What happens when creative entrepreneurs combine their passions to build multipurpose businesses? You get more than your average nail salon.
Resta and The Beat Cup Cafe, Delray Beach, Fla.
While many salons are mapping out floor space to expand their pedi area, Resta chose to create a quiet oasis where clients receive one-on-one attention.
Dissatisfied with spaces available for booth rental, stylist Eric Perna began to dream of opening his own salon. He and his wife Carolina Solé, also a cosmetologist, wanted a place where art and inspiration were part of the salon culture. As a psychologist in Brazil, Solé had learned the importance of art. She wanted to use the salon as a way to bring the benefits of art into people’s lives. As an artist and musician, Perna wanted a salon that provided an inspiring atmosphere, not only for himself, but also for his clients and other staff. Resta, meaning “recreation, style, and art,” became their solution.
The Brazilian team opened Resta in 2009 with six stylist chairs and room to showcase Perna’s artwork. For two years, they lived their dream: Perna as master stylist and artist, and Solé as “the person who runs the front desk and does whatever else needs to be done.” The business quickly gained a loyal following, and the couple realized they needed to expand.
Their love of community and connection led them to imagine a business that offered clients a gathering place. Solé’s brother has a passion for coffee; her mother for good food. The forces combined, and in 2011, Resta added five more stylist chairs, a nail area, and the Beat Cup Cafe.
Their concept for the nail area cut against industry trends. “At first, we added two pedicure chairs so friends could get pedicures together, but we realized we weren’t able to create the VIP experience we wanted for our clients,” explains Solé. “So, we removed a chair to give clients more one-on-one attention.” The service menu includes natural manicures and pedicures, plus gel-polish services.
The salon and cafe share a door from the inside, and each has a separate entrance from the street. The cafe offers regular poetry readings, jam sessions, live music and art exhibits, plus local professionals use the space to hold seminars and classes. The cafe serves a small menu (with Mom as the pastry chef!), along with tea, coffee, beer, and wine.
This bookshelf creates a semi-private space for a drying area, plus offers salon guests a view into the cafe.
The expansion has been good for both businesses. Clients often visit the cafe when they come for an appointment, and cafe patrons regularly book appointments once they see the salon. “Of course, there’s a downside,” laughs Solé. “It’s a lot of work! Eric and I still do hair; meanwhile, we’re trying to run two businesses.”
After a year in business, how does she describe the dual business? “It’s awesome,” says Solé. “We offer clients an experience they can’t get anywhere else.”
While it looks like two separate businesses from the outside, Resta Salon and Cafe are separated inside only by a glass-paned door.
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