Lucky 13!

Lucky 13!

In January, while you were likely clearing your walkway of snow, or chipping the ice off your windshield, Ginny Eramo, Interlocks Owner/Creative Director,  and Robin Spero, Director of Operations, skipped town for a long weekend to the steamy city of New Orleans. Their swift New England departure was not due to the weather forecast, and their basking was not in the Southern sunshine, but rather the glow of accomplishment as they picked up a Top 200 Award from Salon Today Magazine. Salon Today is the industry’s leading magazine and this was the 13th time that it bestowed Interlocks with its top honor.

Ginny Eramo (left), Stacey Soble (center), Robin Spero (right)

Stacey Soble, editor-in-chief of Salon Today, noted that Interlocks is a consistent winner, having now earned the award 13 times in the 16 years since the award was established.

Ginny said in her acceptance, “This award is a testament to our dedicated clientele and our amazing staff of 48 professionals.  It’s wonderful to once again earn the Top 200 Award as we celebrate our 25th year in business”.

Each year Salon Today invites salons and spas in the U.S. to participate in its contest. The winners are selected based on their best business practices and earnings data. Ginny and Robin spent time getting to know the other salon representatives (from 72 salons, Nation wide) who also journeyed to the Serious Business 2013 awards show.

Interlocks has been a fixture in Newburyport since 1988, opening in the Horton’s Yard building at 58 Merrimac Street not long after the city experienced a revitalization of its downtown.  The business has been a steady employer in Newburyport, currently employing a staff of 48, and contributing to the local economy.

Beyond that, Interlocks remains involved in a multitude of community service initiatives, with significant fund-raising efforts for the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center and Anna Jaques Hospital. Ginny was recently appointed Chairperson of the Anna Jaques Hospital Foundation Board.

At the Top 200 Awards in New Orleans, one of the ceremony’s guest speakers, Steve Reiss, publisher of Modern Salon and Salon Today, told Eramo, Spero and their fellow attendees that they were raising the bar in the area of salon business and that the industry looked to them as leaders. “Interlocks certainly intends to raise the bar further,” Eramo said. “We recently invested in an entirely new Mac-based appointment system. Each of our service providers is now equipped with an iPod which enables new capabilities to heighten efficiency and allows Interlocks to operate as a paperless environment.”

Interlocks now confirms appointments via email and text, and Eramo said the business will soon roll out the ability for clients to book appointments online.

“Clients are clamoring for ease of use,” Eramo noted. “From their smartphone, for example, a client wanting a Deep Tissue Massage will find the next available appointment online in a matter of seconds.”

Spero added, “The goal is greater customer service and we will continue to offer our guest services desk for check-in and check-out. But our staff will have more time to greet each client and assist with product selections in our 1,200-square-foot Beauty Apothecary.”

That Beauty Apothecary is the focal point that also helped Interlocks to garner its Retail & Merchandising trophy. “Our retail success begins with our head buyer,” said Eramo, who is quoted in the magazine referring to Alita Kaszuba. “Her role focuses on researching and implementing new lines and executing displays.” Among those successful product lines that clients enjoy are Decleor skin care, Thermafuse haircare, and NARS cosmetics.

At the New Orleans awards ceremony, it was a night to honor success. Eramo plans to continue that success in Newburyport as she is currently making plans to expand Interlocks, which may include a new location. She said, “I am thankful to the many clients we have known since 1988 and I greatly look forward to the future.”