At SALON TODAY, we love surprises. And, naturally we love capturing the moment in video when the opportunity presents itself.

Last week I was in Chicago for an editorial planning meeting, where all the editors of our sister publications, including MODERN SALON and FIRST CHAIR gathered. I had just received the final scoring ballots from our specially chosen panel of industry judges for the 2013 SALONS OF THE YEAR, and I first shared the results with my fellow editors. "What can we do to make the public announcement really special?" I asked.

I shared with the team that this year's grand-prize winner is Posh Hair Studio, an elegant, contemporary, and very unique 1,400-square-foot space in Kew Gardens, New York. There was a burst of excited applause from the editors who had helped with the first round of judging this year, because Posh's uniquely curved interior walls influenced the natural wave of human hair had left a definite impression.

Simultaneously, Maggie Mulhern, who is the beauty director for MODERN SALON and based in New York, whipped out her calendar and said, "I call them and tell them as a finalist I'd love to come by and videotape a salon tour and then we could surprise them with the announcement in the end."

Then, Debbie Ogilvie, executive managing editor for both SALON TODAY and MODERN, said, "It'd be great if we could present them with a mockup of the June cover as part of the surprise. Let's see if Himanshu (our art director) could pull it together before Maggie goes." As the winner of the 2013 SALONS OF THE YEAR, Posh captures the cover and a feature in our June issue, as well as year-long bragging rights.

So Maggie contacted Posh's owners, Eugen and Irina Patrascu, and set up a time to swing by the salon the following Monday, and Himanshu quickly designed a preliminary cover for the purposed of the surprise.  (I emphasize 'preliminary,' because as editor I reserve the right to add to it, tweak it and change it right up until the time it goes to press.)

On Monday, Eugen and Irina were more than happy to participate in a videotaped salon tour with Maggie. Still unaware that the salon had won this year's top honor, Eugen pointed out the salon's uniquely curved walls, the shelves with the special LED lighting that allows the owners to tweak the retail shelves' color to match a holiday or retail promotion, and the hidden coat closet behind the front desk.

At the end of the video, Maggie comes back into view and announces to the couple, "You won!" I'm not going to share how the Patrascus reacted, because it's well worth watching it for yourself!

From all of us at SALON TODAY and MODERN SALON, a very special congratulations to Eugen and Irina and all 20 salons who are honored in this years SALONS OF THE YEAR competition. Here are the final results:

Posh Hair Studio
Kew Gardens, New York
Owned by Eugen & Irina Patrascu

Anthony Cristiano
Chicago, Illinois
Owned by: Anthony Cristiano

Matthew Morris Salon and Skincare
Denver, Colorado
Owned by: Matthew Morris & Marvin Gutierrez

Hair Peace Salon and Spa
The Lounge Barbershop and Shave Parlor
Owosso, Michigan
Owned by: Jamie Smith, Casey & Adam Voss


20 Volume Salon and Spa
Gilbert, Arizona
Owned by: Stacey Waddell

Aquae Sulis Salon and Spa
Saint George, Utah
Owned by: Teddy Ross-Hill, Alex Ross-Hill, Brandon Ross-Hill, Susan Ross-Hill, Simon Ross-Hill

Art + Science Wicker Park
Chicago, Illinois
Owned by: Paul Wilson & David Raccuglia

Artistic Image
Westport, Connecticut
Owned by: Patricia Gurnari

Bijin Salon and Spa
Prairie Village, Kansas
Owned by Connie Suss and Mary Jane Van de Castle

Blu Water Day Spa & Salon
Kensington, Maryland
Owned by: Julie Nguyen

Cortello Salon
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Owned by: Ryan Fitzgerald & Courtney Costello

Exsalonce Salon & Day Spa

Chicago, Illinois
Owned by Tony Odisho

Industry 80 Salon @ Depot Square
Tuckahoe, New York
Owned by: Geo & Dominic Greco-Trupia

Jon Alan Salon
Nashville, Tennessee
Owned by: Jon and Alan Snetman

L.A.R.C. Salon
Dallas, Texas
Owned by: Lauren Langager, Amy Wetz, Rasheena Williams, Cameron Campbell

Lanphier Day Spa and Salon
Darien, Connecticut
Owned by: Eileen and Nusrat Rizvi

Panache Salon and Spa

Erie, Pennsylvania
Owned by: Edna Siegel

Pin Curls

Chicago, Illinois
Owned by: Sarah McGinnis

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Owned by: Jim Kokotavy

The Refresh Bar & Spa
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Owned by: Enoch Kwok

Tour the 2013 SALON OF THE YEAR!

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