Salons of the Year 2011 Introduction and Judging Process

06/07/2011 10:34:23 AM


ONCE UPON A TIME in the land of salon design, retail was designated to a lone stand of shelves behind the reception desk. Public color bars were non-existent and shampoo bowls were simply a place to wash hair. And, the only person salon decor tried to please was the client.

In the modern-day salon fairy tale, the client experience still takes center stage, but employee comfort, efficiency, productivity and profitability take the curtain calls. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the 2011 SALONS OF THE YEAR.

In the following pages, you’ll see efficiently designed stations that hide clutter, while dryer and lighting systems provide an ergonomic and natural environment for stylists and colorists to create their best work. Color and chemical bars foster community among clientele who can read together, work online, or shop during processing time. In the shampoo areas, relaxing sound, light and aromatherapy enhance value-added massage, to make wash time a favored part of the beauty experience. Transformational retail areas are shopping destinations that rival any beauty retailer.

All of these changes are the hallmarks of salon owners who are serious about business, equally determined to please their clients and their staff, and focused on productivity and profitability.

The Judging Process
SALONS OF THE YEAR judging took place in three phases. First, SALON TODAY editors and designers reviewed each of the entries, including essays and photography. Next, a panel of editors and art directors evaluated each entry in further detail, selecting a group of finalists. Finally, our panel of outside, expert judges scrutinized essays and evaluated seven to 10 images from the finalists, scoring them in six different de´cor categories, including use of color, lighting, flooring, effi cient use of space, consistency of design and overall aesthetics. Judges’ scores were combined and used to determine the grand-prize winner, the runners up and the Salons of Distinction.

2011 Panel of Judges

Richard Cronk & Dominick Sansevero
Cronk and Sansevero joined forces in 1991, bringing together two small salons in Montclair, New Jersey, to create Bangz
Salon & Wellness Spa. With more than 70 years experience between them, their vision to create balance between a passionate workspace and a five-star guest experience has brought them national recognition, including being named the grand-prize winner of SALONS OF THE YEAR 2010. Bangz has now grown to more than 70 happy service providers and continues to find ways to make every day exciting and full of passion.

Debra Locker
For 17 years, Debra Locker has successfully held positions in public relations and journalism, which include creating Locker Public Relations ( in 2008. As a boutique firm, Locker PR focuses on luxury lifestyles including skin care, spas and eco products. Locker speaks internationally on public relations, is a published expert on communications as well as a beauty writer for

Mindy Terry
As the founder and president of Creative Spa Concepts, Mindy Terry leads a team of consultants who represent more than 75 collective years of experience in the wellness and hospitality industries. Creative Spa Concepts stands out from all other spa consulting firms because each consultant has developed, led or been an integral part of guiding spas to “Top Ten” status, including the rankings in Conde Nast Traveler, Luxury SpaFinder and Spa magazines. For more info, visit, as well as Twitter and Facebook@GetSpaSmart.

Lisa Martin
For the past six years, Lisa Martin has helped countless spa owners master their day-to-day challenges. As the founder and owner of Operation Spa, she utilizes undercover evaluations and employee incentive programs to help owners ensure that their clients are getting the high-quality, consistent service that’s expected. For more information, visit

Laurel Nelson
As editor of SALON TODAY from 2003-2008, Laurel Nelson is intimately familiar with the SALONS OF THE YEAR competition
and judging salon de´cor. Today, Nelson is the editor of MODERN SALON, and MODERN’s daily e-newsletters,
which deliver inspiration and top-notch education to beauty professionals.







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