Says NAILS salesperson Michelle Mullen: "My first pedicure was causing me a little anxiety but Laura Mix, founder/VP of Footworks in Elk Grove, Calif., welcomed us with her lovely smile and I began to relax."
A pedicure at Footworks is treated like an opportunity to educate and bond with the client. They want their walk-in customers to become regular clients and it shows.
Although NAILS managing editor Debbie Rosenkrantz and I had wonderful meetings on our one-day road trip, everything that could go wrong certainly did. By the time we found our way to our final appointment, we were frazzled and tired – and our feet were killing us. My first pedicure was causing me a little anxiety but Laura Mix, founder/VP of Footworks in Elk Grove, Calif., welcomed us with her lovely smile and I began to relax.
As we moved around the salon I became aware of the calming music (chosen for its ability to lower a client’s heart rate quickly bring about relaxation) and the sound of the small water fountains placed around the reception area and manicure tables. The atmosphere was wearing down the tension I trudged in with.
Laura and her husband Dr. G.F. Oscar Mix, a podiatrist (whose columns appear in past issues of NAILS), worked with several specialists to develop the interior of the salon to make it a haven for relaxation. The walls are painted a soft peach with ocean-coloured carpet, giving the feeling of five minutes after sundown. The wood grain and glass retail area displays all of the salon’s specialty retail products neatly. No detail is too small – the salon’s gift certificates even come in a gold gift box with a ribbon instead of an envelope. Down the hall are six doors leading to private rooms for pedicures, reflexology/massage, skin care, and a podiatry treatment room and office for Dr. Mix, who practices out of the salon two days a week. Besides this being a unique service offering, it came in handy as Dr. Mix was able to look at built-up calluses on Debbie’s feet during her pedicure and help her technician prescribe a treatment regimen.
I was led to my private room where I changed into the soft terrycloth shorts supplied by Footworks and sank into the custom-built pedicure throne. Laura designed the throne in her garage using a hooded kitty litter box, some scissors, and an office chair. The outcome is a station where she sits at a comfortable level without putting strain on her back. A custom-designed mini-Jacuzzi with ultra-quiet jets slightly massaged my tired feet. Toward the end of the service, a plastic cover slides over the water to create a flat surface for polishing. The chair itself is an R.V. seat, allowing the client to recline the back and adjust the arms to get comfortable. The seat is installed on rails and moves backward or forward for any length of legs.
Of course, I hate my feet and was reluctant to have anyone touch them, but with Laura’s demeanor, which was as relaxing as the room’s atmosphere and adjustable lighting, I was quickly persuaded. I would have napped but for NAILS readers, I stayed alert to the scent of eucalyptus aromatherapy and Laura’s relaxing touch. Somewhere among the ambiance, the music, the mud treatment, the massage, and the kind Laura Mix, I unwound and found the beauty of a pedicure.