A name is the first impression a salon makes on a client, and every name (no matter how clever or generic) says something about that salon. Some names are spontaneous acts of inspiration, while others are mulled over for months on end between family and friends. But every owner feels some sort of bond with her own salon’s name, and each has a story about how it came about.
Zaza Nail Spa, Rachel Wong San Francisco, Calif.
When my partners and I were first thinking of names, we wanted something short, easy to pronounce, and catchy, and we also wanted to avoid using adjectives, which are so typical for salons. My girlfriend was pregnant at the time, and one day I was looking at baby names with her and we came across the name ‘Zaza.’ She said the name Zaza would be perfect and my initial reaction was, ‘For your baby girl — no way?!?’ But she laughed and told me she meant for my salon.
We looked at the definition and learned that in Hebrew it means ‘movement’ and in Arabic it means ‘flowery.’ This immediately sparked an interest and led me to incorporate a beautiful flower design into a draft of our logo.
A Polished Image, Shannon Chomanczuk New Windsor, N.Y.
When I decided to open my salon, I wanted a strong name — one that would let everyone know it was a higher-end salon at the top of the Yellow Pages list.
I started by writing down a list of all the words that popped into my head. Then with the help of my mother and husband, I took that list and narrowed it down to words that sounded like good salon names, like Be Pampered and Creative Images.
While we were all bouncing names around, someone said ‘Be Polished, Creative Image,’ and someone else said ‘Polished Look.’ I then yelled out ‘A Polished Image.’
We all liked it, but we wanted to really be sure it would work. So I ran to the phone and pretended to answer an incoming call, ‘Hello, thank you for calling A Polished Image. This is Shannon, how can I help you?’ and the name worked!
Spa Di Da, Maria Botham West Hollywood, Calif.
I was thinking about kids and riddles, and I wanted the name of my new kid’s spa to be fun and playful, yet sophisticated and catchy. Then all at once, “La Di Da” turned into “Spa Di Da.” It hit me over the head like a brick.
Wet Paint Nail Spa, Michelle Phoenix Cambridge, Mass.
I came up with the name Wet Paint while I was still in nail school. All of the shops in my area are called Princess Nails, or Queen’s Nails, or Rose’s Nails, and I thought that if I ever opened my own salon, I would name it something a little more original.
Wet Paint just came to me. I thought it would be good if every time someone saw a wet paint sign they would automatically think of my salon. This was years before I ever gave any serious consideration to actually opening my own place.
The day finally came when I could open a salon, and as I was building it, my family and friends all had ideas about the name. But I stuck to my guns, and was set on calling it Wet Paint Nails. Then I read an article that said high-end nail salons should use the word “spa” in their names to charge more for better services. So I added the word Spa to the end, and that’s how Wet Paint Nail Spa was born. And it turns out the name is pretty unforgettable. My clients love it just as much as I do!