I might be one of the few people that didn't hate 2009. I admit it was a rough year but aren't they all in some way or another? Even after 21 years of experience in the salon world, this year made Andrew and I pay attention to every detail more than ever. It is like the old saying: what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Early in 2009 I read an article in the Business Section of the San Francisco Chronicle that this recession would mark the survival of the fittest. That really stuck with me—in order to to stay in the game this past year we had to pull out all the stops. If diPietro Todd can open a new salon in a down economy, stay true to our principles of customer service, start up a creative department, expand our academy, and put on Collective V2 (our best show to date), I would say it was a pretty decent year.