Step Up to the Bar

The Nail Bar in Denver offers natural nail services and specialized medical-style pedicures — which seem to agree quite well with the thousands of fit baby boomers that populate the Mile-High City.

GOOD, AND GOOD FOR YOU: Located in Denver, the nation’s “Baby Boomer Capital,” where one-third of the population is between the ages of 35 and 54, The Nail Bar makes the most of its mature, health-minded clientele by offering natural nail services and its trademark “Medi Pedi.”

“The Nail Bar promotes only natural manicures and pedicures. We educate our clients on consistent, proper care of the hands and feet,” says owner Michelle Marchand. “Our clients are typically businessmen and women. They are generally weekly clients who care about the health of their hands and feet.”

But banish all thoughts of a clinical atmosphere and stark service offerings, and imagine instead a bright and airy salon offering a wholesome menu. With an inviting four-station nail bar, two squishy leather pedicure stations, warm hardwood floors, and nary a harsh scent to be found, The Nail Bar is a breath of fresh air for clients and nail techs alike.

Salon Name: The Nail Bar

Location: Denver, Colorado

Owner: Michelle Marchand (left)

Square Footage: 630

Years of Ownership: 2,

Number of Nail Techs: 3

Specialties: Medi Pedi, natural manicures and pedicures.

Other Services: esthetics

For Marchand, the charm of her salon also lies in what isn’t there. “Clients are happy because the salon is pretty and there are no harsh odors from chemicals. Low, easy-listening music replaces the loud techno music sometimes associated with modern salons.”

THE ROAD TO WELLVILLE: The brainchild of Marchand, a 15-year veteran of the nail industry, The Nail Bar opened its doors in 2002, and its focus on natural nail care was no accident. “I graduated from beauty school in 1989,” says Marchand. “I soon realized acrylics weren’t my thing.”

Turning her attention to natural nail care, Marchand studied under one nail tech for three years before venturing out to booth rent. In 2000, Marchand enrolled and graduated from an advanced foot care program offered through a school recognized by the Canadian Examining Board of Health Care Practitioners.

Armed with her certificate and ready to put her advanced foot care expertise to good use, in 2002 Marchand found the space that would become The Nail Bar. “I always had the desire to be a business owner,” says Marchand “I always kept a folder with my ideas and future salon plans in it. I wanted to design a salon where manicurists could work efficiently and clients could be comfortable.”

Located in a middle-income residential area, The Nail Bar shares a small shopping center with restaurants, a women’s gym, a grocery store, and a liquor store.

IT DOES A BODY GOOD’ The Nail Bar offers two tiers of manicure services, three tiers of pedicure services, and esthetic services including waxing, and eyelash and eyebrow tinting. But its claim to fame lies in its “Medi Pedi” service. Taking her expertise in foot care, Marchand performs medical- style pedicures.

The Medi Pedi service lasts 40 to 60 minutes and is tailored to treat ingrown toenails, warts, corns, and fungus. While it does not include the feel-good massage, it is perfect for those clients looking to improve the health of their feet.

Clients looking for a little more pampering opt for The Nail Bar’s namesake pedicure, which includes a hand treatment. Feet soak in warm milk and almond oil while the hands are slathered in lotion and popped into warm mitts. Cuticles, nails, and calluses are tended to, followed by an exfoliation, massage, and moisturizer.

Manicures are thorough, but veer away from frou-frou. There are no flowers floating in the soak, no fancy serums, and no extended massages. Good, old-fashioned nail care takes the place of the spa-like ceremony. But clients can opt to add-on a hot mitt or wax treatment. The most popular treatment is the combination mani/pedi, says Marchand, which most regular clients return for weekly and monthly.

The Nail Bar carries its health-minded approach into the retail area. “We sell various types of formaldehyde- free polish, skin hydration products, and oils,” explains Marchand. Makeup and skin care products are also popular retail items. Marchand hopes to soon carry doctor-prescribed body and skin care products.

The quality-over- quantity approach is working for Marchand, who is considering adding tanning services and hopes to open a second location.



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