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Meet Gary Sadler of SalonSafe in Norton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gary Sadler.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am an architect and owner of Upland Architects, Inc., a firm located in Norton, MA that specializes in national retail architectural design. Being knowledgeable about and keeping up with changes in the building codes is an important aspect of our job as designers and architects. While working on a nail salon design project in Boston, MA, our client came to us with a unique problem: Design us a nail salon that complies with the new ventilation code requirements without taking away from the upscale brand that we need to maintain.

The ventilation codes require nail salons to provide a way to capture fumes at the source (source capture) while providing fresh air to back into space. There are many ways to do this: with shop-vac-like vacuums but can be unsightly and noisy. Also, fresh air requirements generally call for expensive and inefficient HVAC systems. None of these existing solutions were acceptable to our client.

I decided (along with my colleague, Adam Rebello) to invent our own ventilation solution. We call it Salon Safe. It is a patent pending ventilation system that combines the best features of source capture while meeting the requirements for fresh air. It does this in a thoughtful, quiet, elegantly designed all-in-one system that is compact, efficient and inexpensive. We’ve worked closely with the City of Boston Public Health Commission in their mission to clean-up the City’s nail salon environments by the end of 2018. They have been very supportive of our system.

Today we continue to educate and inform other building officials in and around the State of MA and beyond and have partnered with a manufacturer in Canada that is helping us improve and streamline our system.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The code requirements for nail salon ventilation are very technical and are generally difficult to understand for a nail technician or salon owner..(and sometimes even the local code official.) There is still a lot of resistance by the salon industry to make the investment in these required ventilation upgrades. Some say the cost of these improvements will put them out of business. Some suggest that no one is getting sick at their shops so why do we need these overburdensome regulations.

So one of our biggest challenges is educating the industry on these code requirements and illustrating just how important it is to the health of the worker and customer alike.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our business is focused foremost on providing a clean, healthy environment for the nail salon worker and their clients. Because of our credentials in architecture and design, we are very knowledgeable about the building codes. specifically the ventilation requirements for nail salons. Our system combines the function of a source capture ventilation system and takes form in an elegant, quiet, thoughtfully designed way.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up I always wanted to be an architect. I liked to draw and sketch like most architects probably do. But I also like to take a seemingly unsolvable problem or task and break it down into smaller elements and come up with the most efficient and economical solution. The nature of our retail design work forces us to problem-solve for our clients. Generally in a way that saves them time and gets them to market faster.

My interests these days are focused on my family and growing my business. I’m blessed to have a wife and a good team at the office that supports what we do.


  • SalonSafe FreshAire Unit serves up to four manicure or pedicure stations: $3300

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