In the glitzy entertainment destination of South Beach, Fla., a former model’s salons — Lace Nail Lab and Lace Beauty Lab — become high-end neighborhood hangouts.
Salon Name: Lace Nail Lab/Lace Beauty Lab
Location: South Beach, Fla.
Owner: Anna Elizabeth
Square Footage: 750/1,000
Opened: October 2004/November 2008
Number of Nail Techs/Total Staff: 9/14
Specialties: Aromatherapy nail treatments
Compensation: hourly and commission
You can’t beat an entertainment hotspot with sizzling clubs for the trendy, the wealthy, and the famous — you just have to join them. Former model Anna Elizabeth knows how to do just that. Owner of Lace Nail Lab and Lace Beauty Lab, both located in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami, Elizabeth uses the right tactics to keep the salons fun and busy by throwing her own party (whether pre-club, post-beach, or Saturday afternoon), no easy task in an area already hogging the spotlight.
What made this commercial print and TV model turn her attention to the nail industry? Easy enough — she saw a need. A California native who frequented Miami for the winter modeling season, she was surprised to find a lack of decent nail salons in the area. Looking for a career change, she opened up Lace Nail Lab in 2004 and Lace Beauty Lab in 2008.
Where It’s At
Lace Nail Lab is an ultra-pink dollhouse located on West Avenue. Pink, patent-leather stools and chairs surround white tables in the manicure area, and elegant white Barcelona chairs are used for pedicures. Playing on the dollhouse theme, designer Doug Meyer used white with different shades of pink extensively. “People always say it’s like a cyber Barbie Dream House,” says Elizabeth. “It’s very slick and very modern, even though it’s girly.”
Lace Beauty Lab, also designed by Meyer, is decidedly much less pink. Noticing the well-groomed men in the neighborhood, Elizabeth says, “I had the feeling that we were going to have a bigger male base here and wanted to make the salon more appealing to them.” Of the Beauty Lab’s clients, 30% are men. Although there are a couple of walls patterned with pink, there are also blue, green, and silver, and Venetian mirrors line the walls.
Of course, it isn’t just decoration that makes a party — it’s also what the party offers. Lace offers glamour on the beach, with nails, waxing, and facials, and Lace Beauty Lab, with its additional hair and makeup services, gives its clients a chance to go from surf-and-sun to wild night out.
Both salons provide all services nail-related. The basic treatments, the Lace Signature Manicure and Pedicure, are among the clients’ favorites. The mani consists of a hot-oil, waterless manicure with hot towels and warm lotion. The pedicure includes a soak, scrub, basic services, hot towels, warm lotion, and massage. At $22 and $38, respectively, Elizabeth estimates that pricing is on par with high-end salons in the area.
If you’re looking for some more pampering, Lace Beauty Lab is “somewhere that you could get a makeover from head to toe,” says Elizabeth. “You can come off the beach and we could make you into a glamour god for the evening.” Both retail areas are fully stocked with hair and nail products, skin care, candles, swimwear, and resort wear. In addition, Lace Beauty carries dresses, eliminating the need to even stop at home for a dress before a long night out.
Give Them Something to Talk About
Since its inception, efforts at getting media attention have been successful; it’s been featured in popular fashion magazines and local papers. “It’s been a press darling,” says Elizabeth.
“We work with a publicist, and invite local editors in to try our new beauty services,” Elizabeth says. Already spreading the word with the magazines and newspapers, online and in print, Lace has less need to advertise. They also rely on word of mouth for new clients.
If you’re inviting in the media, it’s best to give them something to talk about. “Decadency is the charm of South Beach,” explains Elizabeth about her decision to include the Dubai special — consisting of a full day, head-to-toe beauty treatment costing $1,150 — on the Lace menu. “To be honest with you, it’s all for something that the press will find interesting and intriguing.”
What’s more, Elizabeth asked Essie to create a special nail color for the salon. Essie unveiled an exclusive color, appropriately named Lace, a sheer pink that the salons use for promotion purposes and in the salon itself.
Go Where the Pretty People Go
Although South Beach is a major entertainment destination, both salons are in fairly residential areas, which brings in a steady flow of returning clients. Many clients live within walking distance and others come from all over the South Beach community. Its high-end clientele consists of “everyone from models to restaurant hostesses to new moms to the ladies who lunch,” says Elizabeth.
Lace Nail Lab’s first clients were in fact Elizabeth’s contacts from the modeling world, and it grew from there. Although most clients are regulars who come all the time, occasionally, a model or celebrity will stop by. “It’s always great to have people that are in the entertainment business to bring the glamorous lifestyle into the salon,” says Elizabeth. “I think everyone likes to be where the pretty people are. It’s really part of the whole vibe.”
Elizabeth works at fostering a fun, social atmosphere at Lace, where neighbors and strangers can meet up and chat, and where friends will often run into each other. She’s got the location, she’s got the press, a celeb here and there, and it’s packed with women. What more could you want in a party? As Elizabeth says, “People in South Beach like to be in the place to be — and Lace is the place to be.”