ST200 Cover Contenders

By Stacey Soble | 01/09/2011 9:07:18 AM


 The faces who grace our special SALON TODAY 200 cover for January/February 2011.

The most challenging aspects of putting together each SALON TODAY 200 issue is the careful selection of cover ‘models’ and the design of the composite cover. Essentially, it’s a big jigsaw puzzle, since we’re taking a number of submitted portraits that were never intended to work together and trying to create one seamless image.

Much like you would start a jigsaw by sorting the edge pieces, our designer Himanshu Suthar initiates our cover process by sorting out all the owner portraits from the team shots. While we love team images for the interior pages, and we highly encourage applicants to submit creative, fun and engaging team shots, they don’t work for our cover concept.  Himanshu then continues to narrow the pool by selecting the submitted images with the highest resolution

At this point, Himanshu starts puzzling the cover, playing with the juxtaposition of the body positions of the different owners, as well as their clothing choices, until he has a few cover concepts with shots different owners that complement both our cover shape and the year’s signature color.

Now the editors take a stab at it, looking at each of the covers and considering the selected cover subjects from a political perspective. Our goal is to make the cover representative of the ST200 as a whole. We’re looking for balance, with the selected owners representing different ST200 competition categories, different areas of the country, and different sizes of salon operations. And, yes, we also like a balance of male and female subjects.

Taking all these factors into consideration, we begin swapping images until we arrive at a single cover option that works from both a visual and a political perspective. Now that you have an idea of how we select our ST200 cover owners, let me introduce you to 2011’s cover models:

David Wagner owns Juut Salonspas, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Juut has eight locations, which collectively employ 356 staff members. For this year, Juut was honored in the ST200 categories of Recruitment and Training, Marketing and Philanthropy.

Deborah Mitchell Schmidt owns Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa, Inc., headquartered in West Chester, Ohio. The salon operation’s five locations has 356 employees. Mitchell’s was honored in the categories of Technology, Recruitment and Training, Advanced Education, and Marketing.

Ric and Michele Wilson own Pure Aveda Salonspa in Mount Dora, Florida, a single location that employs 22 people. The Wilsons captured an honor in the Customer Service category.

Joseph Rogers owns Avantegarde Salon Spa, with two locations in Destin, Florida. With two locations, Avantegarde employs 30 staff members. For 2011, Avantegarde is honored in the category of Retail and Merchandising.

Haven't received your 2010 SALON TODAY 200 issue yet? Take your first peek now at our digital edition.






Stacey Soble Stacey Soble, Editor in Chief of Salon Today

Stacey has been involved in the conversation of salon business for 14 years—as a reporter, a consultant and as the Editor in Chief of SALON TODAY.

Read Stacey Soble's Blogs You can e-mail Stacey at


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