Saline Spa Owner Turns Setback Into Success
Lori Halloway has a lot of good reasons to celebrate. As the owner of Voila Salon and Spa in Saline, she recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the spa opening. Halloway has been a licensed nail technician for nearly thirty years. She brings her years of experience to share with over 600 thousand subscribers of her YouTube channel, along with nearly 500 thousand TikTok followers, making her the number one provider of pedicure tutorials on the internet.
After a work-related medical setback nearly put her into early retirement, Halloway developed an invention to help other nail techs who suffer from similar ailments.
“The service industry is notorious for being hard on your body,” Halloway said. “The repetitive use injuries, compounded by my psoriatic arthritis, led me to need a neck fusion. My neurologist told me I had to retire from my career or I would have to have two more disks fused within two years, and then I would not be able to bend my neck at all.”
Halloway refused to give up, and instead worked to create a tool that would help alleviate the stress caused by her occupation. After several attempts, the Ergo Lift was invented, developed, and marketed to other nail techs around the world.
“My goal was to find a solution to prevent repetitive use injuries that cause damage to the disks. I was adamant about not giving up my career and the business I worked so hard to create,” Halloway said.
With help from her husband, Bruce, Halloway was able to create the first ergonomically designed hand rest for the nail industry.
“The prototype was made of wood that my husband and I made in our garage,” she said. “After using it for a few months, I could work eleven hours straight with no pain.”
After several adjustments and tweaks to the design, Halloway was able to submit a patent to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She then hired a local company, In 2 Being, to generate a design for manufacturing. The patent process took over eighteen months. After hiring a manufacturer, The Ergo Lift was finally ready for production and distribution.
“The Ergo Lift removes all weight of the client’s hand and arm from the nail technician’s body. The pressure and strain from holding onto a client’s hand while working daily causes wrist, arm, neck and back pain. It also improves the tech’s posture to allow the head to be positioned appropriately over the nail tach’s shoulders,” she explained.
Halloway’s YouTube channel, The Meticulous Manicurist, was the perfect venue to spread the word about her product.
“I use my YouTube channel for marketing the hand rest to nail technicians worldwide, and I also have a booth and teach classes at a trade show every year in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.”
Halloway’s online presence is not limited to YouTube and TikTok. At the request of subscribers, she created the Meticulous Manicurist Online Nail Academy, which teaches the craft with virtual classes.
“When I started the YouTube pedicure tutorials, I began getting inundated with emails from people worldwide asking for help,” she said. “ I just started trying to meet the needs of the public. I tried to make videos to address the most common questions to cut down on the number of inquiries, but the number of techs asking for help increased as time went on.”
Halloway realized that there was insufficient pedicure training available to nail techs. She spent the time of COVID lockdowns to create the training academy, and has successfully certified technicians in eight countries and nearly every state in the US.
“It is exhilarating to get positive feedback from clients and gratitude from graduates. The online academy has been going strong for one year now, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”