Your nail station is one of your most valuable business tools. It is your office, your conference room, your classroom, your showroom, and sometimes even your lunchroom. It is where you do your work and spend much of your day — and you deserve to be comfortable. So what would you change about it if you could? From self-sanitizing stations to elaborately themed decor, techs defy the laws of physics, finances, and convention to come up with some innovative solutions for their individual needs.
"My dream station would allow me to accommodate an assistant or partner who would remove polish and prep clients while I apply product and shape. It would contain one large or two small motion sensor-activated gel lights built in to the lower level for easy client access. This would allow me to offer multiple services and keep my desktop virtually free of clutter. In a side compartment there would be a silent air compressor that would run a pneumatic file; the hand piece would be ergonomically mounted on the side. When a compressor pumps out air it has to suck in air, so I would run a filtered line from the intake of the compressor to the tip of my hand piece to work like an extraction ventilation system. As I file, the dust will instantly be removed by the suction. The compressor would also operate a microdermabrasion machine to remove fine lines, wrinkles, and spots from the hands. Using the aluminum oxide from the microdermabrasion, I could also remove the shine from the nails, starting the prep process without ever touching the natural nail with a file. On the other side of the table would be an ImagiNail art printer, which allows my client to download any picture from the Internet and apply it to her nails with up to 16 million colors. Now, add a few lights and a disco ball and we’re all set!"-- Tom Bachik (Anaheim, Calif.)
"I would choose an Egyptian theme for my dream station. It would have a calming effect with the blended aromas of cinnamon, rosewood, myrrh, and frankincense. White sheers with gold trim tassels would separate the manicure room from the private pedicure room. A ceiling fan would send a soft breeze whirling about as if coming right off the Nile River. My menu of services would offer such specialties described as Ramses’ II Milk and Honey Pedicure, Cleopatra’s Lotus and Frankincense Footbath, or even Nefertiti’s Sea-Salt Soak, along with many other alluring services. My required supplies would be gold-toned implements, stored in appropriate airtight compartments. A solid white pedestal sink made of cultured marble, complete with shiny gold-colored faucets, would adorn a small corner of the nail room. The manicure desk would be painted a shimmering gold, with a simple piece of glass on top enabling quick and efficient clean-ups between each client. There would be towels to the left, with paper towels on the right. A hope chest would be transformed elegantly into a unique treasure chest of supplies." --Marika Lalonde, Queen of the Nails (Vancouver Island, British Columbia)
"My dream nail station would have a built-in sink, just like hairdressers have, where I could lift up the top and have hot and cold water available. The top would have to be made from tempered glass so I can easily sanitize it between clients. Built-in UV lamps would be great, as well as other built-ins, either on the side of the table or underneath it. I would also like a tall table at a height where the tech can either stand or sit while they do clients, who have the option of standing or sitting, too." -- Margaret A. Elam, Mainly-Manicuring (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
"Just recently I have come to the conclusion that I would love to have two separate treatment rooms set up to do my clients’ nails in esthetician chairs — big, comfy, electric chairs that they can lay back in. I could do one hand completely and then move to the other side and do the other hand. This would make it easy to have a second tech doing a pedicure at the same time. The client could have a glass of wine, read a book, listen to earphones, or sit back with a little eye pillow over her eyes while I am working; or she could just gab like we do now. When I am done I could just let her sit there for a bit on her own while her polish dries and I would just move to my second room for the next client." --Maggie Franklin, The Art of Nailz (Visalia, Calif.)
"One thing that would make my station better for me and my clients is a retail station that sits on the left side of my station so that while I am giving a service clients can peruse my retail items. I would also like a therapeutic chair for me so that while I am giving a pedicure I can feel at ease. Finally, I would like a self-sanitizing and disinfecting station and pedicure throne that automatically goes to work after each service." -- Michelle Smith, JCPenney’s Salon (Durham, N.C.)