The Story of Otto

Denise Baich, 2017

It was early February and I had just committed to opening my own Certified Safe Salon Nailcare Suite.  It was an amazing feeling, but it was time to purchase my inventory and…. My autoclave.  For those who have done the research, an autoclave can cost a pretty penny, and the autoclave I was on the hunt for needed to accommodate more than the few implements the salon models would accommodate, which would bump me up into an uncomfortable price bracket.  A bracket that was not in the budget.

I searched for hours on Ebay and Amazon.  I called leasing companies to no avail when they advised it would require a $5,000 minimum to do business and I ventured really close to hitting “buy now” with my credit card in hand to have payments over time… but my heart and gut would stop me every time.  I was stressed to the point of exhaustion with regard to this purchase, and discouraged.  To be a Certified Safe Salon an autoclave is a must.

Have you ever just known it would be ok?  When doing what is right, even in the depths of those moments when you should doubt the possibilities of something coming to fruition… you just know, “This will come together.”  Well, that is the faith that I had every time I would prevent myself from settling for an autoclave that just wasn’t quite right.  I even proceeded to sign the lease for my suite before I found my autoclave because I just knew it would present itself at the moment it needed to happen.

So one morning I poured my cup of coffee and signed on to my computer.  Once again, I surfed.  I checked out Ebay, I checked out Amazon… I checked out Craigslist.  Typing in, over and over “A…U…T…O…C…L…A…V…E…” I found myself frustrated once again.  I pushed back from the table, walked away from the computer, and literally said a little prayer aloud.  I took a deep breath and sat down at the keyboard once again and rested my fingers on the keys, but this time I typed in “S…T…E…R…I…L…I..Z…E…R…” And hit enter.

Up popped a listing on Craigslist in Arkansas. (I’m in St. Louis…seriously close, it’s all good!)  There on the screen in front of me was an adorable picture of the autoclave I now lovingly have dubbed as “Otto,“ a vintage 7700 Castle autoclave.  The caption below Otto’s picture said “Works great! $100.00.” The seller was the kindest of individuals and he thanked me for purchasing this because he “wasn’t sure I would ever sell that thing.” I overpaid him at $150.00, and as an added bonus, the seller, his family and I have become friends as well.

When Otto arrived, “he” needed a bit of polishing and a new O-ring (it was hard as a rock).  I took it to my mechanic who changed it out in no time flat and he wouldn’t accept a dime for his effort.  I gave him a hug.

So, as Otto rests in his new home at The Pedicure Plus, working like a charm, I wanted to share that there are so many morals to our story.  “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” “Have faith in that gut feeling.” “Don’t settle for what’s good, go for what is best…though reasonable.” “When shopping for an autoclave, use the word ‘sterilizer,’ also,” “Say a prayer,” and “It was meant to be.” Otto is now my BFF, for certain, all bright and shiny….until I need a larger one!

I hope this story helps you find your “Otto” too!

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