Rosie Herman is living proof that the American Dream is alive and well. A Houston manicurist and salon owner, Rosie - with only her talents, faith and determination to bank on - has launched her own company that saw sales of nearly $10 million in its first full year, while allowing her to spend time with her children. In addition, she has been able to employ friends and family members, giving them the opportunity to maximize their skills and earn a better living.
How has Rosie built the beginnings of a new empire in a down economy? With a strong desire and drive to excel and a strong faith, which have guided her every step of the way. Add to that a couple of key people who were willing to take a chance on her - when most companies and banks wouldn't - and an exploding demand for stress-relieving, skin-smoothing spa and salon services, and the dream became reality.
Starting A Family
About 10 years ago on a typical day, Rosie was doing manicures in her Houston salon. In walked Neal Herman for a manicure. They hit it off immediately, started to date and eventually married. Then, Rosie and Neal decided to sell the salon and start a family, with Rosie planning to be a stay-at-home mom. But, that proved to be more complicated than they had planned. Finally, in October Rosie gave birth to twin girls, Jordan and Emily.
Rosie loved being a full-time wife and mother, but it took its toll on her - twin babies can be quite a handful! Plus, she wanted to find a way to earn enough extra money to take the girls out for special treats once a week. She considered doing nails one day a month, but that idea soon went by the wayside.
"One day, as I was looking at my dry hands, I thought that I could make a product to help them," explains Rosie. "I don't have a lot of time to pamper myself - as most women don't - but I still wanted my hands to look and feel better. I knew I had to develop a results-oriented product that worked quickly, while providing me a quick get-away - even if only for one minute at a time".
Using her knowledge of the products and services her salon clients loved, Rosie began to experiment with product formulation. Six months later, she had created The One Minute Manicure Spa Treatment (known as Mommy's Magic to her daughters and family). Her sister loaned her the money so she could produce 10 jars of the product, which Rosie made and gave away as Christmas gifts. It was an instant hit, and orders began to roll in.
Landing Her First Account
In Spring 1999, Rosie landed her first account - Interurban Gifts and Hair Expose - and her company, Mykytyn Enterprises, Inc., was born. Her neighbor, Shelly Salley, offered to help by printing invoices on her computer. Rosie and Shelly would meet on their street at 10 p.m. after their kids had gone to sleep, to exchange information and invoices. Soon, Rosie ran out of space and the garage was turned into Rosie's first office. The only thing missing was a computer, which a client gave her.
To keep up with the growing demand, Rosie needed more capital. She applied for several credit cards, but was denied at every turn because she was an "unemployed mom". She finally borrowed a credit card from her sister. Next, she asked a container company for a line of credit. Denied again. However, Liz Cabeen, who worked for Smith Container, believed in Rosie and worked to get her that line of credit. She succeeded. Then, in June 1999, Wood Creek Bank, the first bank to take a chance on Rosie, approved a $5,000 loan. Rosie paid it back in less than a year.
As the business grew, Rosie hired her husband Neal to make sales calls. On his first day, Neal landed the Salons of Post Oak. This was the first large salon that had purchased the product. In June 2000, Rosie hired her sister-in-law, Kathy Herman, as bookkeeper, and brought a long-time friend on board to handle outside sales. He set up a distribution network for the salon industry, and the company continued to grow exponentially.
In September 2000, Rosie exhibited at the Gift Market in Dallas, Texas (home of HairBoutique.com). The orders again flowed in. In fact, one of the first shops in Lubbock, TX arranged for Rosie's first television appearance, and sales continued to explode.
At this time, Rosie contracted with a manufacturing company to make the product. It soon became evident that a larger office was needed, so in December 2000, the One Minute Manicure team moved into their new office/warehouse complex, directly across the street from Rosie's church.
In January 2002, Kim Ferguson, whom Rosie had met at the Dallas Gift market, approached Rosie with a proposal to manage the gift shop accounts. Rosie agreed, and Kim now oversees more than 1,000 accounts.
Winning The Salon Business
Next, Rosie exhibited at two salon industry trade shows - the Esthetics and Spa Show in June and the Beauty and Barber Supply Institute's (BBSI) Annual Convention in July. Those two shows drove sales above and beyond Rosie's wildest dreams. At the same time, Rosie brought on two Manufactuers' Representative Groups to support the company's full-service salon distributors. As a result, the company gained distribution to salons and spas across North America virtually overnight. Marge Mykytyn, Rosie's sister-in-law came on board to handle international sales, while John Mykytyn, Rosie's brother, was hired to handle the warehouse, shipping and receiving. Rosie also hired Liz Cabeen, the first person who took a chance on her back at Smith Container, to oversee manufacturing.
Living Rosie's Dream
Today, One Minute Manicure offers three products - Spa Treatment, Essential Repair Oil (shown to the side) and Daily Skin Therapy - ranging in price from $9.95 to $59.95 with a variety of line extensions on the way for Spring 2002. The company has grown to fill five warehouses with 25 employees and several outside marketing and sales consultants, and distribution across North America, plus Mexico, India and Spain.
As president and CEO of One Minute Manicure, Rosie directs the vision of her company, while living her dream - a new career that combines what she loves - her expertise in caring for the hands and feet and providing wonderfully relaxing, stress-relieving treatments for her clients - with her desire to care for her family. The twins, now four, often visit several times a day.
And Rosie is still her own best customer. "I really love to use the Spa Treatment first thing in the morning. It helps me start the day with a quick energizing spa-like experience, and helps motivate me for the hectic day ahead," she says. "Then, throughout the day, it lets me escape - and get away with it - even if for only 60 seconds."
One Minute manicure is available at upscale salons, spas and fit boutiques across North America. For one near you, call 1-866-663-6468 or visit the web site.