2012 marks the 15th year the SALON TODAY 200 competition has celebrated and shared the data and success stories of some of our nation’s fastest-growing and best-managed salons. In our offices, there’s always a sense of excitement and satisfaction when the first box of issues crosses our threshold and we can crack open the first magazine and see the smiling faces of owners and their teams inside. But that moment isn’t the first time we share that excitement with honorees—at least in this day and age.

Since the beginning of this competition, we’ve mailed out letters to each and every applicant each November, letting them know if they made it into that year’s ST200. When we sent those letters out 15 years ago, it was a quiet affair, at least in our offices. Oh, the occasional salon owner would call to express their excitement and appreciation, but it was rare. No one emailed back them. In fact, according to our historical ST200 data, fewer than 40 percent of salons in 1998 even had access to email. Usually our team didn’t have the opportunity to share in our readers’ excitement until we begin seeing owners and their team members at trade shows in late January.  

As the years went by, and both SALON TODAY editors and salon owner readers became more comfortable with email, I’d receive several quick messages letting me know they got their letters. As technology continued to advance, even more owners would share their ST200 news with The Salon Association’s (now part of the Professional Beauty Association) listserve, affectionately known as The List. When those messages started surfacing, my sources at the association would let me know that the letters were hitting the in-boxes at the salons.

In the past few years, Facebook has emerged as the preferred method for owners to announce their news with us and each other, and since they are posting in real time, it has became an interesting experiment at our office to track how quickly the good old U.S. Postal Service is delivering mail around the country.

This November, a few weeks before our announcement letters went out, our MODERN SALON TV launched its community video sharing site, YouShare. So in this year’s notification letter, I encouraged salons to include us in that moment of excitement by recording it. I always knew the SALON TODAY 200 was relevant and important to salon owners, but I never realized just how emotional the moment of finding out they made it was, until I saw it for myself. Some owners laughed, some cried, some toasted with champagne, and they all came up with creative ways to capturing the moment.

CLICK HERE to experience all those YouShare moments yourself! We love 'em all, but wanted to make sure you didn't miss "The Envelope Please" by Studio Wish Salon and Spa (above) and "Jackie the Hair Fairy" from Hair Design Systems and Time in a Bottle Day Spa (below). 

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