click image to zoomNeill-TSP's Edwin Neill and Debra Neill Baker and SALON TODAY's Chandler Rollins, Stacey Soble, Katharine Cook and Steve Reiss before the salon business celebration of the year. After the last speaker issued the final words of advice at this year’s Serious Business 2014 and the last vendor packed up their display and headed for the airport, approximately 380 people representing 84 of the salons and spas honored in this year’s SALON TODAY 200 gathered at the theater in Harrah’s Casino to remember the last few years in business and honor each other’s success.
Hosted by Neill-TSP and SALON TODAY, the reception was the official certificate presentation for the honorees of the SALON TODAY 200, a competition that recognizes growth and best business practices. The gathering itself was the fifth year Neill-TSP invited ST200 honorees to celebrate their success immediately following the two-day business conference, and this year’s party was held at a new venue to accommodate the growing numbers of owners and their team members wanting to participate. The room, filled with cocktail tables, a festively dressed crowd, a buffet of hors d’ oeuvres and a stage with waiting awards, brought the celebration the excited, elegant energy of a Golden Globes.
Debra Neill Baker welcomed the attendees and talked about the synergy between Serious Business and SALON TODAY. Special guest Howard Hafetz, president of Raylon who also founded SALON TODAY and published it for its first 10 years, congratulated the salons on their hard work and talked about the importance of community and a competition that rewarded success in business. Then, Steve Reiss, publisher of SALON TODAY and its sister publication MODERN SALON, congratulated the honorees before introducing Stacey Soble, editor of SALON TODAY.
Soble spoke about the unexpected benefit that has developed from these ST200 celebrations – that the honored owners themselves were forming a community and supporting one another. As and example, she pointed out the special friendship that has developed between Studio Wish Salon’s Rowena Yeager, Avalon Salon and Day Spa’s Bonnie Conte, Headlines the Salon’s Gayle Fulbright and Maggie the Salon’s Maggie DiFalco, who met at the first ST200 reception and have been supporting each other in business and in life ever since.
Finally, Soble and fellow editor Chandler Rollins welcomed each of the honored salon teams on stage to accept their award and pose for a picture with an over-sized version of SALON TODAY 200 cover. “It was a very special night for these owners but also for the SALON TODAY 200 team—you could feel the energy and excitement in the room,” says Soble.