Avalon's Bonnie Conte Reflects on the Salon Today 200

As the Salon Today 200 gears up to celebrate its 20th year, we’ve invited past honorees to share their thoughts on the value of entering this salon business competition. While Bonnie Conte, owner of Avalon Salon and Spa in Deer Park, Illinois, is hard at work on her application this summer, she reflects on what earning this honor has meant to her and her team:

“Last month while filling my cash drawer with bills, I overheard a conversation that I’d like to share.  One of our loyal clients arrived eager to celebrate her friend’s birthday.  The special treat was a couple of spa pedicures.  As they walked in, our client said to her friend, ‘Avalon is a Salon Today 200 salon.  I’m so proud of them to be recognized like that because I’ve been coming here for years and I see how hard they work to provide our area with excellent service,” she said. ‘You’re about to find out what I mean, come on!”  She whisked her friend off before we had a chance to escort them.  I stood at my register, my eyes filled.  I turned to my manager and said, ‘Did you just hear that?!’ We both beamed with pride.

“I have so much respect for every Salon Today 200 honoree. There is a huge amount of grit and determination that goes into entering this competition. It isn’t a commitment that just comes around once a year when applications are due. It’s about kicking off each new year with a solid plan, paving the way for sales growth, keeping an energetic and happy team on board, consistently delivering excellent service and celebrating little successes along the way. Even though we have a history of ST200 honorees, each year the application is a challenge as we strive to develop fresh ideas that are executed into something wonderful for our guests and team. The journey of the Salon Today 200 keeps us moving our company forward!

“For the past five years, we have used our Salon Today 200 recognition as a branding tool for marketing and promotions.  With several salons in the area, benchmarking ourselves as the Salon Today 200 salon has given us a point of difference.  I love it when I am at a networking event and someone looks at my business card and says, “Avalon?  Aren’t you that Salon Today 200 salon at the mall?’  I love it!

“It’s an honor to complete the Salon Today 200 application each year, as it lets me “tell the stories” of what our team has accomplished together.  We now have 12 complete annual chapters in the Avalon story, that gives us the passion to make the next chapter the best one yet!”

We’d love to see your salon in our special 20th annual Salon Today 200 issue. Download the application today, select the categories you’d like to compete within, and get it in by August 31.

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