Sani Sak, founded by Kelly Brown and Debra Lindy is the new talk of the industry. With its crowdfunding launch on December 5 and recent CBS Los Angeles segment, it’s set to become the latest gamechanger. Founded in an effort to lessen the potential of risk for consumers within nail salons, which can often lack the proper sanitation which can lead to an increase in the potential of personal injury. Not only does Sani Sak bring with it a new level of awareness and a solution to a serious problem, this stylish and portable professional-grade kit is the perfect new product for those who frequent the nail salon.
What is the story behind Sani Sak, and how and why was the company founded? With an abundance of health and wellness advice imbedded into our minds, we sometimes forget what is right under our noses. And although the news tries to keep us in the loop, they just can’t cover it all. Cleanliness is key, and just not in our homes. The germs that are found in restaurants, hotels, spas, and just as importantly nail salons, can be dangerous.
Most people visit a nail salon at least twice a month, and the majority of them trust and do not think twice about whether or not that establishment is clean and safe. Unlike restaurants who have a grading system to alert us, nail salons are breeding grounds for contamination. Unfortunately, more than a few unsuspecting customers have been injured for life, as most are not well-educated on the subject of lack of sanitation in nail salons.
Here is the story of lifelong best friends… Kelly Brown and Debra Lindy.
In 2010, Kelly Brown’s life was severely modified.
Most women, and men, take joy in visiting nail salons as part of their weekly beauty regimens, but for Kelly Brown, she now equates manicures with pure anguish.
As a woman who always took pride in her nails, Kelly frequently visited the salon of her childhood friend and manicurist Debra Lindy, who had consistently made sure that Kelly’s nails were well-groomed and pristine. However, one day when Debra was unavailable, Kelly decided to fulfill her urgent need for a manicure and try another salon for the first time. Little did she know that this innocent choice would mark the day as one where her life would be altered forever.
Within a week after receiving an acrylic gel treatment, Kelly broke one of her thumbnails and saw what appeared to be black discoloration underneath. Feeling alarmed, she immediately went to Debra for reassurance, who deemed the situation as severe and encouraged her friend to immediately go to a doctor. Much to Kelly’s dismay, she had caught a very serious bacterial infection, most likely from the salon’s contaminated tools, and was informed that she needed to promptly remove her artificial nails. Kelly’s orthopedic surgeon and dermatologist explained that due to the seriousness of the infection, her chances of being able to regrow thumbnails once she overcame the illness, was highly unlikely, if not impossible. Unfortunately, they were right. Kelly permanently lost both of her thumbnails.
After enduring two years of very painful symptoms, Kelly made it her goal and mission to help others who were in similar circumstances, and to educate those unaware of the dangers of visiting nail salons. With the dream of developing a “safe kit” that people could bring with them while getting their nails done, Kelly approached Debra for assistance in designing the concept. The two women began extensive research on the sanitation dangers of nail salons and quickly realized that Kelly was just one of many thousands of victims to fall ill from a routine manicure. Furthermore, they learned that 75% of nail salons (both luxury and affordable locations) tested every year by The State Board of Cosmetology weren’t following sterilization protocol, and many undercover investigations have found contagious bacteria on nail technicians’ tools.
Now, six years in the making Kelly and Debra have lovingly created Sani Sak – The Cure In Manicure… to aid and protect women and men from contracting any harmful infections while they visit a nail salon. Sani Sak’s belief is that no one should ever be subjected to the physical and mental pain Kelly has been through.
Sani Sak is a small, convenient, affordable unisex bag that contains all the items a client needs to safely receive a manicure and pedicure, while maintaining their much deserved health and well-being.
Tell us about your background; how did you two meet? We met in 1974 on Sunny Hills High School campus in Fullerton, CA and became instant friends.
Kelly Brown is a driven entrepreneur from Orange County, CA who believes in the power of diligence, motivation, and helping others. She successfully owned and operated a mortgage and real estate company for over 22 years.
In 2010, Kelly suffered an injury after a nail salon visit that led to the permanent loss of both her thumbnails. This experience inspired years of research and the discovery of a major problem in the salon industry. With her entrepreneurial spirit and business background, Kelly knew there had to be a way to protect others from going through what she suffered, and Sani Sak is the result.
Kelly has two beautiful daughters and three amazing grandchildren, one of whom she has raised as a son since birth. She loves spending time with her family and traveling, and dreams of creating opportunities for the less fortunate all over the world.
Debra Lindy is an Orange County, California based entrepreneur currently involved in the beauty industry. Debra has always been very driven and hardworking and obstacles rarely deter her. Early in life Debra realized she wanted to be a business owner as opposed to an “employee” and because of that belief acquired a license in the Cosmology field and training in sales.
Debra has often pursued independent ventures, and as a result in 1998 she was ranked #2 in sales and the only female on the sales force at Adhesive Brokers. In 2006 Debra fulfilled a life’s dream to work alongside her daughters and purchased her own Salon, however, she eventually learned that she was better suited in a sales and creative role than actually behind the chair! In 2012 she quickly moved to a top position in Nerium International and still has a growing team.
Debra is very passionate about her latest venture, as co-inventor of Sani Sak she knows she has finally found the missing creative calling in her life! Debra has three beautiful daughters and in her spare time she is a “Nonna” and loves playing with her nine grandchildren. Family events, her two dogs, time spent with friends, helping children and other women, reading, traveling, and staying healthy are her greatest joys.
In terms of the market, Sani Sak has emerged with a game-changing new product; how do you see this changing the industry as it is now? Our mission is two-fold. First, to make people aware of the risks in salons. And secondly, to offer a solution to this issue that offers safety, but yet it’s also fun to own! We dream of the day that salons take sanitation more seriously and genuinely want to make following sanitation protocol a priority. However, we also realize that when salons get busy human error occurs and sanitation often gets overlooked in the best of situations. Sani Sak is your safety net.
Sani Sak is also a win win. The client has a safe experience and the salon owners save time and money. Our kit provides tools that will cut the salon’s costs considerably, but most importantly Sani Sak can help prevent the transfer of bacteria and an unhappy customer.
Why do you believe there’s such a prevalence of improper sanitation and resulting harmful infection within the nail salon industry? How is this such an overlooked part of the business? There is a plethora of reasons. Namely, germicides are costly and sanitation/sterilization procedures are time consuming. Salons get busy and nail techs cut corners.
The Board of Cosmetology is shorthanded. They are understaffed and the inspectors are overworked. Salons are rarely inspected.
For a new customer, how does the product work for them? How can they best utilize it? A client will simply take the Sani Sak into the nail salon and unroll the Sani Organizer on the manicuring station. It is most effective if the client places their hands directly on the cloth and only allows the nail tech to use the tools and supplies provided in the kit. Sani Sak was designed by a manicurist, keeping in mind that not only is everything in the kit meant to keep the client safe, but also provides the manicurist with tools and supplies that are equal or better than what she/he is accustomed to using.
Can Sani Sak work for at-home use as well, or is it just meant for salon use? Yes, it can be used at home but was primarily designed for in spa use.
As a brand, what do you hope to accomplish in the coming year? Sani Sak is patent pending and first to market and we are very optimistic that Sani Sak will cause a stir in the industry and create a necessary awareness that will inspire an abundance of record breaking sales. We want Sani Sak to be the talk of the industry and for the public to realize it is a solution to a serious problem.