new parlor on our very first day!).

So an enormous thank you to everyone who was a part of the first, founding parlor in our first, founding year: Amy, Anthony, Arlene, Hadassah, Jeanne, Karri, Kate G, Lisa, Marika, Mae, Michelle, Summer, Danielle, Audrey, Tracey, Margot, Megan A, Megumi, Jessica, Ali, Keaomee, Leah, Shannon, Erin, Patience, Kate M, Anna, Thu, Rosemary, Mary Lee, Jesse, Jaimie, Tara, Quynh, Xenia, Phoebe, (and our “newbies”: Becky, Dawn, Megan B. and Susie too!).

You have each made unique contributions to Julep and have helped us to grow in countless ways. I will always be grateful to you.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The weekend before . . .

Our new "firefly" lights. (Thank you Tom!).
Here's Kate, hard at work steaming drapery.

And our new Julep vernisseurs, practicing (and receiving!) our Julep Parlor Pedicure during our five day Immersion program. (There's Kate G on the end, hard at work on our opening e-mail campaign while being a model!). Being with this terrific crew was like drinking five lattes - just crazy energizing! And here's the retail display Angelina created, on the beautiful piece designed by Jennifer and built by Chris.

And here's our "To Do" list! More and more tasks getting crossed out. . .

Just two days until we open our new downtown parlor! We just finished our third week-long "Julep Immersion Program" - with new vernisseurs, parlor hostesses, and Evelyn (our new esthetician) from both our Unviersity District and Downtown parlors. I always love immersion - it's inspiring to be so face to face with such enthisuasm and dedication.

Then, on Wednesday, our beautiful client service chairs arrived (orange leather!). And on Friday, our pedicure ottomans arrived along with one manicure bar, and on Saturday, the manicure carts and other manicure bar.

Although we had to go several rounds with Qwest, our DSL and phone lines are connected (there was apparently some confusion about whether we just wanted jacks installed, or whether we wanted jacks installed AND turned on. FYI you have to specify the latter . . .).

This parlor opening is actually turning out to be so much more nervewracking for me than the first time around. The first time, we didn't have a reputation at stake. But because our original crew did such an amazing job at our Northcut location, I now feel like we have high expectations to meet.

But we are working hard to meet them. For example, this time around, we not only know how to do credit card processing, but it is integrated into 2 POS terminals that have been set up (properly) and tested and retested. Mary Lee even figured out how to set up our bar code scanner!

Besides, as Yoda says in "Revenge of the Fifth" (as my daughter calls it), the fear of loss leads to the dark side ("Beware the dark side. Strong it is"). This is also a message given to the Avatar (the Nickelodeon series my son and husband are obsessed with). To reach the Avatar state, Ang has to let go - and not fear loss.

Loosely translated to the manicure/pedicure/skincare business, I think this means that we should focus on the positive vision of what we want to be in the future, not fearful of losing the ground we are standing on today. Although we wield nail vernis brushes instead of light sabers, we need to vanquish fear and let the force guide us.

Finishing touches

Our new, high manicure bar! Such a cool spot.
Now it's Kate and Mary Lee. What a dynamic duo.

Lisa, taking a break from polishing color palattes to text her sweet husband?

And here's the work!

Friday - T-3 days

Lynda and Kirk sitting in our beautiful orange leather chairs.
Gourmando fed us with yummy boxed lunches! The curried lamb gyro was amazing.

Amy hard at work polishing!

And Ripley - whose name comes up with alarming freqency in Jeanne's e-mails directing us on how to set up our technology.